From: Argentina
To: Anywhere
From: Argentina
To: Ecuador
From: Anywhere
To: Ecuador

Important: Be sure to check both general and product-based categories for relevant information. Product-based categories include parts and accessories unless otherwise specified. See disclaimer below and use independent care before relying on this information.

Ecuador: Import (general)

General import regulations and requirements

Most shipments to Ecuador must be registered and be covered by an import license/permit known as the Documento Unico de Importaciones (DUI) [Unique Import Document].

All documents should include import permit (DUI) number.

Documents with erasures or corrections are at risk of being rejected by Ecuadoran customs.

Transportation documents should be in Spanish.

Certain certificates issued in the country of export require consular legalization.

(Last updated on 2014-04-23)

Customs clearance procedures and requirements

In order to expedite the customs clearance process, the use of a customs broker is recommended.

Ecuadoran Customs prescribes the presentation of the required shipping and commercial documents, as well as the declaration on the unique import document (DUI) between 7 days prior to and up to 15 after arrival in port.

(Last updated on 2014-04-29)

Samples, low value and non-commercial importations

Samples of no commercial value must meet size, weight, and quantity restrictions. Samples above these limits are subject to duty.

Express shipments are allowed a maximum (de minimis) value regime for duty free entry of USD 400.00 and 400 kg. (~ EUR 290.00).

(Last updated on 2014-04-27)

Import customs tariff

Ecuador uses a classification system based on the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS). Duties typically range from 0 to 35%.

Agricultural products may be subject to additional duties to protect local producers. Ecuador uses the Andean Price Band System for certain agricultural imports, including wheat, rice, sugar, barley, corn, soybeans and soybean meal, African palm oil, soy oil, chicken meat, pork meat, and powdered milk.

The following additional taxes and surcharges may apply:

(Last updated on 2014-07-28)

Customs valuation basis

A few products are subject to specific duty rates based on weight or measure.

Ad valorem rates are based on CIF value.

For items subject to ad valorem duties, the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement applies. According to this agreement, there are six acceptable methods of determining customs value. Typically the first method is used (unless the buyer and seller are related parties). When the value cannot be obtained this way, or is rejected by customs, one of the other methods is to be used, in descending order:

  1. Transaction value (the price actually paid or payable by the importer, plus certain costs and expenses)
  2. Transaction value of identical goods
  3. Transaction value of similar goods
  4. Deductive value (the sale or resale value, reduced by certain costs such as customs duties, taxes, and commissions)
  5. Computed value (calculated by adding together certain costs/values for production, materials, profit and other expenses)
  6. Fall-back method

See additional information on the WTO website under WTO Customs Valuation.

(Last updated on 2013-04-24)

General import license/permit requirements

Most shipments require an import permit, called the "Documento Unico de Importaciones" (DUI). It requires the importer to register with the Central Bank (through approved banking institutions) prior to shipment from point of origin. Exporters should check with their customer in Ecuador to verify latest requirements.

An import license is required for milk, cream, buttermilk, whey, citrus fruit, and acetone.

Prior government authorization is required for the following: psychotropic medicines, precursor chemicals used in narcotics processing (National Council for the Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances (CONSEP) [web-site in Spanish only]); weapons, ammunition, explosives, armored vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, ships ( Ministry of National Defense [web-site in Spanish only]).

Also requiring prior authorization are certain agricultural items (Ministry of Agriculture [web-site in Spanish only]); processed foods, food ingredients, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, reagents, certain disposal medical supplies, pesticides (Ministry of Health [web-site in Spanish only]).

Also subject to prior authorization: alcoholic beverages, vegetable seeds, animal feed, mineral fertilizers, and gambling equipment.

(Last updated on 2014-04-22)

Prohibited or highly restricted imports

Prohibited items include: used clothing and shoes, certain used vehicles, used tires.

Other prohibited items include: some pesticides, certain epoxies and esters, shrimp and certain other shellfish, certain dolls, certain veterinary products, salt, carved animals, leather, reptile hides, articles of ivory, antiques, bone, tortoise shell, horn, antlers, coral, mother of pearl and articles of these materials, and certain items related to health, the environment and national security.

