Duty-free import is allowed, if furniture is used and has been in the possession of the shipper for at least 12 months. Other personal effects are subject to an excise tax of 6.6% (known as “Arbitrios”) of the depreciated value declared on the inventory. They are new items, tools, sporting goods, musical instruments, camera equipment, toys, rugs, artwork, furniture, appliances and electrical items.
The personal effects and household goods of federal employees are tax exempt. Nevertheless, only 1 vehicle is duty-free. The customer should provide proof of being a federal employee on a federal assignment. Mind that “PBO” or packed by owner shipments are unacceptable.
The owner must be in Puerto Rico to clear Customs. If household goods shipment and foreign automobile are arriving at the same time on the same vessel and are on the same bill of lading, one Form 3299 may be used for both.
Though shipments from the U.S. do not go through a Customs Clearance, they will go through a similar process to determine insular taxes. Those arriving from other foreign countries must clear Customs and the shipper will have a Customs interview and pay insular and excise taxes.
The required documents are as follows: passport copies (foreign shippers); Copy of Driver’s License and Social Security card; bill of lading or air waybill signed by the shipper; detailed inventory signed by owner; invoice for freight of goods signed by the shipper; U.S. Customs Form 3299; U.S. Customs Power of Attorney; Supplemental Declaration Form; Packing List.
The following items are prohibited to import: firearms, ammunition, hazardous materials (fireworks, dangerous toys, toxic or poisonous substances, etc.) and explosive materials/ devices; pornographic materials; liquors and spirits; lottery tickets; endangered or threatened species of plants and animals; monkeys; jewelry, currency, coin collections or items of extraordinary value; drugs; seditious and treasonable materials; switchblade knives; products made by prison convicts or forced labor; pirated copies of materials that are protected by copyright.