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1.4 Trade Regulations

Eligibility for Conducting Foreign Trade

According to Argentina’s Customs Code, importers and exporters must be listed in the registry of importers and exporters at the Dirección General de Aduanas (Argentinean Customs). Occasional importers/exporters are not required to register but foreign trade operations performed by unregistered entities must be authorised by the DGA. According to Article 94 of the Customs Code, the general criteria for registration is as follows.

Natural Persons (i.e., individuals)

  • Have the ability to perform foreign trade operations.
  • Show evidence of registration and tax domicile with the Dirección General Impositiva (General Tax Directorate) via the tax identification number (CUIT).
  • Present proof of the necessary solvency or payment of a guarantee to the DGA.
  • In general, natural persons must not have been indicted or convicted for tax or financial crimes or barred from performing foreign trade operations.

Legal Persons (i.e., companies)

  • Company bylaws and registration with the Inspección General de Justicia (General Board of Corporations).
  • Show evidence of registration and tax domicile with the DGI via the CUIT.
  • Present proof of the necessary solvency or payment of a guarantee to the DGA.
  • In general, company directors or administrators must not have been indicted or convicted for tax or financial crimes or barred from performing foreign trade operations.

Importers and exporters must also establish a special address in the country (an address for customs in the area near the port that they use).

For certain imports the product and/or importer need to be registered in a specific register. For example, in the case of food imports for retail sale, both the importer and the product have to register with the National Register of Food Products. Imports of reagents and materials for medical use also require registration of importers and products. Importation of any apparatus or device for calculating or determining values of any kind must be approved and submitted for inspection by the National Legal Metrology Office, which also registers the importer. Certain products or their importers also require registration for sanitary and phytosanitary purposes.

Import Taxes

Argentina applies import duties and a range of indirect taxes on import and local transactions. Products imported for consumption are generally subject to the following taxes: (i) import duties; (ii) statistical tax; (iii) value-added tax; (iv) excise duties; and (v) anticipated profits tax.

Import Duties

Argentina affords at least most favoured tariff treatment to all its trading partners. About 92% of all tariff lines are subject to ad valorem duty and the remaining tariff lines are subject to compound rates consisting of ad valorem duties plus specific levies known as “minimum specific import duties” or DIEMs. Duties are calculated based on the value of the cost of the good, plus its insurance and freight (CIF).

Minimum specific duties were introduced in 2000. Some 700 tariff lines are subject to these duties, including products such as textiles (including woven fabrics, non-woven fabric, felts, floor coverings, special woven fabrics, fabrics impregnated/coated/laminated with plastics, knitted fabric and textile made-ups), apparel, footwear and certain toys. These minimum duties are levied on imports from all destinations apart from Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur) countries. DIEMs are applied only when the duty that results from their application is greater than that resulting from the ad valorem tariff. The number of tariff lines involving footwear, textiles and apparel subject to DIEMs has been gradually reduced over the past several years. The DIEMs are currently scheduled to expire on 31 December 2010.

According to the WTO, Argentina applied a simple average MFN tariff rate of 10.4% in 2006, down from 13.8% in 1998. The average applied tariff for non-agricultural products stood at 10.5% in 2006 while the tariff for agricultural goods was 9.9%. The products with the highest average applied tariffs in 2006 included textiles and apparel (25.5%), footwear and headwear (23.4%), arms and ammunition (20.0%), miscellaneous manufactured articles (17.5%), food preparations (14.8%), transport equipment (14.2%), plastics and rubber (11.6%), base metals and articles thereof (11.6%), wood, pulp and paper (11.5%) and hides and skins (11.1%). The products with the lowest average applied tariffs in 2006 included mineral products (2.5%), works of art (4.0%), products of the chemical and related industries (6.6%), machinery and mechanical appliances (7.6%), plant products (7.7%) and wood and articles thereof (7.8%). Some 14.6% of all tariff lines are duty-free and more than half have a duty rate below 10%.

With certain exceptions, the Mercosur Common External Tariff applies to trade with non-Mercosur countries. CET rates can only be modified with the consent of all members.

Argentina does not apply tariff quotas to MFN imports, with certain exceptions.[1] Argentina has established preferential tariff quotas under various trade arrangements with third countries, whereby in-quota imports are subject to lower rates of duty.

