Retire or Primary Residence?

Ready to retire or make Aruba your primary residence?

Here are some things you should know about bringing your personal effects, household furnishings, and vehicles to avoid any import duties:


To be eligible for exemption from import duties for your household effects, you must have had verifiable residence outside Aruba for at least 12 consecutive months. Your normal place of residence is the place where you stay for 185 days per calendar year. Your application for exemption must be submitted to the Technical Department of the Departamento di Aduana. If you meet the conditions, you will be granted an exemption via a decision from the Inspector.

Conditions for exemption from import duties

The following conditions apply to the granting of the exemption for personal property:

  • you must have used the goods in the country of origin
  • you are going to use the goods for the same purpose in Aruba
  • you had the goods in use according to the applicable conditions in the country of origin
  • you and any family members are not yet residents of Aruba

Motor vehicles, sport aircraft and pleasure craft

Additional conditions apply to motor vehicles, sports aircraft and pleasure craft that are part of your removal household effects. You must be able to demonstrate that you have owned and used these means of transport for a period of at least 6 months before the date on which you have declared your normal residence.

You can demonstrate this by submitting one of the following:

  • foreign registration certificate of your motor vehicle or pleasure craft
  • a foreign inspection card
  • a foreign insurance policy
  • deed of purchase or invoice

After you have entered your motor vehicle or pleasure craft in Aruba, you must register it with the Departamento di Impuesto.


When you arrive in Aruba, you must present the following documents for your cats and dogs at the Departamento di Aduana:

  • a health certificate that is not older than 2 weeks
  • a valid proof of vaccination against rabies older than 1 month but not older than 1 year

Although the import of dogs and cats from South and Central America is prohibited, an exception is only made for household effects if a declaration of no objection is issued by the Veterinary Service.

Other and Protected Species

For importation of all other and protected animal species you can contact the Veterinary Service of Aruba in advance . Please note that the valid CITES declarations are necessary for protected animal species.

Goods that are excluded from exemption:

  • alcoholic products
  • tobacco and tobacco products
  • commercial vehicles
  • equipment for business purposes other than portable instruments for arts and crafts

To qualify for any of the above, you must have resident permit for Aruba through DIMAS and be registered at the CENSO.

Posted on Jan 17, 2022