Importing a Vehicle Into Nicaragua

Importing a car into Nicaragua is just like everything else in the country, kind of complicated.  Ask ten different people what the laws and restrictions are and you will get eleven different responses.  We have tried to investigate this to figure out what is true and what is not.

NIcaragua Vehicle Import Laws

The restrictions for importing vehicles toNicaraguaare that the vehicles must be at most five or seven years old.  The number depends on who you ask.  There may be exemptions for trucks and vehicles coming in for non profit organizations such as churches.  Non profit organizations can also be tax exempt.  The taxes towards importing a vehicle intoNicaraguacan make it not even worth bringing in the vehicle.  

The person whose name the vehicle is under must be present at the time of custom clearance.  Also, according to the US Embassy’sNicaraguawebsite the importer must have the following documents to present to the Nicaraguan Customs Authority:

  • bill of lading
  • packing list
  • original invoice
  • declaration of invoice authenticity
  • permits issued by Nicaraguan authorities (if necessary, see below)
  • certificate of origin (to determine applicability of CAFTA-DR and other trade    agreements)

Before you decide to import there a few things you should do.  First speak with someone in the know how of importing vehicles.  Whether it is someone from the Nicaragua Customs Authority (locally known as Aduana) or just someone who has done the process recently they will have a lot of valuable information.  Secondly, during the whole legal process be prepared for things to change.  Whether it is the fees or the timing change for you vehicle to get cleared through customs, nothing is set in stone inNicaragua.  Lastly, have patience because legally paperwork is a slow process, more so in Nicaragua.  That being said do not be discouraged.  The advantage of importing a vehicle into Nicaragua is that you do not have to pay the high cost of a brand new vehicle or the risk of buying  a used vehicle that may turn out to be a lemon.

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