Imports of sugar classified under Mercosur Common Nomenclature (NCM) subheadings 1701.11, 1701.12, 1701.91 and 1701.99 are subject to a supplementary charge, calculated as the difference between an indicative price (precio guía de base) and a comparison price (precio de comparación). The indicate price is calculated annually on the basis of the monthly average of the London price for white sugar over the past eight years, while the comparison price corresponds to the closing price of white sugar on the London commodity exchange on the day before the shipment arrives at its destination. If the comparison price is higher than the indicative price, the difference between the two is credited in favour of the sugar importer for payment of up to 50% of the ad valorem duty.

On 16 October 2008, Argentinean authorities finally implemented the increase in the MFN duty rate for fabric, apparel, textile made-ups and footwear that was previously agreed by Mercosur and implemented by Brazil in September 2007. Specifically, the MFN duty rate for apparel, carpets, footwear (excluding footwear parts) and textile made-ups classified under HS Chapter 63 was increased from 20% to 35% while the rate for virtually all fabrics was raised from 18% to 26% (the duty on aramid fabrics remained at 2%, however).

Statistical Tax

Argentina applies a statistical tax of 0.5% on imported merchandise, although the total tax assessment is subject to certain maximum caps. Specifically, for imports valued under US$10,000, the maximum statistical tax payable is US$50; for imports of a value ranging from US$10,000 to US$20,000, the maximum is US$100; for imports between US$20,001 and US$30,000, the amount is US$200; for imports between US$30,001 and US$50,000, the amount is US$300; for imports between US$50,001 and US$100,000, the maximum is US$400; and for imports above US$100,001, the amount is US$500.

In addition, the following products are exempt from the statistical tax.

  • Exports.
  • Imports originating in a MERCOSUR country, Chile or Bolivia.
  • Imports of goods for animal or plant breeding classified in HS chapters 1, 3, 6, 7, 10 and 12 that are subject to a duty of zero percent.
  • Imports HS chapter 27 that are subject to a duty of zero percent.
  • Goods classified under NCM headings 4901 and 4902.
  • Goods included in the General Regulations on Taxation of the Aeronautical Sector, which are subject to a zero percent duty.
  • New capital goods and information technology and telecommunications products.
  • Goods imported under the temporary admission import regime.
  • Works of art of NCM headings 9701, 9702 and 9703.

Value-Added Tax

Argentina generally applies a value-added tax of 21% on domestic and foreign goods and services. Certain services are subject to a 27% rate (including gas, electricity, water supply, telecommunications, sewerage and drainage) while certain goods and services are subject to a reduced VAT rate of 10.5% (including live animals, meat, fruits and vegetables). A range of goods and services are exempt from VAT, including books, leaflets and similar printed materials; water, bread and milk (at retail level); pharmaceuticals (at retail and wholesale levels); postal stamps; legal stamps and similar stamps; lottery tickets; aircraft for commercial, defence or domestic security activities; and ships purchased by the State, among others. The importation of samples subject to a zero rate of duty is also exempt from VAT.

VAT is assessed on the net price of the sale, lease or services rendered as shown on the invoice or equivalent document in the case of domestic goods and services. For imports, VAT is assessed based on the CIF value of the merchandise plus all applicable import duties (including the statistical tax).

Domestic taxes on imports of any origin, such as VAT and profits tax, require partial advance payment to ensure their collection. Advance VAT is charged on the same base value as ordinary VAT and is applicable to VAT-registered entities at a rate of 10% on imports of items liable for VAT at 21%, and 5% on imports subject to the 10.5% VAT rate. However, per General Resolution 2238/2007, importations made by importers who do not present a certificate issued by the Federal Revenue Administration (AFIP) validating their information (Certificado de Validación de Datos de Importadores - CVDI) are subject to higher advance VAT rates. These rates are 20% on imports of items liable for VAT at 21% and 10% on imports subject to the 10.5% VAT rate. The CVDI may be requested by importers listed in the DGA registry of importers and exporters.

Importers who are VAT-exempt are not required to make the advance payment. Importers who do not provide evidence of being exempt or not covered by VAT should make advance VAT payments at a rate of 12.7% when importing goods subject to the 21% VAT rate, and 5.8% where the 10.5% VAT rate is applicable.

Excise Tax

Imports and domestic products are also subject to excise duties. Excise duty is to be charged on products at one of the stages of their circulation only, except for luxury goods, for which the duty is payable on each transaction. Imports subject to excise duties include tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, luxury goods, automobiles and petrol engines, recreational or sporting vessels and aircraft, and certain services. Duties range from 4% for certain recreational or sporting vessels and aircraft, to 8% for beer and certain non-alcoholic beverages, 20% for luxury items and 60% for cigarettes.

