Argentina: Import (general)


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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.

General import regulations and requirements

(Last updated on 2014-10-29)

Customs clearance procedures and requirements

DJAI (Declaración Jurada Anticipada de Importación): The importer must submit a DJAI (Special Import Affadavit) to Customs prior to arrival of shipment. This requirement applies to all air, sea and road shipments. If the cargo arrives and the DJAI is not presented by the importer, the goods will likely be refused by Customs and will have to be "reshipped" out of the country. The DJAI must be approved by the AFIP (Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos [Federal Administration of Public Revenues]); processing time is generally 15 days.

Simplified import procedure: Under Decree 161/99 and Resolution AFIP 503/99, Argentina established an Simplified Importation System to allow imports to be cleared using a simplified procedure. This option may be chosen provided the following conditions are met:

Goods imported under this simplified import procedure are subject to a unified 50% import fee on the CIF value, which covers import duties and other taxes and rates of whatever nature.

(Last updated on 2014-04-23)

Samples, low value and non-commercial importations

Imports valued less than USD 3,000.00 and weighing less than 50 kg (110 lbs.) may be cleared using the Simplified import procedure. (See information under under "Customs clearance procedures and requirements".)

(Last updated on 2014-04-23)

Import customs tariff

Argentina uses the MERCOSUR Common Nomenclature for tariff classification, based on and consistent with the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS).

The MERCOSUR Common External Tariff (CET) is applied for goods from non-MERCOSUR countries. The CET does not apply to goods on the "Exceptions List" (see Decision 58/10 CMC MERCOSUR).

In January 2013, Argentina raised import tariffs to 35% on certain products from non-Mercosur countries.

Argentina assesses a VAT (Value Added tax) of 21% for most products.

Reduced and increased VAT rates:

VAT is applied on CIF value plus duty and statistical tax. Excise taxes apply to certain goods.

Additional levies which may apply:

For information on tariffs and customs regulations contact:

(Last updated on 2014-11-13)

Customs valuation basis

Specific duty rates (DIEMs) apply to certain products. Minimum specific duties apply to certain textile products, footwear, peaches, and toys.

Certain products may be subject to "mixed duties" which consists of a combination of ad valorem and specific duties.

Ad valorem duties are based on the CIF value of the goods (at port of entry in Argentina). For items subject to ad valorem duties, the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement applies.

Note: Reference import values or minimum import prices are applied to certain goods. These goods may be subject to higher tax rates or may not be eligible for certain tax benefits. If the minimum import price exceeds the declared customs value, a deposit for additional taxes may be required in order to obtain the goods from customs custody.

Products subject to reference pricing may include the following: matches; certain plastic sheets, film, foil and strips; rubber bicycle tubes; wooden; compact discs; fungicides; electrical terminals; low density polyethylene; cermet manufactures; fiberglass tissue; iron and steel tubes; tires; refrigerators; washing machines. The list of products subject to import values changes frequently; contact the importer in Argentina for a current list.

(Last updated on 2014-02-28)

General import license/permit requirements

AFIP approval: The importer must have prior approval from the Federal Public Revenue Administration (AFIP). Application can be made through the AFIP online system (MARIA), and is accessible to Customs Brokers through submission of a DJAI (Special Import Affadavit).

Import License: An import license is required for customs clearance. (Resolution MEOSP 17/99). A separate license is required for each customs classification.

Automatic license: Most goods are eligible for automatic licensing (Licencia Automática de Importación - LAPI). Under this process, in order to obtain customs clearance, an application form must be filed/registered with the Under Secretariat of Foreign Trade Management at the Secretariat of Industry, Commerce, and Small & Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs). This application is typically approved within 48 hours and is valid for 60 days. For certain sensitive goods the process may take up to 10 days. If no reply (from the Under Secretariat) is received within 10 days, the goods are considered automatically approved.

Non-automatic license: A non-automatic license is required for bicycles. Effective January 25, 2013, as per Argentina Resolution 11/2013, the requirement for non-automatic licenses for certain goods has been eliminated. Non-automatic import licenses are therefore no longer required for paper, household products, toys, shoes, motorbikes, bicycle equipment, balls, textile products, shoe materials, metal products, woven and knitted items, tires, screws, auto-parts, vehicles and tools.

(Last updated on 2014-02-27)

Prohibited or highly restricted imports

Prohibited items include:

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

(Last updated on 2014-07-23)

Foreign exchange controls and letters of credit

Foreign exchange is controlled by the government through the Banco Central de la Rep. Argentina, Reconquista 266, AR-C1003ABF Buenos Aires; phone: +54 4348 3500

There is a Dual Exchange Rate System with an official fixed rate and a free floating peso market rate. Most payment transactions require that a bank transfer the payment and that payments can not be made without proof of customs clearance or a legal commitment that goods will clear customs upon arrival.

Non-essential imports must be settled using the free floating rate. Raw materials, capital goods and goods deemed essential may be imported using the fixed rate.

US exporters also check information provided by the US Commercial Service Argentina. (Some of this information is also of interest to exporters from other countries.) For details contact US Commercial Service in Argentina; phone: +54 11 5777 4683; email: josette.fiore@trade.gov

The unit of currency is the ARS = Argentine Peso [$] (subdivided into 100 Centavos).

The peso is no longer pegged to the USD.

(Last updated on 2014-02-28)

Commercial invoice

One original and three (3) copies of a commercial invoice are required for commercial shipments.

The original should say "Original Invoice." Photocopies, carbons or faxed copies may not be used as an original invoice.

The invoice should be written in Spanish; or, if English is used, a Spanish translation must be shown just below the English text.

