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Import/Export

United Kingdom to Costa Rica

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Import Documentation

For charges made for Export Shipments from United Kingdom to the destination country or territory, please refer to Brokerage Services and Charges-Export Shipments with United Kingdom as the destination.

Driving Licenses

Valid Driving Licenses can be shipped as documents. The description must clearly state 'driving license'. Shipping driving licenses require the approval of the UK customs authorities. A delay of minimum one day has to be calculated.

Please check the import related information if driving licenses are allowed for importation.

Mobile phones to all destinations from United Kingdom can be delayed on export due to security checks from government bodies.

Goods under IATA Special Provisions A67 require a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).

It is not required for all, however shipments can be held by local authority in United Arab Emirates after screening due to lack of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) or NON DG (Dangerous Goods) declaration letter from the shipper resulting to misconnections and impacting end-to-end service.

It would be advisable for all shipments originating, transiting and terminating for UAE to have MSDS or NON DG declaration from shipper enclosed in the shipment and copies to be uploaded in IDIS.

Export procedure ex United Kingdom

A formal electronic export declaration must be sent to customs authorities by the exporter or their representative. Customs authorities grant the release for export and issue an Export Accompanying Document (EAD) with a unique Movement Reference Number (MRN). UPS operated simplified procedures allowing export formalities to be completed upto 14 days after export.

Informal Declarations
An informal declaration is possible for shipments up to a national threshold. The informal declaration is based on the invoice value and is restricted to shipments not subject to prohibitions and restrictions (for example, embargo regulations) or special export procedures (for example, temporary export). The informal clearance will be done by UPS at the point of exit.

National Requirements
Shipments up to a value of 873.00 GBP can be declared informally on the basis of the invoice.

The EORI (European Union Registration and Identification) number needs to be included with the Invoice for any shipment with value exceeding 873.00 GBP. The EORI number can be obtained by the shipper using website link: www.gov.uk/EORI

UPS service
UPS offers the service to prepare export declarations on behalf of the exporter without additional fees.

Export Documentation

Valid passports can be shipped as documents. The description must clearly state 'passport'. Shipping passports require the approval of the UK customs authorities. A delay of minimum one day has to be calculated.

Please check the import related information if passports are allowed for importation.

Clearance Information

All merchandise valued greater than US$20.00, all catalogs and brochures weighing over 20 kg (44 lbs.), and all samples exceeding the one unit per type price are considered non-documents.
Documents are sent with an established cartage company. If the consignee is easily accessible, some cartage companies deliver door-to-door. If the consignee is not easily accessible, the shipment will be held for pick-up. Union Pak or a third-party broker must clear non-documents.
Shipments valued over US$1.00 will clear in 1 working day and delivery will be made the next business day.

Only documents are cleared by a simplified entry with no charge or delays. Samples, personal effects, and non commercial shipments will be kept at customs facilities to be cleared by the consignees with no charge of duties and taxes, but if the clearance is done by UPS or any customs agencies, the consignee will be charged duties and taxes and/or a warehouse handling fee.

Shipments which contain medication, legal drugs, food, personal care products, vegetable or animal products require a health permit before customs clearance.

Shipments over US$1000.00 and between countries or territories with free trade agreements, duties exemption, and health permits require an individual formal entry.

Some cities require that the consignee be pre-contacted by the Service Partner.
UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box address. All packages require a consignee's contact name and complete street address including apartment, suite or unit number if applicable. The consignee's telephone number should be provided if known.

Areas Served

Service is provided to and from certain cities.

Shipments destined to Boca Del Toro are moved via ground service. If a shipment arrives for Isla Colon, the consignee is contacted to see if it can be sent to Boca Del Toro. If so, the shipment is moved via ground service and upon arrival in Boca Del Toro, UPS will contact the consignee to pick up the package. If the consignee refuses, the shipper is notified, resulting in RTS or the abandonment of the shipment.

This also applies to the city of Altamirante, which is an extended area.

UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box address. All packages require a consignee's contact name and complete street address including apartment, suite or unit number if applicable. The consignee's telephone number should be provided if known.

Saturday, Sunday, and official holidays.
Spring -0600/ Fall -0600
Spanish
Costa Rican Colon(CRC)

Billing Options

  • Shipping charges can be billed to the shipper, receiver or a third party.
  • When billing the receiver, either the shipper or receiver's account number is required.
  • When billing to a third party, the third party's name, country or territory and account number are required.
  • Duties and taxes can be billed to the shipper, receiver or a third party.
  • When billing a third party, the third party's name, country or territory and account number are required.
  • If the duties and taxes are billed to an account outside of the destination country or territory, a "Duty and Tax Forwarding" surcharge will be applied.
  • Please note the following third party billing exceptions:
    • Shipments to and from the same country or territory (domestic shipments) cannot be billed to third party payors in other countries or territories. For example, shipments from Mexico to Mexico or Canada to Canada cannot be billed to a third party payor in the U.S. This rule does not apply to UPS domestic services in European Union countries or territories. For example, shipments from Germany to Germany can be billed to a third party payor in the U.S. (as long as the payor is a business and has a VAT or Tax/EIN ID on file with UPS).
  • When paying by credit card, check, or cash, only the shipper can be billed the shipping charges
  • The freight and duties can be billed to the shipper or a third party
  • The taxes can be billed to the receiver or a third party
  • A surcharge will be applied for the SDV billing option

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Costa Rica. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

Bank Cards which are requested to be sent out of the United Kingdom should be declared for referral to HMRC and await their approval to send.
Proyectos
Books are not considered as documents.
An import permit is required for cosmetics and beauty products. An additional fee is charged for the permit. The cost of the permit depends on the type of cosmetic shipped. Allow 2 additional days for clearance. The importer must be registered with the Health Ministry.
An invoice is required on all shipments containing a CD-Rom/Disk. Invoice should indicate the value of the Recording Media (eg. CDR/DVD) & the Intellectual/statistical value of the software/data separately
CD's containing intercompany information, blueprints, graphics, VHS with info, intercompany mail etc., can be imported with no value declared.
An import permit is required for all medicine, including veterinary medicine. An additional fee is charged for the permit. The cost of the permit depends on the type of medicine shipped. Allow 2 additional days for clearance. The importer must be registered with Customs. Medicines must have a physician's prescription. All medication is inspected by the Health Ministry prior to customs inspection. If the Health Ministry classifies it as an illegal medication, clearance cannot be done.
An import permit is required for food and candy. An additional fee is charged for the permit. The cost of the permit depends on the type of food or candy shipped. Allow 2 additional days for clearance. The importer must be registered with the Health Ministry.
A special Import Permit is required. There is an additional fee for the permit. The cost of the permit depends on the specific commodity shipped. Please allow one additional day for clearance.
An import permit is required for prostheses. An additional fee is charged for the permit. The cost of the permit depends on the type of medical item shipped. Allow 2 additional days for clearance. The importer must be registered with the Health Ministry.
An import permit is required for all medicine, including veterinary medicine. An additional fee is charged for the permit. The cost of the permit depends on the type of medicine shipped. Allow 2 additional days for clearance. The importer must be registered with Customs. Medicines must have a physician's prescription. All medication is inspected by the Health Ministry prior to customs inspection. If the Health Ministry classifies it as an illegal medication, clearance cannot be done.
Non-negotiable bonds, drafts only.
Passports which are requested to be sent out of the United Kingdom should be declared for referral to HMRC and await their approval to send.
An import permit is required for vitamins. An additional fee is charged for the permit. The cost of the permit depends on the type of vitamins shipped. Allow 2 additional days for clearance. The importer must be registered with the Health Ministry.

Gift Exemptions

50.00 US Dollar USD
company-to-company
per shipment

Shipments valued up to US$50.00 are subject to duties and taxes. However, depending on the shipment's contents, a lower rate of tax may be applied. This is not always the rule; customs may impose duty on personal shipments.