Product

Tax

Cigarettes

60%

Other tobacco products

16-20%

Alcoholic beverages

12-20%

Beer

8%

Champagne

12%

Non-alcoholic beverages, syrups, extracts, concentrates

8% (4% for certain items)

Motor vehicles and engines

10%

Luxury items

20%

Recreational or sporting vessels and aircraft

4-8%

Source: Law 24.674.

In the case of domestic goods, excise duties are levied on the net sale price shown on the invoice or equivalent document. No deduction is allowed either for the tax itself or for any other duties levied on the operation except for the VAT debit, such that the excise duty itself is included in the tax base. In the case of imported goods, excise duties are levied on 130% of the amount resulting from adding to the normal price defined for the application of import duties all import taxes including the excise duty itself. Subsequent sale of the imported goods is subject to excise duty but the duty paid at the time of importation can be set against the amount due, as an advance payment.

Anticipated Profits Tax

An anticipated profits tax is also assessed on imports. The amount received in respect of imports constitutes an advance tax payment in the case of entities liable for that tax. This tax is assessed at rates ranging from 3% to 11%, with exemptions for certain goods (including certain bovine animals and works of art). Specifically, a tax rate of 3% applies to importations made by importers who present a CVDI issued by AFIP validating their information. Importations made without a CVDI are subject to an anticipated profits tax rate of 6%. Importations made for the importer’s own use or consumption are subject to an 11% tax rate.  

Criterion Values

Under Resolution 1907/2005, the DGA has the authority to establish criterion values as a means to combat the under-invoicing of imports. Imports with a declared value lower than the criterion value require payment of a guarantee equivalent to the difference in duties to be paid on the declared value and the criterion value. In addition, in instances where the declared FOB value of certain products is less than 95% of the criterion value established by the DGA, (1) advance VAT is assessed at a rate of 21% in the case of goods subject to a 21% VAT rate and 10.5% for goods subject to a 10.5% rate, and (2) the anticipated profits tax is assessed at a rate of 7% (11% for importations made for the importer’s own use or consumption).

The list of products subject to criterion values is frequently modified and applies to imports from a range of suppliers, including Hong Kong and mainland China. As of 1 November 2008, the list included items falling under HS chapters 16, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52, 54 to 65, 69, 70 to 74, 76, 82 to 85, 87, 90, 92 and 94 to 96. A list of the latest criterion values is available at http://www.afip.gov.ar/aduana/valoracion/valores.criterios.pdf.

Import Restrictions

Prohibitions

The importation of certain classes of merchandise may be prohibited or restricted to protect the economy and security of Argentina. Prohibitions are divided into different categories according to their purpose (economic or non-economic) and their scope (absolute or relative). Prohibitions for economic reasons are generally applied on consumer goods and may be used to achieve employment, monetary, trade, production or intellectual property objectives. Prohibitions for non-economic reasons may be pursued on the grounds of national sovereignty or to achieve specific objectives in areas such as national security/defence, public safety and health, foreign policy and environmental policy. Absolute prohibitions are comprehensive bans with no exemptions while relative prohibitions exempt one or more parties from the ban.

Argentina prohibits the importation of the following products.

Product

Reason

Legal Basis

Absolute Prohibitions

Used accumulators for metal recovery

Environmental protection

Law 23.922 and Law 24.051

Sewage sludge for use as fertilizer

Environmental protection

Law 24.051 and Decree 181/1992

Ash from combustion furnaces

Environmental protection

Law 23.922 and Law 24.051

Paper waste, unclassified and with high plastic content

Environmental protection

Decree 181/1992, Law 24.051 and Regulatory Decree 831/1993

Private wireless telephony equipment, operating at a frequency above 1,880 MHz but no higher than 1,900 MHz, classified under NCM 8517.11.00, 8517.30.13 and 8525.20. 71

To prevent harmful interference with duly authorised services

Secretariat of Trade Resolution 1994/1999

Narcotics, precursors and psychotropic substances (i.e., goods listed in Annex III, and goods defined as medicines based on narcotics and psychotropic substances, except in quantities that are strictly necessary for medical and scientific research and clinical experiments with narcotics, performed under Health Authority supervision and inspection)

Health protection

 

