Mike Miller wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Nov 2005, Richard Hoffbeck wrote:
>> Harv Nelson wrote:
>>> Several years ago I did such a thing with a friend (a Ham, like me)in
>>> Brazil.  In the end, after paying duties and "fees" to expedite
>>> movement thru customs, it would have been cheaper to buy the machines
>>> in downtown Rio.  Check with a local consular office before you pack
>>> your bags. Often it will be easier and cheaper to bring in a
>>> completed machine ... a laptop, for example, as part of your personal
>>> effect and "luggage". You may need an "import license" for the
>>> component parts that costs as much as the components themselves ...
>>> and you haven't paid the duties, yet!  NAFTA be damned!
>> NAFTA is just the US, Canada and Mexico so Brazil and Ecuador don't
>> enter the picture, and after the response Bush got in Argentina last
>> week it doesn't look like there'll be a general agreement for South
>> America anytime soon. Just for reference I think the import tariff for
>> Ecuador is in the 20% - 30% range for most goods. I'm certain that its
>> something you'd want to research before you turn up at the border with
>> a suitcase full of motherboards and the likes.
> I will want to research it, but it seems to me that we bring tons of
> things to Ecuador all the time without paying import tariffs.  Aren't
> import tariffs for things you plan to sell?  The items I'll be bringing
> over are gifts for relatives.
> Mike

Tariffs usually apply to commercial transactions but when the gifts
you're bringing with you have commercial applications things can be
fuzzy. And the flip side is that a lot of countries want you to pay the
VAT on items you're planning to leave in the country. The Europeans use
to be real pricks about laptops - I had friends who had to post a bond
for the VAT when they entered the country to cover the VAT if they
didn't have the laptop when they left.

I suspect it depends on a lot of stuff that may not be well documented.
I think that's true of most countries, not just Ecuador. If you show up
with 5 motherboards and an Ecuadorian wife you may well be treated
differently than if you showed up alone or if I presented myself to
customs with a suitcase full of CPUs and motherboards. I do know that
trying to sort things out in customs in most countries is usually a
losing proposition.