In addition to a detailed description of each item, write additional comments of "gift shipment" on the invoice and in the Special Instructions box of the UPS Waybill to insure a proper assessment of duties and taxes.

500.00 US Dollar USD
company-to-individual
per shipment

Brokerage can be done by the consignees without payment of Duties and Taxes for shipments considered as personal or non commercial with a CIF declared value up to US$ 500.00, but they must be cleared between customs inspectors and the final consignee. If UPS or any customs agencies clear the parcel for the customer, the consignee will be charged with duties, taxes and Brokerage and/or Handling fees, depending on the type of merchandise

0.00 US Dollar USD
individual-to-company
per shipment

These types of shipments are considered commercial shipments and require a Formal Entry. They are subject to duties and taxes.

50.00 US Dollar USD
individual-to-individual
per shipment

Shipments valued up to US$50.00 are subject to duties and taxes. However, depending on the shipment's contents, a lower rate of tax may be applied. This is not always the rule; customs may impose duty on personal shipments.

Write "gift shipment" on the invoice and in the Special Instructions box of the UPS Waybill to assure proper assessment of duties and taxes.

Invoice Requirements

Non-document shipments to Costa Rica must include 1 original and 2 copies of a commercial invoice.

Pro forma invoices will not be accepted since they are considered by Customs like simple quotations. They are not good for customs purposes, as may be modified by exporter / seller in case of any variation of the initial conditions, so they offer no guarantee that make clear the price actually paid or that will be paid.

Invoices must be translated into Spanish for Customs clearance. To avoid delays, include an extra invoice in Spanish with the shipment. The invoice must include the following information:

  • Nature of contents
  • Net weight of the shipment
  • Quantity of articles
  • Terms of the purchase (for example, CIF, FOB, or other)
  • Total gross weight of the shipment
  • Value of articles
  • Descriptions of contents such as spare parts, samples, computers parts, machine parts, gifts and similar ones are not accepted. The descriptions must be very specific and must describe the purpose of use.

    The consignee's telephone number, if available, must be on the invoice. Original invoices are required by law and prevent Customs delays. Invoices on company letterhead are preferred. All other types of invoices could cause shipments to be delayed in customs.

    The original invoice is required in order to release any package from customs, but it is essential that it clearly shows the actual conditions of the purchase-sale transaction (prices, quantities, Inco term used, currency, etc).

    UPS Paperless Invoice is available for small package exports from this country or territory.
    UPS Paperless Invoice is accepted by Customs for small package imports into this country or territory.

    Items Classified as Documents

    The destination country or territory considers the following items document shipments. If criteria are listed, the shipment must meet those criteria to be considered a document shipment. Customs can change the classification of the product and charge duties and taxes. If an article is considered a non-document and is detected during customs inspection, the shipment will automatically lose the simplified clearance and will go through the regular customs process requiring a formal entry. Documents must not have a declared value or they will be considered by customs as a non-document shipment.

    Document weight limit is 1 kg. If shipment exceeds the weight limit, it will be considered a non-document.
    Weight limit: 5 kg (11 lbs) and must be for personal use only. If the shipment exceeds the weight limit or more than one unit of catalogs is shipped, it will be considered a non-document. The shipment must not list a declared value.
    Document if canceled check.
    Document weight limit 10 kgs.
    Document limit is one credit card.
    When informative, not software. For personal use only.
    For personal use only, limit 2 rolls.
    To ship intercompany data on diskette or CD in the UPS Letter Envelope, you must follow these guidelines:
    Specifically write "intercompany data on diskette/CD-ROM" in the Description of Goods field of the waybill.
    Mark an "X" in the Documents Only box on the waybill.
    They must have no declared value.
    No weight limit.
    Must be declared as a document and have no declared value.

    UPS can recommend which forms you need based on a few simple criteria. Forms can be completed online or printed. See which forms you need.

    Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

    In addition to the prohibited commodities listed here, it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to Costa Rica.