An import license is required for milk, cream, buttermilk, whey, citrus fruit, and acetone.

Prior government authorization is required for the following: psychotropic medicines, precursor chemicals used in narcotics processing (National Council for the Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances [CONSEP]); weapons, ammunition, explosives, armored vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, ships (Ministry of Defense) [web-sites in Spanish only].

Also requiring prior authorization are certain agricultural items (Ministry of Agriculture); processed foods, food ingredients, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, reagents, certain disposal medical supplies, pesticides (Ministry of Health). [web-sites in Spanish only]

Subject to prior authorization: alcoholic beverages, vegetable seeds, animal feed, mineral fertilizers, and gambling equipment.

This country prohibits imports of hazardous waste as per the Basel Convention. For additional information see: Basel Convention (select country for details).

Note: Certain products may be subject to quantitative restrictions.

(Last updated on 2014-07-24)

Other import information

To provide tracking and monitoring services of container traffic moving in transit to bonded warehouses, temporary warehouses and Free Zones, also to monitor in transit shipments through Ecuador, Ecuadorian Customs has appointed Cotecna del Ecuador SA, Blvd. 9 de Octubre y Malecon, Edificio La Previsora, 28th floor, Oficina 2801, Guayaquil; phone: +593 4 252 3723, ext. 116; fax: +593 4 252 3760; email: cotecna.guayaquil@cotecna.com.ec

This service is aimed at imports under Ecuadorian Customs custody in-transit from port arrival to final destination.

(Last updated on 2013-10-18)

Foreign exchange controls and letters of credit

There are no foreign exchange controls.

The central bank is the Banco Central del Ecuador, Av. Diez de Agosto N11-409 y Briceño, POB 339, Quito; phone: +593 02 257 0013 and +593 02 257 2522

The unit of currency is the USD = United States Dollar [$] (subdivided into 10 Dimes and into 100 cents). It has replaced the Sucre in January, 2000.

(Last updated on 2012-12-27)

Pre-shipment requirements

Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) has been eliminated and has been replaced by a Destination Inspection program administered at the port of entry by Ecuador Customs, Ave. 25 de Julio Km. 4, Puerto Maritimo; phone: +593 4 248 0640; fax: +593 4 248 8894; email: helpdesk@aduana.gov.ec

The program is operated under the name of AFORO (Customs clearance) and includes verification of Quantity, Price Verification, Customs Classification.

Importers cannot select inspection company as these are rotated on a weekly basis through the various ocean ports and airports as instructed by Customs. Shipments are inspected by the company on duty in the particular port at the time. Inspection company report serves as basis for Customs duties assessment. The inspection company fee for each Aforo (value appraisal) ranges from USD 80.00 to USD 200.00, depending on the declared FOB value.

Ceramic tiles, ceramic tables, textiles, apparel and footwear are subject to destination inspection and require a certificate of inspection. For additional information see Ecuador Destination Inspection Requirements (Intertek) and Ecuador Datasheet (Bureau Veritas).

Additional certificates may be required. Consult with the importer for exact requirements.

For more information contact:

Additional information resources for Pre-Shipment Inspection (and Conformity Assessment) program requirements:

(Last updated on 2014-05-08)

Commercial invoice

Required for commercial shipments, it should conform to the information requirements described in this definition of commercial invoice.

At least one (1) original and three (3) signed copies, in Spanish, should be included in the shipping documents sent to the consignee or the consignee's agent. It must include the exporter's full name, address and contact information (i.e., telephone and fax numbers) and "the commercial level of the importer" (i.e., distributor, wholesaler, etc). As well as general information, it should include full packing details, all marks and numbers, product specifications and condition, both net and gross weights, unit prices, country of origin and source, currency, total FOB value of the shipment and details of all charges, fees and discounts involved. A statement in Spanish signed by an authorized person certifying that the value declared is true and correct is required.

