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Guatemala/United States Customs

Houston, Texas
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Guatemala/United States Customs

I will be traveling to Guatemala in a couple of months to do some shopping in Pastores. I won't be bringing back hundreds of kilos worth of goods... at least not on my first trip. I mainly want to buy a good assortment of boots and belts to see how they will sell back here in Texas. Maybe 40-50 pair pairs of boots and 20 or so belts. I also would like to get some exotic skin boots (caiman, gator, croc, stingray, etc.) but I'm not aware if they sell genuine skins in Guatemala. So, I may have to bring my own down there. They will all be CITES certified and already dyed and treated. My first question is are you familiar with the customs in Guatemala, specifically on importing animal skins? I will be bringing the skins in as tanned hides and they will be leaving as finished boots, belts, and wallets. Is there a specific limit as to how much I can import into the US, duty free? I am aware that the US shares a trade agreement with Guatemala. Is it a quantity or a value limit? Also, what would be the best way to have it brought back? Should I bring it back packaged on my flight or have it mailed back before I leave? Are any companies better to work with? If anyone knows if I can purchase exotic animal skins directly from Guatemala, this will save me a lot of time. I hope this doesn't turn into a customs nightmare. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

BC
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4,682 posts
179 reviews
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1. Re: Guatemala/United States Customs

Probably not a good/useful place to ask this question.

One thing I can tell you about Canada, is that duty free exemptions are only for personal goods or gifts and not for anything of a commercial nature--no samples even allowed duty free. I would guess that the USA would be the same.

Port Richey, Florida
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2,546 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: Guatemala/United States Customs

I'm sure you should be able to find a good market for the cowboy boots and belts. Because to give you an idea I've been looking for a genuine leather belt, after wasting money buying that cardboard fake stuff made in china. You may to want to check the US commerce department website and look for bi-lateral grade agreements with guatemala to see what what kind of import duties you'll be looking at. Now, if you can't find the specific information. then IMO It'll be money well spent calling the commercial attache's office at the US Embassy in guatemala. From the US dial 011 (502) plus the eight digits. Buy a prepaid calling card on line to save money on the call. As you well know in Pastores they make the boots. But on your trip to guatemala you may also want to chek out another place. FYI, there is another little town called Samayac near Mazatenango where the artisans are experts when it comes to making horse saddles, belts and anything else made of leather, except for the boots. Good luck.

Central America
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1,932 posts
30 reviews
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3. Re: Guatemala/United States Customs

Don't know specifically about skins, but I suspect they could at least cause you delays. You might consider shipping some down first and see how that goes. I suggest contacting a shipping service like TransCargo or CPS Logistics. I use both often...just not for skins.

Port Richey, Florida
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2,546 posts
11 reviews
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4. Re: Guatemala/United States Customs

According to something I read, they claim to use genuine stingray, ostrich and snake hides. But apparently they import them. So, before you waste any money shipping your own, you may want to call one of the shops. Botas Marlom is one of them dial 011 (502) 5291-8478 Good luck.

5. Re: Guatemala/United States Customs

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