    Antique shipments are restricted from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract. Antiques are defined as a work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, or silverware that is 100 years old or older.
    Artwork shipments are restricted from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

    Paintings or other works of art can be accepted if the artist is still alive, the artwork is replaceable and an art dealer or gallery has appraised the artwork within the last year. If the declared value of the artwork is greater than $100.00 and there is a claim, the shipper must provide a copy of the original invoice, a bill of sale, or other proof certifying in writing the actual cost or replacement cost of the item.

    Artwork includes the following: Original engravings, prints, lithographs, original sculptures, statuary.

    The term "Artwork" does not apply to: architectural, engineering, industrial, topographical, commercial drawings, hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles.

    An import permit is required for chemicals. An additional fee is charged for the permit. The cost of the permit depends on the type of chemical shipped. Allow 2 additional days for clearance. The importer must be registered with the Health Ministry and present to UPS representatives the security sheet data form.
    Shipments of jewelry can be shipped as long as the value does not exceed US$500.00 or the local currency equivalent per package.

    Jewelry for which the retail price is lower than US$150.00 per item and which do not contain precious metal(s) and/or stone(s) are considered costume jewelry and can be shipped only up to this value from the origin country or territory.

    Mobile phones to all destination countries from United Kingdom can be delayed on export due to security checks from government bodies.
    Personal Effects cannot be shipped between these countries or territories

    Saturday Delivery

    Saturday Delivery Available: No

    Service Options

    Always check Calculate Time and Cost for details of service availability and guarantee information within a country or territory. All Service Levels may not be available to or from every address within a country or territory.

    • UPS Worldwide Expedited
    • UPS Worldwide Express
    • UPS Worldwide Express Saver
    • UPS WorldWide Express Freight
    • WorldWide Economy DDU

    Special Clearance Requirements

    Outward Processing Relief (goods exported from the UK for the purpose of repair)

    The outward processing relief starts with the export from the UK and will be discharged with the re-importation of the repaired goods. Both steps need to be identified by UPS export or import operation. Repair Goods: Goods requiring Export from the UK for repair Invoice requirements:

    • Statement stating "Goods being sent for repair under Outward Processing Relief" should be clearly marked on the commercial invoice
    • Provide serial number of goods being sent for repair. If the goods are not serialized a statement to this effect must be made on the commercial invoice
    • Exporters authorized to export under OPR must include their authority number on all paperwork
    • Provide correct commercial value of goods as originally paid for not a nominal value for the goods.

    Failure to provide any of the above information will result in shipments being delayed.

    Repaired goods: Goods being re-exported returned after repair in the UK Invoice requirements:

    • Invoice should clearly state "Goods have been repaired under IPR"
    • Provide either IP authorization number or Import entry details
    • Provide full commercial value of goods plus cost of repair

    Failure to provide any of the above information will result in shipments being delayed.

    New requirements have been implemented for small package shipments and are based on the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 15, which is entitled "Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade". ISPM 15 was adopted internationally in 2002, and is gradually being introduced by countries or territories worldwide. Wood or wood products covered by ISPM 15 include items such as packing cases, boxes, crates, drums or similar packing, pallets, box pallets and other load boards, pallet collars and skids, but exclude such processed woods as orientated strand board, particle board, plywood or veneer, created using glue, heat and pressure or a combinations thereof, and, raw wood which is 6mm or less thick. It is recommended that if a question arises on this issue, please check with the authority that issues the Phytosanitary certificates in your country or territory.

    Value Limits


    Private Shipments

  • 50.00 US Dollar (USD)
    • In most cases, when the value of the shipment is equal to or less than the Deminimis Value, the shipment may enter the country or territory duty and tax free.
    Commercial Shipments

  • 50.00 US Dollar (USD)
    • In most cases, when the value of the shipment is equal to or less than the Deminimis Value, the shipment may enter the country or territory duty and tax free.

    Weight and Size Limits

    70 kg (150 lbs.) per package
    274.00 cm (107.9 in.)  per package
    419 cm (165 in. ) per package
    Length and girth combined


    Convert metric quantity for weight, length, and area.


    NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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