Resolutions 2017/1993 and 543/1995

Medical materials that are obsolete, unusable or expired

Health and environmental protection

Decree 181/1992

Substandard plastic materials and second-hand manufactures

Health and environmental protection

Decree 181/1992

Used motorcycles and mopeds classified under NCM 8711

Safety; protection of the consumer and the domestic industry

Resolution 790/1992

Retreads and used tyres classified under NCM 4012.11, 4012.12, 4012.19 and 4012.20, except those used in airplanes[1]

Safety; protection of the consumer and the environment

Law 25.626 and Law 26.329

Pesticides that are prohibited in their places of origin

Environmental protection

Law 24.051 and Law 23.922

Wine products in bottles of a capacity exceeding five litres

To preserve the identity of wine products in each State Party

MERCOSUR Resolution 45/1996 and Resolution C 22/2002 of the National Wine Institute, incorporating MERCOSUR Resolution 12/2002 (MERCOSUR Wine Regulation)

Hazardous residues, scrap or waste material

Environmental protection

Law 24.051 and Decree 181/1992

Used automobiles and automotive parts

Safety; protection of the consumer and the domestic industry

Decree 110/1999

Childcare articles and toys made with plasticised materials containing 0.1% or more by weight of any of the following phthalates: di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and bencyl butyl phthalate (BBP). Childcare articles and toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth made with plasticised materials containing 0.1% or more by weight of any of the following phthalates: diisononyl phthalate (DINP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP or DOP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP). This prohibition will enter into force on 11 March 2009.

Safety; protection of the consumer

Resolution 583/2008

Raw cotton classified under NCM 5201.00.10

 

Resolution 208/2003

Certain fresh fruit in bulk and sorghum seed

 

Decree 83732/1936 and Resolution 618/1979

Vegetables with soil adhered to their roots. Vegetable soils. Certain vegetables not meeting hygienic conditions

 

Resolutions 403/1983 and 768/1998

Certain pollen

 

Decree 13501/1959

Asbestos fibres and products containing such fibres

 

Resolutions 845/2000 and 823/2001

Polychlorinated biphenyls and products and equipment containing such substances, with the exception of certified merchandise containing 0.005% or less by weight of PCBs

Environmental protection

Law 25.670

Carbon zinc and alkaline (manganese) primary batteries, of a cylindrical or prism-like shape, containing certain heavy metals in the following concentrations: 0.0005% by weight of mercury; 0.015% by weight of cadmium; and 0.2% by weight of lead.

Environmental protection

Law 26.184

Genetically-modified rapeseed

Environmental protection

Resolution 305/2007

Relative Prohibitions

Used articles of clothing of NCM heading 6309

Health protection

Resolution 367/2005 (prohibition extended until 30 June 2010)

Used machinery, instruments, appliances, parts thereof and transport material (HS chapters 84- 90), except parts and/or components of goods that have been rebuilt by their original manufacturer, with a certificate of guarantee issued by the manufacturer

To increase the efficiency, productivity and quality of Argentina's industrial output of production and consumer goods

Resolution 909/1994

Source: Word Trade Organization, Resolution 2146/2006, Law 26.184, Resolution 305/2007, Resolution 583/2008.

Argentina also prohibits the importation of a range of chemicals and products containing these chemicals, including heptachlor, pentachlorophenol and certain chemicals used in agricultural and veterinary applications and products for animal consumption.

Furthermore, Argentina has banned the importation of whole milk, powdered milk and dairy products from mainland China, effective from 6 October 2008 (Disposition 5683/2008). This ban was implemented to address concerns about the possible contamination with melamine of mainland Chinese milk-based infant formula and other dairy and non-dairy food products.

Quotas

Argentina has quotas in place for imports of certain controlled substances that have been found to harm the stratospheric ozone layer. In February 2005, Argentina established a safeguard quota for a period of three years (1 January 2005 through 31 December 2007) on imports of certain colour television receivers classified under NCM 8528.12.90 and imported from Brazil’s Manaos Free Zone. 

Licensing Requirements

Argentina has two types of import licences – automatic and non-automatic. The LAPI is a general system of automatic pre-importation licensing that was introduced for statistical purposes to monitor imports of certain products for consumption, among other reasons to be able to undertake a rapid analysis for the adoption of trade remedies. Automatic import licences are granted subject to compliance with all prescribed formalities and are approved in all cases. Non-automatic licences must be obtained before the importation can take place. LAPI licences are not required for: (i) import transactions of less than FOB US$800; (ii) goods imported under the postal regime; (iii) samples; (iv) goods imported under the automotive industry regime to be included in a production process; or (v) goods covered by Decree 732/1972 "Science, Art, Technical and Human Health" and donations covered by Law 23.871, Article 17. 