A separate invoice with the "DUI" number on each must be prepared and presented for each "DUI" (import permit) involved in the shipment. There must also be a summary invoice. A price list from the manufacturer may also be required.

A pro-forma invoice is used initially to apply for the DUI/import permit. The commercial invoice should match the pro-forma that was used. Currency on the final invoice must also match that of the pro-forma invoice. A pro-forma invoice should also be used for non-commercial shipments.

For shipments meant to be paid for through a documentary draft collection, additional copies of the invoice should be forwarded to the collecting bank. For airfreight shipments, in most cases, the shipping documents should accompany the cargo/air waybill (AWB).

(Last updated on 2014-04-22)

Packing list

A packing list is recommended to facilitate customs clearance.

In general, even when it is not required regulation, it is recommended that a packing list be used with all shipments containing more than one shipping unit of packaged cargo. Most countries require a packing list be provided together with the commercial invoice. The required information must be consistent with all information shown on the commercial invoice.

At least three (3) copies of the packing list should be included as part of the shipping documents sent to the consignee or the agent thereof. The exact contents of each package should be clearly identified. This should include each item's gross weight and net weight and each package's marks and numbers.

(Last updated on 2014-05-19)

Transport document

An original and three (3) copies of a bill of lading (B/L), in Spanish, are required.

In addition to the general information, the B/L should include the "DUI" import permit number, name of the forwarder, name of the shipping vessel, all marks and numbers on the packages, number and type of shipping packages; in addition, gross and net weight and cubic measurement of each package plus all freight charges.

The ocean carrier may require the B/L to be freight prepaid.

The original bill should be endorsed/signed to the order of the consignee or the importer.

Only one set of bills is required for a single shipment covered by several import permits, as long as the shipper, consignee and port information are the same.

For detailed information on completing a bill of lading, see the GISTnet Interactive Bill of Lading Exhibit (scroll down to see the form and then click on any field for details on information required).

An air waybill (AWB) replaces the bill of lading for air cargo shipments.

(Last updated on 2014-04-22)

Certificate of Origin (general)

Certificate of Origin is required for goods subject to preferential tariff rate treatment as well as for all shipments over USD 4,000.00.

For particular transactions, follow buyer/consignee instructions, or check with consular office.

When required by buyer/consignee, or terms and conditions of letter of credit, certificate of origin (CO, C/O) form needs to be prepared in three (3) copies, signed by the shipper or the agent thereof, then notarized and finally certified by a recognized Chamber of Commerce.

The DUI number should also be included.

(Last updated on 2014-04-22)

Official cargo insurance requirements

All shipments, except those for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), must carry cargo insurance from an Ecuadorean company or a foreign company with offices in Ecuador. The requirement will be waived if the Superintendency of Banks confirms that no company in Ecuador is able to cover the shipment.

(Last updated on 2014-04-29)

Other general import document requirements

Many products require various certificates (e.g., a "certificate of conformity" is required for shipments of commodities valued at more than USD 5,000.00 and that must meet Ecuadoran, ISO or other international standards). This certificate, in turn, is required to obtain required certification from the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización (INEN) [Ecuadorian Institute of Normalization], the INEN-1 certificate.

Certificates may be subject to consular legalization, notarization or apostille stamp requirements.

Each exporter should confirm all current requirements with their Ecuadoran customers.

(Last updated on 2014-01-08)

Wood packaging materials

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) have been adopted by this country. All Wood Packing Material (WPM) must be made from debarked wood, which needs be treated and certified according to ISPM-15. The wood is to be stamped with the internationally standard ISPM-15 mark.

Review Guidelines for Regulating WPM in International Trade, issued by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Plant Protection Service, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, I-00100 Rome, Italy; fax: +39 6 570 56347; email: ippc@fao.org

Contact: Ministerio de Agricultura Ganadería Acuacultura y Pesca (MAGAP) (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries), 9th floor, MAGAP Bldg., intersection Ave. Amazonas and Ave. Eloy Alfaro, Quito; phone: +593 2 396 0100; email: diego.vizcaino@agrocalidad.gob.ec

For a listing of countries that have adopted ISPM-15 requirements see: ISPM15.com.

