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Livestream: Shipping Household Goods to Panama

Some people move to Panama with a few suitcases. Some people want to ship everything they own to Panama. And, some people just want to ship some things or a few plastic totes. There is a way to get your things to Panama regardless of how much you want to ship.

Watch the replay of this Livestream with Ron Ponton from Mexico Moving Company. We discuss the biggest mistake people make when shipping household goods to Panama and how to have a successful move.

READ THIS ARTICLE TOO == Important Things to Know About Shipping HouseHold Goods to Panama

This is the right way to pack household goods

This is the wrong way to pack household goods:

Commonly Asked Questions:

Do you need a visa before you ship household goods
 If you will ship 20 or 40 foot container, we will need a copy of your temporary visa card. You will need to present in Panama at the time of customs clearance

How does the $10,000 tax-free exclusion work
 All Pensionado or Friendly Nations Visa Holders qualify for a $10,000 tax exemption on personal effects. Anything over that value, a tax of 22% is charged

What does it cost to ship a 20′ vs 40′ Container
 Average cost for 20-foot container: $12-$14,000
 Average cost for 40-foot container: $15-$17,000
 Average cost for 2 pallets: $5-7,000
o All costs depend on pickup and destination location

How long does it take to get the container to Panama
 4-6 weeks on average. Lead times may be longer due to port congestion.
 We recommend storing goods in US or Canada until you have a delivery location ready in Panama. We also have storage locations in Panama that can be used if you would like to store there. However, Panama storage units are not climate-controlled.

Can you ship a car with your household goods
 We do help with vehicle shipping. Cars are usually shipped using a Ro-ro (roll on -roll off service).  Cars are taxed upon entry to Panama at 22% of the car value. The car’s value is subject to valuation by Panama Customs. (I will explain more about this during the call)

What if you want to ship household goods from Panama back to __
 We handle this as well. Please note however that shipping back to the US is a bit more expensive. US Customs does lots of inspections, much more than shipping into Panama.

What cannot be shipped to Panama?
NO food
NO supplements
NO new items… Although a new item has been in storage
for months, it is considered NEW for customs. All
items must have been IN USE.
NO drugs
NO weapons… Decorative knifes or guns are NOT allowed.
NO chemicals… Soaps, detergents, cleaning items, etc.
NO medications… Over-the-counter, nor prescribed
medications are allowed.
NO live plants
NO tobacco
NO type of alcoholic beverages
NO flammable items

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jilma Centeno says

    Do you have a wsp number ?
    I have a few questions regarding Boquete .
    I am Chiriqui st the moment and I would like to visit Boquete and get to know the area where people from USA and other countries have settle in Boquete.
    I went there yesterday, Saturday by bus, it was raining , but it was 👍 ce to walk around the old Boquete, see the park, flowers, bridge , have lunch around the area .
    I am from chiriqui, but I have have been in USA, most of the time in California for around 50 years.
    I feel like moving to a peaceful place like Boquete.
    My mother died last month and I traveled to chiriqui 3 weeks ago.
    Is there an information telef line to fine out a little more about Boquete and the possibilities to live in Boquete?
    Thank you for your time and your prompt response.


    Jilma Centeno

    • Jackie Lange says

      Helo Jilma, you can each our office at US # 972-496-4500

  2. Erik Packer says

    I really enjoy all your information about moving to Panama, is Costa Rica the same???
    I am on Medicare and Medicaid, SSDI, BiPAP machine, taking medication for gout, and heart, plus many other medications. I have a regular CPAP machine, walker, and Powerchair can I bring those over once I find a place to live.
    I know that I do much better health-wise in warm weather especially for my heart.
    Cold weather has a major effect on my heart.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Sorry, I do not know what is available in Costa Rica.

      you can bring those things but be aware that Panama is not very handicap friendly in most places. So you need to come to Panama to determine which place will work for you before you ship anything.

  3. Matthew Tove says

    What a refreshing change to have found your site, Jackie. I’ve grown so weary of having to sift through pages of marketing fluff verbiage to gain a kernel of useful information with the other “Expat” companies. You put the needed and useful info right up front, without having to “sell” the reader/viewer on anything.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Jackie Lange says

      Thanks, Matthew! We pride ourselves in telling the good and the bad about Panama so you can make an informed decision. We have 200+ YouTube videos of interviews of expats living in Panama so you can get familiar with different areas. Plus 400+ articles about moving to and living in Panama. Check these out

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