The table below lists the products subject to automatic and non-automatic licensing requirements. Licence validity periods are as follows: 60 days (LAPI, Footwear Import Certificate, Footwear Parts Import Certificate, Miscellaneous Manufactures Import Certificate, Household Goods Import Certificate, Toy Import Certificate, Bicycle Tyre and Tube Import Certificate, Bicycle Import Certificate, Ball Import Certificate, Textile Products Import Certificate, Yarn and Fabric Import Certificate and Metallurgy Products Import Certificate); 90 days (Motorcycle Import Certificate); 120 days (Paper Import Certificate); and 360 days (Sworn Statement of Product Composition).

Imports of certain products require prior authorisation for sanitary or phytosanitary reasons or have to show conformity with technical regulations. Pre-shipment inspection certificate requirements were abolished in 2001.

Product

Reason

Legal Basis

Automatic licences

Specific products classified in HS chapters 01, 02, 04, 06, 07, 11, 13, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 82, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 and 97

Automatic pre-importation licence (LAPI); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 17/1999, 59/1999,  150/1999, 820/1999 and 465/1999; Provisions 75/2000, 2/2002, 9/2003, 14/2003, 7/2004, 14/2004, 26/2004, 8/2005, 9/2005, 15/2005, 8/2007, 10/2008, 11/2008 and 16/2008

Textile, apparel and footwear

Sworn Statement of Product Composition (DJCP); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 622/1995, 26/1996, 39/1996, 763/1996, 850/1996 and 1318/1998

Non-automatic licences

Bicycles

Bicycle import certificate (CIB); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 220/2003 and 114/2004, Joint Provisions 1/2004, 3/2004, 4/2004, 5/2004, 11/2005, 16/2005, 21/2006, 4/2007 and 13/2008

Apparel classified under NCM 6103.42.00, 6103.43.00, 6105.10.00, 6105.20.00, 6105.90.00, 6107.11.00, 6107.12.00, 6107.91.00, 6108.31.00, 6108.32.00, 6108.92.00, 6109.10.00, 6109.90.00, 6110.11.00, 6110.12.00, 6110.20.00, 6110.30.00, 6110.90.00, 6111.10.00 (only sweaters),  6111.20.00 (only sweaters), 6111.20.00 (except sweaters), 6111.30.00 (only sweaters), 6111.30.00 (except sweaters),  6111.90.00 (only sweaters), 6112.41.00, 6115.10.14, 6115.29.20, 6115.95.00, 6115.96.00, 6203.11.00, 6203.12.00, 6203.19.00, 6203.22.00, 6203.23.00, 6203.29.10, 6203.29.90, 6203.31.00, 6203.32.00, 6203.33.00, 6203.39.00, 6203.42.00 and 6204.62.00

Textile products import certificate (CIPT); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 343/2007 and 330/2008

Footwear classified under NCM 6401.10.00, 6401.92.00, 6401.99.10, 6401.99.90, 6402.19.00, 6402.20.00, 6402.91.10, 6402.91.90, 6402.99.10, 6402.99.90, 6403.19.00, 6403.20.00, 6403.40.00, 6403.51.10, 6403.51.90, 6403.59.10, 6403.59.90, 6403.91.10, 6403.91.90, 6403.99.10, 6403.99.90, 6404.11.00, 6404.19.00, 6404.20.00, 6405.10.10, 6405.10.20, 6405.10.90, 6405.20.00 and 6405.90.00

Footwear import certificate (CIC); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 508/1999, 486/2005 and 366/2008

Footwear uppers classified under NCM 6406.10.00

Footwear parts import certificate (CIPC); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolution 61/2007

Footballs (soccer balls) classified under NCM 9506.62.00

Ball import certificate (CIP); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolution 217/2007

Luggage, handbags and flat goods classified under NCM 4202.12.10, 4202.12.20, 4202.19.00 (except those of wood), 4202.22.10, 4202.22.20, 4202.29.00, 4202.32.00, 4202.39.00, 4202.92.00 and 4202.99.00

Miscellaneous manufactures import certificate (CIMD); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolution 47/2007