(Last updated on 2014-05-19)

Shipment packaging and marking requirements

Recommendation: for marks use at least three digits, for numbers at least four digits. This recommendation should also be followed if there is only one package in the shipment (identification assistance and pilferage prevention).

Optionally, each package may be marked with:

Dangerous Goods require the use of U.N. Performance Oriented Packaging (UN POP).

(Last updated on 2014-02-03)

Product packaging/labeling requirements

Product-specific packaging and labeling requirements may apply to food products.

Labeling standards are regulated by Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización (INEN) [Ecuadoran Standards Institute], Baquerizo Moreno E8-29 (entre 6 de Diciembre y Almagro), INEN Bldg., POB 17-01-3999, EC-Quito; phone: +593 22 565626; fax: +593 22 567815; email: aortiz@inen.gob.ec

Labels must be in Spanish or must have a Spanish translation (with lettering in same character and form as foreign language text). They should include: company name, address and phone number; tax registration number; country of origin; unit; net weight; and, when applicable, the sanitary registration number.

Special labeling requirements apply to food, beverages, and cigarettes.

Special packaging requirements apply to meat, chicken and meat products.

Non-food items with a limited shelf-life require the following information on the label: product name, trademark, country of origin, and expiration date.

Misrepresentations about the product (in words, pictures, or other form) are not permitted.

Additional product packaging and/or labeling requirements may apply to particular types of products. Refer to the product-based information herein for the product you are considering to import or export. An exporter should also verify with its prospective importer in the destination country as to requirements for a specific product to be shipped.

(Last updated on 2013-12-02)

Standards

Product standards are regulated by the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización (INEN), INEN Bldg., Baquerizo Moreno E8-29 (between 6 de Diciembre and Diego de Almagro), POB 17-01-3999, EC-Quito; phone: +593 22 565626; fax: +593 22 567815; email: pleon@inen.gob.ec

Also see ISO Standards Membership.

Note: An INEN-1 certificate (Instituto Ecuatoriao de Normalizacion) is required for certain products subject to standards compliance. Prior to presenting the documentation to INEN for approval, all compliance certificates must first be submitted to the Ecuadorian Accreditation Organization (OAE), Proinco Bldg., 6th floor, office: 601, Gen. Robles E4-136 (Amazonas Ave. at corner of Calisto), Quito; phone: +593 22 902879 and +593 22 903499 (in Spanish only)

(Last updated on 2014-04-29)

ATA carnets

The ATA Carnet currently is not accepted in this country.

An ATA Carnet is obtained in the country from which the goods are to be first exported (see list of participating countries). Initiating and governing authority for ATA Carnets is the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), 38, Cours Albert 1er, F-75008 Paris, France; phone: +33 149 532828; fax: +33 149 532859

Note: An ATA Carnet is typically accepted for Commercial Samples, Exhibitions and Fairs, and/or Professional Equipment. An ATA Carnet does not cover perishable or consumable items, nor goods for processing or repair. Some countries are more restrictive in the scope of allowances for temporary imports covered by ATA Carnet. It is recommended that prior verification be made with the issuing agency.

(Last updated on 2014-05-16)

Temporary imports

Temporary entry may be granted for demonstrations and trade fairs (15 days) or for special projects (180 days).
Imports to be used in special projects may obtain an extension of up to six months (180 days).

(Last updated on 2012-06-15)

Important: Exercise independent care before relying on information contained herein. Although we strive to ensure all information is correct and current, GISTnet assumes no liability for detrimental reliance on this information. Trade requirements may change with little or no prior notification, de-facto requirements in certain countries vary from official regulations, and particular shipments and/or importers may have special destination customs arrangements. We encourage you to check with the importer or its customs agent in the destination country for specific importation requirements for specific products and circumstances. We ask your help with feedback (cidb@gistnet.com) concerning information which may be outdated or incomplete.