Bringing car into nicaragua -- redux

This topic has been beat to death, BUT in posts that are fairly old.... AND the topic never seemed to be made clear. There was a lot of "i heard" and "if the law hasn't changed." So here I start it again.

From Miami, I'm shipping my car, a 2002 Jeep Liberty for my own personal use in Nicaragua. I am an American citizen that apparently is eligible for dual citizenship (though this has yet to be made clear) since both my parents are Nicaraguense. Soooo, I hope to receive the car in Nica as a resident or citizen or who knows what.

The car will be nationalized and live on my grandmother's hacienda for me to use on my trips there.

I've been working with two shipping agents here in the US who also operate in Nicaragua... and this has made things no clearer (i've learned more from the posts here on Nica Living) As of now, the consensus seems to be: forget about shipping to Nicaragua directly (something about complexities of customs in Managua). The car is going to Puerto Cortes in Honduras (from Miami) and then will be driven (by this guy's shipping company) to El Espino on the border.

It's expensive ($2300) and the whole import tax thing seems in the air-- one agent says he thinks the 1-car-per-resident-exemption is no longer valid and I'm unsure about my residency/citizenship status anyway. I'm also worried about this 5yr old rule I hear about since the car is a 2002 and it will arrive in Nica the second week of 2008. And then I've heard about some astronomical deposit that the car might require in Honduras while it's in transit.

If anyone can shed an updated light on this situation, please do. Otherwise, I'll post an update here on how it goes for me, for any that may follow in my unwise footsteps. It's a long story as to why I'm going through all this trouble when it sounds much, much simpler to just sell the car here and buy another one there, but I will get to the bottom of this!!!

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car shipping

Maybe against my better judgment, but I'm shipping a car down to Nicaragua. Hopefully everything will work out OK. My wife went to the consulate in Miami and processed the paperwork to establish my retirement status, so all that should be in order.

The people at Bernuth Lines were great and very helpful. Cuould not have found the place without Mapquest though. Shipping to Rama for the car, 2003 Suzuki Vitara, and a few other items inside was $975.00. Just a short taxi ride to Miami airport, 5 minutes, and we were on our way.

So this is an episode in progress, hopefully it has a happy ending.

Leaving our car in Nica

I was wondering if anyone had information regarding leaving vehicles in Nica for more than a month. We want to drive in and then fly home to the states for 3 months, then return and continue driving to Panama. We are also considering selling our truck down there, which is a 1991 Dodge Ram 350 diesel 5.9liter 4x4 with a cab-over camper on it. Does anyone think that this is possible there (or want to buy it)? What about Costa Rica for importing? Muchas gracias Team SWoBs

Maybe

The issue is the time. You are basically asking Nicaragua to let you have a foreign-registered car on the road for four months. That isn't a "normal" option. That said, it would seem there is a good chance it could be negotiated but that most likely means talking to someone important in person. Good luck.

As for buying it, there are two issues. The first is whether or not a car that old can be nationalized. It used to be anything with a "bed" could but I recently read (here, I think) that the law was recently changed.

The other issue is the big engine and camper. Campers are of about zero interest here so you can just consider that of zero value. Big motors are of interest to people who really need them (or just have too much money). There will be someone that wants it but they may be hard to find.

I believe you can still nationalize any age car into Costa Rica. I know that was the case a few years ago.

Buying a car abroad is best

Buying a used good F150 is the best deal Look at that long linf below for some suggestions

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?doors=&systime=&position...

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

None of this is good info

First of all, anthonyg is a nicaraguan citizen because his parents are nicas, regardless of where he was born. Nicaragua recognizes both citizenships. First this he needs to do is get his paperwork done at a consulate in the states and get his passport. It's so much easier to get things done at customs with a nica passport. Second at the nica consulate they can advise him about law 535 that grants tax exemption to citizens residing overseas. It also states that the vehicle can not be older than 7 years. you can read more about it here http://www.migracion.gob.ni/leyes/ley535.html Next $2300 dollars por a jeep liberty from miami is way out of line. Use Bertmuth lines out of miami directly to managua, they only charge $1180 and it takes about 3 weeks. You will need an aduana agent, don't even try doing it yourself, under this law you must have an agent and also regardless if so much easier on the nerves and will only cost $200 to $300 dollars, a small price to pay for you sanity. I recomend Mario Bonilla cell phone #887-6587. Read the law and decide if its for you. Otherwise you are looking to pay about 40% import duty. This how I imported my 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I shipped with Bertmuth on April 08 and was driving the car out of aduana in managua on May 20 after paying about $400 to the agent and misc. fees (not bribes). Any way you decide to do the import I strongly sugest you get you Nica Passport, its going to make it all much easier and get an aduana agent and also ship it to managua not to Rama. And to those that say buy a Toyota, I like Jeep much better and they have a dealer in Managua called autostar which is owned by Diamlet AG, makers of Mercedes-Benz. Every tom and dick in nicaragua owns a toyota but only a few own a Jeep. Feel free to contact me for any info from someone that has done the import of a vehicle.

