Argentina, key points when importing goods into this country

7 minutos

Country profile Customs formalities and requirements for the import of goods

Macroeconomic Indicators  

Argentina ranks 21st in the world economy by GDP.  With an area of 2,780,400 km2 and close to 45,000,000 inhabitants, this country registered a GDP per capita of 12,725 euros in 2017, occupying 56th place in the ranking. 

After the recession in 2016, when the economic activity in this southern hemisphere country contracted by 2.3%, Argentina closed 2017 with growth of 2.9%, achieving year-on-year growth of 3.9% in the last quarter.

Foreign Trade

Argentina’s exports in 2016 were 59 billion dollars, making it the 44th largest economy by export volume in the world rankings. 

Imports amounted to 59.2 billion euros that year. Argentina occupies 146th place in the world ranking of goods importing countries and, according to data from the Argentine-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CAMBRAS) in the Argentine Republic, during the first half of 2018, imports were led by intermediate goods (29.2% of the total), an increase of 15% over last year.

Vehicles are the second most imported items into the country, accounting for 26.8% of the total and, related to this market, parts and spare parts account for 14.9% of total imports. Telephones and petroleum products also occupy an important place in these commercial transactions. Likewise, Argentina’s current economic situation benefits the import of industrial goods, which are still scarce in the country’s business fabric.

The main points of origin for imports into Argentina are Brazil, China, United States, Germany, Mexico, France, Italy and Spain. 

E-commerce grew 57% in Argentina last year

E-commerce and its upward trend over recent years will be fundamental to the growth of imports to this country. During 2017, Internet sales grew 52% in Argentina and they now represent 1.3% of GDP. Last year 11% of internet users in Argentina bought at least once a week (this indicator was 7% in 2016), 35% at least once a month and 54% once every six months.

Important Argentinean customs formalities. Documentation and tariffs

Argentina’s import regulations do not differ much from those of other Latin American countries but, like all countries, they also have certain peculiarities. Those interested in acting as formal importers should be registered on the Importers and Exporters Register, which is the responsibility of the Directorate General of Customs, under the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP), an entity attached to the Argentine Ministry of Economy.

Goods imported through Argentine customs are taxed according to their tariff classification at between 0% and 35% of their value.

As in the rest of the MERCOSUR member countries, imported cargo is classified according to the Common Nomenclature, with an 8-digit numerical code (two digits are added to the 6 digits of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System – HS – used at the international level). In addition, Argentina internally incorporates three more digits from the so-called MARIA Computer System (SIM) and the Control Digit (DC).

In general, the documentation required for the import of goods includes the transport document, the packing list and the invoice, to which other documents should be added depending on the nature of the goods (certificate of origin, affidavit confirming the product composition, etc.).

In the case of goods entering through the postal service, Customs Declaration CN22 or CN23 will be used for customs clearance, depending on the type of shipment, which will already include the description and value of the items. These documents are issued by the postal operator at origin with the information provided by the sender and presented for clearance at the destination by the local exchange bureau, together with postal transport documents CN37 or CN38.

Normally, in the case of postal shipments, the local exchange bureau performs the clearance procedures before Customs on behalf of the importer, through an agile and simplified procedure enabled for this type of shipment. If you need more information on the advantages of the postal service over other modes of shipping take a look at our post Advantages of the Postal Service for the Transport of E-commerce Goods.

Cacesa has published a guide that covers the customs requirements for the import of postal goods to Latin American countries, in which you can find more information on the customs requirements in these countries, including Argentina, as well as the list of prohibited and restricted articles for import.

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