The following information should be included on the invoice:

Effective November 1, 2013 the following requirements will be enforced:

The original and each copy must be signed manually, in ink, by an authorized member of the exporting company. The full name and title of this individual must be typed directly below the signature. If the invoice is completed by the shipper or an agent, a responsible representative of the shipping company or agent's firm should sign the invoice as well in the same manner, giving the full name of the firm as agents for the exporter or manufacturer.

Electronic documents with electronic signatures are acceptable if the certifying company has obtained eligibility by completing a licensing procedure.

Consular legalization is generally not required, but may be required in certain cases. Check with the importer for exact requirements.

All commercial invoices must bear the following signed declaration: "Declaro bajo juramento que todos los datos que contiene esta factura son el fiel reflejo de la verdad y que los precios indicados son los realmente pagados a pagarse. Declaro en igual forma que no existen convenios que permitan alteraciones en estos precios." ("I declare under oath that the data contained in this invoice are accurate and that the prices indicated are those actually paid or to be paid. I declare on the same form that no agreements exist that allow alteration of these prices.")

For airfreight shipments, documents in most cases should accompany cargo AWB.

For non-commercial shipments, prepare a pro-forma invoice.

For more information on preparing and distributing commercial invoices, see Commercial Invoice and Shipping Document Distribution Based on Specific Functional Needs.

(Last updated on 2014-11-11)

Packing list

A packing list, in Spanish, is required.

Consular legalization of the packing list may be required in certain instances. Check with the importer for exact requirements.

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 2014-03-04)

Transport document

A properly prepared transport document is required, not only for transportation purposes, but also for use as a Source Document with respect to the destination Customs Manifest.

At least one (1) negotiable copy of a Transport Document is required. An original and additional non-negotiable copies are recommended as they may be required by the importer, the shipping line, or for a Letter of Credit. Make sure that the importer's instructions are followed to the letter.

Note: According to Official Argentinean Customs General Resolution: 2879/10 the following information must appear on the transport document for all import cargo to Argentina:

The above information is mandatory and must be submitted to the carrier prior to loading.

Include ship's name and name of its captain and its tonnage and place of registry. Show Marks and Numbers for total shipment and separately for each package. Include information about Freight Charges and payment particulars ("Freight Prepaid" or "Freight Payable at Destination"). Freight charges must be shown on the B/L.

On a Bill of Lading (B/L) to Argentina, the signatures of the shipper and the captain must be written manually. Electronic documents with electronic signatures are accepted if the certifying company has completed the necessary licensing procedures. For ocean cargo, an Ocean Bill of Lading is required.

For detailed information on completing bill of lading, see Interactive Bill of Lading Exhibit (scroll down to see form, and click on any field for details on information that goes into particular box).

For air cargo, an Airwaybill (AWB) is required. On an airway bill, freight forwarding and/or agent's fees may not be on a freight collect basis, as these fees must be prepaid.

(Last updated on 2014-07-22)

Certificate of Origin (general)

Certificate of origin (CO, C/O) may be required for consumer goods, textiles, footwear, apparel, printing machines and machine tools, organic chemicals, tires, bicycle parts, flat-rolled iron and steel, certain iron and steel tubes, air conditioning equipment, wood fiberboard, fabrics, toys, games, brooms, and brushes. It is required for imported wine.

It may be required by importer, bank, contract terms, or letter of credit. When required, prepare three (3) copies using the general form.

Document must also be certified by local chamber of commerce and receive consular legalization.

(Last updated on 2014-11-11)

Official cargo insurance requirements

Insurance certificate is required when exporter is party purchasing insurance.

In general, any shipper, wishing to protect his interest in the cargo in the event of loss or damage prior to delivery to ultimate consignee should cover his cargo with either an FOB/FAS clause, or contingency insurance clause coverage.

Such marine insurance may be obtained from any insurance company.

(Last updated on 2014-02-28)

Wood packing 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 Wood Packaging Material in International Trade, issued by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Plant Protection Service, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, I-00100 Rome, Italy; fax: +39 6 570 56347; email: ippc@fao.org

Contact: Servicio Nacional de Sanidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASA) (National Agroalimentation Health and Quality Service), Av. Paseo Colon 315 4º B, POB 1063, Buenos Aires; phone: +54 11 4121 5176 and +54 11 4121 51777; fax: +54 11 4121 5181; email: dnpv@senasa.gov.ar; dquiroga@senasa.gov.ar

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

(Last updated on 2013-10-18)

Shipment packaging and marking requirements

In general, follow standard shipping practices.

(Last updated on 2014-03-01)

Product packaging/labeling requirements

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

All products must be labeled in accordance with these legal requirements:

Product label must be printed and fixed on package or container in a visible manner:

Additional labeling requirements apply to certain products, such as:

For more information on labeling requirements, contact: Subsecretaría del Consumidor, Secretaría de Comercio Interior, Ministerio de Economía y Produccion, Ave. Julio A. Roca 651, 4th floor, Of. 26, AR-C1067ABB Buenos Aires; phone: +54 11 4349 4075; fax: +54 11 4349 3755 (web-site in Spanish only)

In some cases, Government Regulatory bodies of each industry provide information on corresponding labeling requirements.

U.N. recommendations for labeling and packing of hazardous materials have been adopted according to International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).

Additional packaging requirements apply to certain products such as fruits and vegetables.

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 2013-12-12)

Standards

Product standards are regulated by the Instituto Argentino de Normalización y Certificación (IRAM) (web-site in Spanish only), Perú 552/556, AR-C1068AAB Buenos Aires; phone: +54 11 4346 0648; fax: +54 11 4346 0651; email: ltrama@iram.org.ar

Also see ISO Standards Membership.

Note: Certain products are subject to MERCOSUR standards.

(Last updated on 2014-01-07)

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 2014-10-03)

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.