YOU are giving Misleading INfomation

Aldo Law 535 is the repatriot law for Nicaraguans moving back after living away for over ten years and want to come back to Nicaragua to establish a business. You are excempt from taxes on: 200,00 worth of materials (for a business) 13,000 for Household 25,000 for a vehicle Bermuth is the way to go,I know because I helped arrange bring this man in to Nicaragua after setting up Nicarline for Jerez in Miami. Jerez is still working at Bermuth and you will be going thru him when shipping and ther by the way the cost you quoted is still to high.

If you are just returning to Nicaragua as a retiree another law applies.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

your the one with misleading info

Law 535 clearly states any nica living outside the country for 5 or more years, not ten. I don't see how th qoute of $1180 is too high from Miami directly to Managua, Rama it cost $950 or so. The original poster is not returning to nicaragua as a retiree, he is going to continue living in the us and returning here for short periods. Retiree law is mostly for foreigners but if his parents are nicas he is also nica, doesn't need to go thru the process of getting residence.

YOU R CORRECT...its 5 YEARS

how did I miss that?

We ship a 40 foot container for 1,300 to Rama, do the math 650 per car or small truck and in a container.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

you are wrong about

the car being older than 7 years old.

If you are a Nicaraguan,who has been out of the country for more than 2 years,you are exempt to introduce a vehicle up to $25K in value, higher than that,and you will have to pay the difference,which is 30%.

At the same token, you can introduce anything needed for your home, this is called Menaje De Casa FREE of Taxes,this has limitations.

I have wrote about this subject before with links, hopefully phil or someone can dig them out,coze I am not :-(.

Found it:

Link: http://www.dga.gob.ni/preguntas01.cfm

Article: http://www.dga.gob.ni/preguntadetalle.cfm?recordID=75

Piece that is exempt as I mentioned:

Se exceptuan de esta prohibicion:

1. Los donados a los Cuerpos de Bomberos, la Cruz Roja Nicaraguense, las Iglesias, denominaciones, confesiones, y fundaciones religiosas que tengan personalidad juridica.

2. Los importados o internados por nicaraguenses que regresen a vivir al pais, despues de haber residido en el extranjero al menos un a?o anterior a su regreso definitivo.

3. Los clasicos o historicos.

Solamente se podran importar vehiculos livianos y camionetas de tina.

Menaje De Casa: http://www.dga.gob.ni/preguntadetalle.cfm?recordID=57

Hope this helps.

FAP

actually you have to have

actually you have to have been out of the country more than 5 years and show proof with documents such as Tax returns or what nots. Yes, the vehicle can not be older than 7 years. From what the original poster says his parents are nicas therefore he is nica and a nica having lived overseas and now seeking to return, even if it's for short amount of times. Yes the exemption is up to $25,000 so his 2002 jeep liberty easily qualifies. Aduana is going to need a factura, my agent bought one from somewhere in managua and aduana accept it without question. The value listed was $11,900 which was way under for a 2005 jeep fully loaded.

Two things wrong with this post

1: If the person has been out of the country for 5 years, their is no 535 law that applies, 2: the vehicle CAN BE OLDER than 7 years, but it has to be a Pick up, they are excempt from the 7 year law. Your agent did not provide/buy or made up a Factura to Custom as that would indicate FRAUD and if discovered, you will be fined twice the amount of the fraud. What he did, IF he was a good broker is that he got the car evaluated for 100 bucks and that did it.

Hope this all helps

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

Bring your personal items to Nicaragua

There are a few ways of doing this and this all needs to be worked out in your hometown before coming and finding yourself facing a nightmere and calling all the Nicaraguans rip offs. Things have a process. I gather you are dual resident, thats cool and legal., now you need to register these things before coming, either with the consulate and or DGI depending on how you will be introducing yourself into Nicaragua. Are you and investor with at least 40,000US in investment that is one way. Another way is a retired person and yet another is a repatriot Many choices and many things need to be before making the move.If not, you will be in Custom hell and they will hit you with charges upon charges you you will think you are getting ripped off but it will be ultimatly your fault.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

Car transport

Please write me at morjak64@yahoo.com as we cannot seem to send you a message through your email. Thank you.

