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Shipping in Puerto Rico

Shipping in Puerto Rico

Shipping – The Differences and Similarities of Mail and Express Shipping Services in Puerto Rico vs. the U.S.

Shipping to Puerto Rico has its challenges. You can expect some delays, and there are some online stores that don’t ship to PR – it’s always good to check this up front on a new online shopping site.

The USPS mail service is used in Puerto Rico and standard mail rates apply in Puerto Rico as they would in the US.  USPS is often the fastest and least expensive option! It’s very reasonably priced compared to FedEx, UPS, and any other Express mail services.  Packages sent via USPS generally arrive very quickly, sometime faster than interstate mail. 

There are post offices all over the island and like their U.S. counterparts, they also complete U.S. Passport services.  For Expedited and/or special passport services you should locate the nearest Federal office in Puerto Rico.  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html 

For those shopping on Amazon, Prime shipping does apply in Puerto Rico although standard Prime items tend to take an average of 5+ days to arrive.  However, some sub-vendors under Amazon don’t ship to Puerto Rico, so be sure to go all the way through to the shipping section at checkout, to check on whether your selected items can reach you in Puerto Rico.  In some cases it is not until check-out that you may find an item cannot be shipped to Puerto Rico.

The FedEx/UPS and other express mail services in Puerto Rico treat Puerto Rico as an “international” location and all shipping rates are international rates.  As a result, shipping things via these express services from Puerto Rico tend to be considerably more expensive than these same mail services on the mainland U.S.

Two good local shipping locations to visit for services are:

We Can Help

Our company helps people like you take advantage of Puerto Rico’s excellent tax incentives!  We can help you determine which tax incentives are right for you, help you plan your residency and relocation strategy, and simplify the entire process for you.

Contact us for a free initial consultation.

Bringing Your Pet to Puerto Rico

In general it is totally fine to bring your pet with you to Puerto Rico, either on vacation or when moving here permanently. There is no quarantine period required when bringing a pet to Puerto Rico.

There are lots of grooming, veterinary, and other services for pets. You’ll want to check with the place you will be staying to ensure they allow the type of pet you’d like to bring; is in the mainland, there may be an extra deposit required by some landlords.

Check this link for additional details on local government regulations around pets. It’s important to note that currently, you can’t bring any of the following dog breeds to Puerto Rico:
* All types of Staffordshire bull terrier, including American
* American Pit Bull terrier
* Hybrids produced by crossbreeding with the above breeds with others.

When traveling to Puerto Rico with your pet, if you have a small enough animal that you can bring it onboard a plane with you, the process is much simpler, apart from the required documents and carrying specifications.  However, if you have a larger animal that must ride in cargo, check individual airline regulations about this. Some airlines do not permit the transport of animals in cargo during certain months of the year, like the summer months, because of the exposure to extreme heat during such months.  If you do transport a larger animal in cargo you will need to go, with your own transportation, to a different location, upon arrival to pick up your animal.

We Can Help

Our company helps people like you take advantage of Puerto Rico’s excellent tax incentives!  We can help you determine which tax incentives are right for you, help you plan your residency and relocation strategy, and simplify the entire process for you.

Contact us for a free initial consultation.

Moving to Puerto Rico: What to Bring and How to Bring It

Moving to Puerto Rico can be a big endeavor, as it is for all intents and purposes a transatlantic move.  If you have furniture, art, and a lot of other belongings you prefer to bring with you, this post will assist you in deciding what to bring, and how to get it here.

How to Ship Your Belongings

If you are bringing more than can be carried with you on a flight, you’ll need to ship it. Smaller items can be shipped in USPS boxes at reasonable rates.

If you are considering bringing a lot more, you’ll need to work with a service, and this will typically be by ship.  There are a few mainland companies that help manage this process for you end-to-end, including assistance with packing, transportation to the port (everything ships out of Florida), loading and unloading the ship, managing government import taxes and release forms, and delivering to your new Puerto Rico home.  It is a big job and the process takes approximately four-six weeks. 

Ideally you want to avoid shipping your items during the peak of winter when the seas are highest and roughest.  You also want to be mindful of hurricane season, June-November.  Generally, spring and summer are the safest times to avoid unwanted delays or other risks. 

Here are two companies that can help with shipping belongings and vehicles: Rosa del Monte and Crowley. 

What Belongings To Bring

Of course, you will want to pack all of your shorts and bathing suits! But it is important to consider that some other items do not fare well with a lot of exposure to tropical salty air.  Your residential circumstance may impact what you choose to bring with you. If you plan to leave your windows open a lot to enjoy Puerto Rico’s ocean breeze, over time your belongings will pay a price.  However, if you minimize the ocean air exposure, most likely you can maintain your belongings in fairly good condition. 

Below are some examples of what happens to the various materials that do not fare well with a lot of exposure to the tropical air: 

  • Fabrics: The bright Puerto Rico sun and salty air can result in faster fading of colors than you may be used to. This includes “outdoor” fabrics.
  • Wool:  Wool in the tropics almost immediately absorbs the humidity and begins to smell of mold, even with air conditioning.  In general, Puerto Rico isn’t really the place for wool!
  • Shoes: Soles of shoes can disintegrate over time. If you have shoes you don’t wear frequently, you will want to store these carefully to avoid exposure that could damage them.
  • Paintings and prints: If displayed or stored in an area lacking a consistent temperature and low humidity, mold can form over time on the matting and eventually damage the art. 
  • Wood: This is one material that fares well in the Puerto Rico climate, provided you keep it dry and avoid exposure to termites.  
  • Metals:  All metals, including stainless steel, will become damaged with sea air exposure.  If you live with that beautiful sea breeze blowing through your home, you can expect that light fixtures, appliances, door hinges, and any metal part of your furniture will show corrosion fairly quickly.  There are some good polishes that you can apply and if you are able to put in the time and elbow grease, you can stay ahead of the salt air.  Products such as WD40 and Corosion X can be applied to door hinges and window frames to keep them in order.. 