Toys classified under NCM 9501.00.00, 9502.10.10, 9502.10.90, 9502.91.00, 9502.99.00, 9503.10.00, 9503.20.00, 9503.30.00, 9503.41.00, 9503.49.00, 9503.50.00, 9503.60.00, 9503.70.00, 9503.80.10, 9503.80.20, 9503.80.90, 9503.90.00, 9504.90.90, 9506.62.00, 9506.99.00 (swings and slides only)

Toy import certificate (CIJ); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 485/2005 and 851/1998

Household goods classified under NCM 7321.11.00, 8418.10.00, 8418.21.00, 8450.20.90, 8516.60.00 (only products of a mixed system) and 8528.72.00

Household goods import certificate (CIAH); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 444/2004, 177/2004, 529/2006, 89/2007, 286/2007, 181/2008 and 329/2008

Bicycle tyres classified under NCM 4011.50.00 and 4013.20.00

Bicycle tyre and tube import certificate (CICC); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 153/2005, 7/2005, 165/2006 and 694/2006, Provision 583/2008

Non-covered papers for printing, writing or other graphic purposes, excluding newsprint (NCM 4802.52.30, 4802.52.90, 4802.53.90 and 4823.59.00)

Paper import certificate (CIP); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 653/1999, 1117/1999,  798/1999 and 119/2002

Motorcycles classified under NCM 8711.10.00, 8711.20.10, 8711.20.20 and 8711.20.90

Motorcycle import certificate (CIM); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolutions 689/2006, 195/2007 and 336/2007

Yarns and fabrics classified under NCM 5208.39.00 (except other twill fabrics), 5209.32.00, 5209.42.10, 5209.42.90, 5210.51.00, 5211.42.10, 5211.42.90, 5402.33.00 (only higher than 80 decitex and equal to or lower than 350 decitex), 5407.51.00, 5407.52.10, 5407.54.00, 5407.61.00 (except of yarns of different colours), 5407.82.00, 5407.84.00, 5512.19.00, 5513.11.00, 5513.21.00, 5513.41.00, 6001.22.00, 6004.10.10, 6004.10.20, 6006.21.00, 6006.22.00, 6006.31.00 and 6006.32.00

Yarn and fabric import certificate (CIHT); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolution 589/2008

Items classified under NCM 7307.19.10, 8205.40.00, 8424.30.10, 8425.31.10, 8428.10.00, 8458.11.99, 8462.10.90, 8462.21.00, 8462.29.00, 8462.39.10, 8462.39.90, 8462.99.90, 8477.10.11 and 8477.10.99

Metallurgy products import certificate (CIPM); Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management

Resolution 588/2008

Other documents

Foodstuffs (for human consumption)

Pre-intervention authorisation/National Food Institute

Resolution 1946/1993

Firearms, ammunition and other classified materials for military or civil use

Prior authorisation/National Firearms Registry (RENAR) prior to intervention by the Directorate-General of Military Industry (DGFM)

Law 20.429 of 1973, Decrees 395/1975 and 302/1983, Resolution 3115/1994

Toiletries, cosmetics and perfumes

Prior authorisation/ MSA

Resolution 2016/1993, amended by Resolutions 262/1994, 518/1996 (Annex IV), 337/1992 (Annex VI) and 32/1997

Nuclear elements and materials

Prior authorisations/Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN) of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA)

Decree 5423/1957, Law 22.477 of 1956, Resolutions 996/2001, 2018/1993, 3342/1995, 451/1996 and 2400/1996

Narcotics, precursors and psychotropic substances

Prior authorisation/MSA

Laws 17.818 and 19.303, Resolutions 2017/1993 and 3945/1996 (Annex VII), Provisions 4855/1996 and 4861/1996 of the National Drug, Food and Medical Technology Administration (Annex VII)

Narcotics and psychotropic substances

Prior authorisation/Office of the President, Secretariat for the Prevention of Drug Addiction and the Campaign against Drug Trafficking

Law 23.737, Decrees 2064/1991 and 1095/1996, Resolutions 2020/1991 and 454/1996

Wild fauna and flora

Authorisation for importation/Secretariat of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Laws 22.344 and 22.421, Decrees 691/1981 and 177/1992, Resolutions 144/1983, 34/1993, 2513/1993 and 443/1996 (Annex XII)

Importation of sensitive products and war material

Import certificate/National Commission for the Control of Sensitive Military Exports

