Jennifer Sarmiento

A Chain-link fence locked with a rusty chain and a padlock

You expect to be able to get what you want when you want it. You go online, google around, find what you need, and order it. Or you get in your car, drive to the mall, and just buy it. You’re used to having the freedom to choose, to pay as much or as little as you can for whatever it is you need. You’re entitled to it, aren’t you? Nobody has the right to limit your choices.

The latest decree in Ecuador now limits individual importation of clothing to a total amount of $500 per year. This is the maximum you can bring in packed in your suitcase from a trip abroad, or through online ordering. And now couriers are expected to implement some kind of control system to make sure people are not violating the new customs laws.

This comes on top of a decree not long ago that limits imports of any type, by individuals, to a maximum of $400 value per shipment and a maximum of 4 kilos.

When you can’t get what you want-or maybe need for your business or personal use, it limits your opportunities. It limits your choices. It can make doing certain things more expensive, or just plain out of reach.

The motive behind this new regulation is supposedly to protect local industry and “formal” importers. Courier companies are mad because it’s going to hurt their business, and the public is mad too because it further limits the already limited choices in Ecuador.

It seems the government is going to stop at nothing to wall off the borders of Ecuador, limit trade, and reduce opportunities for people. Another disturbing sign that makes one wonder, where will it stop?

Welcome to Destination Ecuador!

Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>


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