Customs Information

El Salvador - All


  • Passport of customer (original) and a copy
  • Residence Permit
  • Certificate of Residence Change
  • Numero de Identificacion (NIT) from the Ministry of Finance (registered at customs system)
  • Foreign citizens require a Resident Visa, temporary Resident Permit or Work Permit
  • Certification of Migratory Movement obtained from the Salvadorian Migration Direction in El Salvador after client arrives to El Salvador.  (Consignee is the only one who can obtain this document.)
  • If a returning Salvadorean citizen, he must show proof he has been residing outside El Salvador for at least three years and they are allowed $15,000 CIF, duty free.
  • Inventory (preferably in Spanish) original and one copy which shows electrical appliances – have to specify brand name, model and serial number
  • Inventory must be detailed showing exact amounts of each item in the shipment
  • Detailed packing list needs to be made by the owner, using the packing list made by the packers. This needs to show the value of each item (with lower values (1/3 is OK for customs purposes) than the ones shown in the Insurance Certificate), the approximate weight of each item, and the numer of each item
    Example: 10 pairs of shoes, 5 pounds, $500.00. You, the shipper, will need to make this list before the packing of your goods takes place. If teh detailed list is not completed, there will be extra charges of U.S. $125.00 for Customs to unload your shipment for a detailed inspection. Customs will inspect and count each item in the shipment. After this exam, the shipment will go through the normal Customs Clearance process.
  • Above documents must be in order before shipment arrives, otherwise shipment will incur storage charges and additional customs charges for the customer's account


  • Used household goods and personal effects are usually dutiable for foreign citizens
  • Foreign citizens could avoid paying duties by obtaining a "Bank Guarantee" for the amount that Customs evaluates the shipment at. The guarantee should be renewed every six months and will permit Customs to collect duties on the items not being re-exported when the foreign citizen leaves the country
  • Returning Salvadorian citizens, after more than three years abroad, may import duty-free used or new household goods up to a maximum of U.S. $15,000.00 of the C.I.F. value. Customs will tax anything in excess of this amount.
  • Foreign Diplomats and certain government/organization members are granted duty-free entry. Documents must be received by the destination agent 15 days prior to the shipper’s arrival.


  • Subject to import duties based on C.I.F. value. Duty rates on autos would vary depending on the auto's year and model. The highest percentage of duties to be paid is 30% of the CIF value. Client will also pay the 13% sales tax.
  • Clearance of vehicles separate from household goods
  • Documents required:
  • Title of Ownership (original), showing consignee as legal owner
  • Original Invoice
  • Original Passport
  • Certificate from repair shop from origin showing it complies with emission control requirements for gases, smoke and particles for such auto type and model.   Certificate should be obtained at least 60 days before arrival.
  • New Autos
  • Factory certification showing it complies with emission control requirements for gases, smoke and particles for such auto type and model
  • Certificate (in Spanish) and authenticated at a Salvadorian origin


  • Health certificate issued at the country of origin
  • Vaccination certificate
  • Both documents need to be certified by the Salvadorian Consulate at the country of origin


  • The following items require an original invoice and are subject to the payment of duties:
    • Antiques and works of art
    • Precious metal objects, including jewelry and coins


  • Illegal drugs
  • Pornographic and subversive materials
  • Military clothing and equipment
  • Cleaning chemicals and supplies
  • **Firearms and ammunition (a permit from the local police is required)
  • **Live plants (an original invoice, Phytosanitary Certificate and a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture are required; subject to payment of duties)
  • *Medications (a permit from the local drug administration is required)
  • **Cigarettes (200) and cigars (50)
  • **Alcohol (an Import Permit is required)