Consulate

Hola Anthonyg, You have dual citizenship US & Nica.

First, you should visit your nearest Nica consulate. and get you Nicaraguan papers in order, that should make your part-time residence in Nicaragua much easier.

The Consulate will also provide info. on importing a vehicle into Nica.

Good luck,

Al

yep

Sure enough, you're right. I just got my provisional passport from Houston that says I'm a Nicaraguan citizen and the consulate affirmed it. I just need to get my cedula when I get there.

- anthony

I tried, but no luck.

Respectfully, I tried to make a comment about the cost of shipping a car from the US to Nicaragua. I guess it is just as well that it would not let me since I was wondering if it would be cheaper to drive? The jury is still out on that one, but I ran into a snag that would keep me from doing it. Some of the southern mountains of Mexico are at an altitude of 13,000 feet. Sadly with my inner ear damage, I am limited to atmospheric pressure greater than 6,000 feet, which may limit my travels. [Yes, I start getting sick at 4,000 and by 6,000 I am out light a light. Sort of the landlubbers sea sickness]

Does anyone know if their is a coastal route that or slightly inland route that stays below 4,000 to 6,000 feet, that does not take days to pass through the major tourist attractions [bottlenecked traffic]?

Thank you.

Altitud

Hola, Nckblvns, I'm not sure of the elevation of the mountain system along the Mexican Atlantic coast, but they are definetly much lower than the ones on the Pacific side.

Mexico City is aprox, 7,200 feet above sea level.

If you drive from AZ. to the Brownville-Matamoros border and stay along the Mexican litoral road to Coatzacoalcos, from there you head west to La Ventosa, to Tapachula and to Guatemala, you would have avoided the higher elevation mountain system of Sierra Madre Oriental and Occidental, same system as Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains in the US.

There are other NL members that have driven the road recently, let's see if they come forward with information.

Check www.nicaliving.com/node/3631

Al

driving route to Nica

I made the drive last June. Just come down through Brownsville and down the Gulf coast. There ARE no mountains to speak of, the entire trip from Taxas to Nica was basically at sea level. Just be prepared for the worst, you are likely to experience at least some of the worst in human behavior that you have ever imagined, and, if you're lucky, some of the best of it as well. Beware Mexico- especially right after you cross the border. That is where ALL of the predators are waiting, patiently, for you. The cops are probably not, and the bad guys almost certainly are. Bad, that is, and possibly cops, too! Good luck, may you live through the adventure.

Scott

probably cheaper but...

The actual cost to ship a car from Miami to Puerto Cortes (honduras) is only $550. Paying a freight forwarder to handle the paperwork on both sides and to transport the car across Honduras jacks up the price.

Don't know about low altitude routes, but my folks have made the drive twice. Here are some highlights from their trips (and my mom is central american and their car wasn't all that nice).

Mexico #1: On the return trip entering Mexico, the border folks demanded a cash deposit for the full value of the vehicle, supposedly to be returned upon exiting. They were ready to impound the truck. It sounded shady and calls to government agencies finally got them through (without depositing nothing).

Mexico #2: On a rural road, a car in front pulls over. A police-looking vehicle appears suddenly and pulls my parent's car over, saying that my parent's car was responsible for some damage to this other car(!?!?!) and the 'police officer' was demanding compensation. My aunt was a few minutes behind and when she pulled over, the 'police officer' suddenly said it was all a misunderstanding and left.

Guatemala: Two soldiers in full battle gear with assault rifles (and of unspecified affiliation) wave the car down and ask for a ride (albeit politely). Watcha gonna do.. say no? So they got a ride and there was no incident, but it was scary.

Honduras: A few miles from the Nicaraguan border, a shady-looking vehicle with police lights tries to pull them over. It looks very suspicious, so they gun it for the border, figuring if it is police, they can take care of it there. Near the border, the car takes off...

There was endless haggling and 'mordidas' (bribes) at impromptu 'checkpoints'. Multiple attempts of theft to the point of having to pay a guy to guard the car whenever they stopped. And the near-impossible task of getting a tire replacement (hate to think if the car had broken down and needed a part).

So, can't say from personal experience, but my folks say that even a shocking $2300 for shipping is well worth it.