It is also important to get anti-rust treatments for your car every few years if you are parking it very close to the beach.

We Can Help

Our company helps people like you take advantage of Puerto Rico’s excellent tax incentives!  We can help you determine which tax incentives are right for you, help you plan your residency and relocation strategy, and simplify the entire process for you.

Contact us for a free initial consultation.

Blockchain Unbound 2018 Interview with Damaris Rivera

Blockchain Unbound 2018 Interview with Damaris Rivera

Damaris Rivera from Puerto Rico Advantage interviewed with theCUBE at the Blockchain Unbound 2018 event.

We Can Help

Our company helps people like you take advantage of Puerto Rico’s excellent tax incentives!  We can help you determine which tax incentives are right for you, help you plan your residency and relocation strategy, and simplify the entire process for you.

Contact us for a free initial consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Puerto Rico

Frequently Asked Questions About Puerto Rico

Below are some of the most common questions we hear from people considering Puerto Rico as a relocation destination. Contact us for more details, and for a free consultation about your unique situation.

 

Doesn’t Puerto Rico Have a High Crime Rate?

Puerto Rico’s issue has more to do with public relations than actual crime! This image is partly formed by cultural stereotypes and political history.

Like everywhere else, Puerto Rico’s crime rate varies depending upon what area you happen to be in. Its metropolitan areas tend to be higher, especially in less wealthy parts of town. However, it can be argued that the crime in the cities is comparable to US cities. For example, Puerto Rico’s murder rate is half that of Washington DC and Detroit. If Puerto Rico were ranked for safety as if it were a State, it would be 19th in the list.

For those who are relocating and want an extra degree of protection, there are a number of gated community options that are extremely safe.

 

What is the Food Like in Puerto Rico?

The local cuisine is Spanish with Caribbean accents. It is heavy in meat, particularly pork, and moderately spicy, though typically less spicy than what you might find in other parts of Latin America. As in many “island” cuisines, sweet and coconut flavors can be found in many dishes. Plantains are a major staple.

Dining out, we have found that while many fine options exist in Puerto Rico, good restaurants featuring Asian cuisines, in particular, are rare.

Grocery stores are plentiful, and the locally grown food is inexpensive. For organic food, and other items that are not produced on-island, you may have to go to specialty stores, where the prices are higher.

 

Is it Safe to Drink the Water?

The tap water is considered safe to drink in Puerto Rico, as the sanitation standards are the same here as in the States.

 

Is it Necessary to Learn Spanish to Live in Puerto Rico?

The great news is that it is not necessary to learn Spanish to relocate to Puerto Rico!

Both Spanish and English are official languages in Puerto Rico. Most government forms and official sites, as well as most menus and other things you might need to read, are available in English. Also, most service providers and customer service representatives are either fluent in both English and Spanish, or at least know enough English to get by.

However, you will almost definitely encounter some people who speak little to no English. For these encounters, it can be helpful to learn at least a little conversational Spanish, though we have never yet encountered a situation when it was absolutely necessary. Puerto Ricans are generally very friendly and accommodating of a limited Spanish vocabulary; rather than being judgmental or impatient, as some cultures can be in this type of situation, the folks in Puerto Rico usually appear to us to graciously appreciate whatever genuine effort you can make.

 

What is the Cost of Living in Puerto Rico?

The cost of living varies depending upon the area in which you live. Gated communities tend to be more expensive for real estate, and the dining and entertainment in those areas are also pricier. However, people who move to more expensive areas in Puerto Rico may well have lived incomparably expensive areas prior. There are many areas to live which are still desirable and safe, but affordable.

Gas tends to be just slightly more expensive in Puerto Rico than in the States. (Also note that it is sold in liters rather than gallons, which can be confusing at first.) Electricity is currently about twice the price; however, there is never a need to heat your living space here, and while you may choose to run your air conditioner more, fuel efficient inverter air conditioners are common in most modern homes.

Food can be more expensive, particularly if you prefer to buy organic products, as there is currently very little organic farming happening in Puerto Rico. Other items that must be imported may cost more as well.

Here is a cost of living comparison tool which may give you a good idea of what you might expect, based on an average price for living in Puerto Rico, compared to wherever you may be moving from.

 

What would happen if Puerto Rico Became a State?

If Puerto Rico became a US State, its residents would become subject to US federal tax. This almost completely eliminates the benefits of the tax incentive Acts, as the low Puerto Rico tax would then become a state tax, owed in addition to what must be paid to the IRS.

It should be noted, however, that the people of Puerto Rico have declined Statehood, by public referendum, on more than one occasion in the past. Many Puerto Ricans are proud of their independence; Puerto Rico competes as its own country in the Olympic Games. Also, with so many of the population living in poverty, few are eager to accept the additional tax burden for many that would come with Statehood. Finally, it appears to us that many Puerto Ricans are savvy about the prospects for economic recovery, growth, and prosperity made possible by the Commonwealth’s unique legal status. Though Statehood may be inevitable at some point in the farther future, we judge it to be unlikely in the near term.

We Can Help

Our company helps people like you take advantage of Puerto Rico’s excellent tax incentives!  We can help you determine which tax incentives are right for you, help you plan your residency and relocation strategy, and simplify the entire process for you.

Contact us for a free initial consultation.

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