Decrees 603/1992 and 1291/1993

Medicaments

Prior authorisation/Secretariat of Health, Ministry of Health and Social Action

Decrees 2505/1985, 150/1992 and 177/1993, Resolutions 2014/1993, 262/1994, 461/1995 and 455/1996, 139/1989 and 551/1986 (Annex IV)

Condoms

Authorisation for importation/MSA

Resolutions 255/1994 (Annex V) and 459/1995 (Annex X)

Wine products (NCM 2204)

Authorisation prior to intervention/National Wine Institute (INV)

Resolution C-121/1993 and Provision 1139/1993

Publications that describe or represent continental, island and Antarctic territory, either totally or partially

Prior authorisation/Military Geographical Institute

Law 22.963 and Resolution 2514/1993

Reagents and materials for medical use

Importer and product registration certificates/Health Secretariat, MSA

Decree 2505/1985, supplemented by Resolution 255/1994 (Annex V) and Provision 4324/1999

Vehicles of NCM 8704.23.10 (more than two-wheel drive), 8705.10.00, 8705.20.00, 8705.40.00, 8705.90.10 and 8705.90.90

Prior authorisation/SICM, subject to a report by the National Directorate of Industry

Resolution 91/1995

Source: WTO, Ministry of the Economy and Production.

On 28 January 2008, Argentina issued a resolution (Resolution 11/2008) that effectively tightened the requirements for submitting non-automatic import licences. The resolution makes clear that Argentinean authorities will not accept any amendments to non-automatic import licences. No modifications will be allowed once a licence is issued and it will be the responsibility of the importer to request a new licence, prior to the cancellation of the original licence, if the information covered by the original licence were to change.

The Argentinean government has expanded the non-automatic licensing regime to cover a number of additional products of particular interest to domestic producers. This process effectively began on 23 October 2008 with an announcement by the Ministry of Economy and Production that the non-automatic licensing requirements for certain apparel and household goods would be expanded to cover such products as cotton trousers, t-shirts, socks, and men’s and boys’ knitted shirts, effective from 12 November. The MEP has later amended also the licensing requirements in place for footwear and implemented new requirements for yarns, fabrics and certain machinery and tools.

Footwear. The non-automatic licensing requirement for footwear has been amended. The new list includes products classified under NCM 6401.10.00, 6401.92.00, 6401.99.10, 6401.99.90, 6402.19.00, 6402.20.00, 6402.91.10, 6402.91.90, 6402.99.10, 6402.99.90, 6403.19.00, 6403.20.00, 6403.40.00, 6403.51.10, 6403.51.90, 6403.59.10, 6403.59.90, 6403.91.10, 6403.91.90, 6403.99.10, 6403.99.90, 6404.11.00, 6404.19.00, 6404.20.00, 6405.10.10, 6405.10.20, 6405.10.90, 6405.20.00 and 6405.90.00. Footwear uppers classified under NCM 6406.10.00 are subject to a separate licensing requirement.

Yarns, Fabrics, and Machinery and Tools. The MEP has announced the establishment of non-automatic licensing requirements for certain yarns, fabrics, and machinery and tools imported into Argentina for consumption, effective from 30 November 2008. Covered yarns and fabrics are classified under NCM 5208.39.00 (except other twill fabrics), 5209.32.00, 5209.42.10, 5209.42.90, 5210.51.00, 5211.42.10, 5211.42.90, 5402.33.00 (only higher than 80 decitex and equal to or lower than 350 decitex), 5407.51.00, 5407.52.10, 5407.54.00, 5407.61.00 (except of yarns of different colours), 5407.82.00, 5407.84.00, 5512.19.00, 5513.11.00, 5513.21.00, 5513.41.00, 6001.22.00, 6004.10.10, 6004.10.20, 6006.21.00, 6006.22.00, 6006.31.00 and 6006.32.00. Covered machinery and tools are classified under NCM 7307.19.10, 8205.40.00, 8424.30.10, 8425.31.10, 8428.10.00, 8458.11.99, 8462.10.90, 8462.21.00, 8462.29.00, 8462.39.10, 8462.39.90, 8462.99.90, 8477.10.11 and 8477.10.99. These tariff lines include, for example, screwdrivers, lifts and skip hoists, and certain machine tools.