NO!!! MIAMI to RAMA is better

Why go to an third country when you can do it directly. Ship the car to RAMA, Ship sails off of the Miami River. When you are in Managua, take a tourist bus the day before to Rama and pick up your car the next day in the morning. It was 625 when I shipped last it might be more now.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

Both freight forwarders I

Both freight forwarders I spoke were adamant Puerto Cortes was the way to go... though I don't know why exactly. Something about the car would take much longer to get to a Nicaraguan port. What shipping company did you use and how long did it take? My car is booked on Seaboard Marine.

Seaboard Marine

You have answered your own question, Seaboard ships to Nicaragua via Puerto Cortez.(Honduras) Bermuth Shipping in Miami ships via Miami river and Rama. Weekly service I understand. I ship Organic beef with seaboard Marine to Miami because they give me a better rate than Bermuth,(all those empty containers heading north is a good thing) but if Bermuth matched it, I would prefer to use a national company that uses our ports.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

Doesn't make sense

While my comments come from general experience here rather than this specific issue, the play you propose makes less sense to me than anything I can think of. Specifically:

  1. Get your citizenship sorted out first. The "I think I am eligible to be" approach doesn't work.
  2. Shipping the car to Honduras doesn't avoid customs in Managua. If anything, it will just make the process more complicated.
  3. The deposit totally makes sense. Stealing cars and bringing them across borders is an issue. As the owner (you) isn't here to receive it, I can see the idea of the deposit.
  4. I believe (but don't know for sure) that the exemption you suggest is only a one-time exemption for a Nicaraguan returning home from abroad. As it doesn't sound like you are moving here, it wouldn't apply.
  5. Finally, selling the car and buying a Toyota makes a lot more sense--because that's what exists here. The US embargo of the 1980s pretty much killed US car sales here.

As for what the laws are, they are all on-line. Click on Links (upper right) and on something like Government. The legislature web site has everything on-line.

selling the car and buying a Toyota

naaahhh Ford is the number one selling car in Europe already and heading for Latin America. Yes Toyota is better but MORE EXPENSIVE and Ford has a dealship here as well??? Where are they getting this info? Killed the market, What????

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

Ford?

Well, the car dealers I find here are Toyota, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, JMC, Peugeot and Chevrolet. If you want dealer service here, forget Suzuki. I don't know about Peugeot and Chevrolet.

Now, if you count JMC (and toss in Mazda) as pretty much Ford then, yes, Ford is pretty big in the world. As Ford has a controlling interest in Mazda and at least some Kia engines are Madza design (and some Fords at least were made by Kia) I guess you can toss them into the Ford camp as well.

But, getting a "Chinese Ford", "Korean Ford" or "Japanese Ford" is a lot safer than the Fords that fell under the US embargo in the 1980s.

I don't know what people buy to drive to work in Managua (I am guessing Toyota and, to a lesser extent, Kia) but the work vehicles here are almost all Toyota, Mercedes, and Kia.

More to the point of the original post, a Jeep is not going to be a good thing to have if you are looking for parts in Nueva Segovia. A Toyota, on the other hand, would.

FORD and CHEVY are both..

well represented in Managua. A cheaper truck than the Toyota but if you need it to get around , its a solution. Toyota is 3 times more expensive than these two other options.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

This topic is somewhat

This topic is somewhat intriguing to me. As some of you have already pointed out the many issues involved in trying to import a vehicle into Nicaragua, Im left wondering why some claim that this (importing cars to Nicaragua) is a profitable business? With all the fees, shipping costs, import duties, taxes, new laws stating that only vehicles that are five years or newer are allowed to come into the country, I honestly dont see how one can make a profit by importing and selling cars in Nicaragua?

moving here or passing thru?

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

hmmm.. yes

Well, I'll be traveling back and forth between the US and Nica regularly. We will have a home in Nicaragua and all that, but I'm not certain how many days out of the year I'll be spending there.

Tourist then

If you want to be and act and get treated like a tourist, then do not fret when you have to make a run out of the country every 3 months. On another note, I heard from Immigration that they are going to start montoring tourist that keep this pratice up? Oh boy!

If you are going to spend over 50% of your time here, become a resident, you will have options to import your stuff and car credits every 5 years, tax free, if you seek other arrangements, I have other options as you can take advantage of as an investor which are even greater benefits than a regular resident. I understand from another member on this group that it only takes 500 U$ to get the regular resident done.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874