Port Restrictions

In August 2005, the DGA established a system whereby imports of textiles, apparel, footwear and toys for consumption would be processed by certain “specialised” customs ports. Argentinean authorities argued at the time that this system was meant to, among other things, enhance effective customs oversight and reduce contraband activities and tax evasion. The range of products covered by this system was expanded on 24 August 2007 per Resolution 50/2007 to include such items as tableware and kitchenware, luggage and bags, leather apparel, glassware, imitation jewellery, certain appliances, tools, electrical machinery and equipment, certain automotive parts, bicycles, motorcycles, watches and lamps. In addition, the number of customs ports authorised to process textile and apparel merchandise was reduced from 13 to 11 (reflecting the exclusion of La Plata and Mendoza) while the number of ports authorised to process footwear was cut from eight to seven (reflecting the exclusion of La Plata). The list of products and authorised ports is shown below.


NCM Classification

Customs Ports

3924

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana, Mar del Plata

4202 and 4203

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana, Mar del Plata

50 to 63 (excluding NCM 5201.00.20 and 5201.00.90)

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana, Mar del Plata, Puerto Iguazú, Bahía Blanca, Santa Fe, Puerto Madryn

64

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana, Mar del Plata

6911, 6912 and 6913

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana, Mar del Plata

7013

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana, Mar del Plata

7117

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba

7321 and 7323

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana, Mar del Plata, San Javier

82

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario, Córdoba, Paso de los Libres, Santo Tomé, Campana

83

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario, Córdoba, Paso de los Libres, Santo Tomé, Campana

8415, 8418, 8421, 8422, 8450 and 8452

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario, Córdoba, Paso de los Libres, Mar del Plata, Santo Tomé

8467 and 8470

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Córdoba, Mar del Plata

8471 and 8473

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Córdoba, Mar del Plata, Rosario, Campana

85

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario, Córdoba, Paso de los Libres, Mar del Plata, Santo Tomé, Campana

 

8708

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario, Córdoba, Paso de los Libres, Campana, Santo Tomé, Villa Constitución, San Javier, San Luis

8711

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Córdoba, Rosario

8712

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario

8714

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Córdoba, Rosario, Paso de los Libres

9017

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario, Córdoba, Paso de los Libres, Mar del Plata, Santo Tomé

91

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana

9405

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario, Córdoba, Paso de los Libres, Mar del Plata, Santo Tomé

9503, 9504 and 9505

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Rosario, Córdoba, Paso de los Libres

96

Buenos Aires, Ezeiza, Paso de los Libres, Córdoba, Rosario, Campana

Source: Resolution 50/2007.

Additionally, Argentinean authorities have committed to process merchandise from “high-risk importers” through so-called red channels, which require physical and document inspection. To this end, the DGA’s Risk Analysis Laboratory will send “on-line alerts” to the ports with the importer’s tax background before the merchandise is entered. In addition, in light of growing concerns regarding the safety of goods produced in mainland China, on-line alerts will be issued to alert the ports about merchandise and brands that may pose a threat to the health or safety of the population and safety certificates will be more closely scrutinised.

Trade Remedies

1.  Anti-dumping (AD)/Countervailing (CV)

Anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations are initiated by the Ministry of Economy and Production’s Secretariat of Industry, Trade and SMEs. The competent authority for initiating investigations, making recommendations and determining dumping or subsidy margins is the Undersecretariat for Trade Policy and Management, while the authority responsible for analysing injury and threat of injury is the National Foreign Trade Commission. Preliminary determinations of injury and dumping/countervailing are issued approximately within 100 to 110 days from the date of initiation of the investigation.

Final determinations of dumping/countervailing must generally be issued within 220 days after the date of initiation, while final injury determinations must be issued within 250 days after the date of initiation. However, these deadlines can be extended if the investigation is especially complex. AD/CV duty orders are issued within 40 days after a final affirmative injury determination. Orders are issued for a period not to exceed five years and may be renewed or revoked following the completion of a sunset review. Administrative reviews of AD/CV duty orders may be conducted on an annual basis and may be initiated at least two years after the initial establishment of the AD/CV measures or the date of completion of the previous administrative review, as applicable.

In November 2004, Argentina signed an agreement with China where it committed to grant market economy status to mainland China for purposes of AD and CV duty investigations. However, it appears that Argentina has not amended its legislation to treat China as a full market economy country. In fact, AD duty investigations of mainland Chinese products are conducted in accordance with Decree 1219/2006, which sets forth investigative procedures for non-market economy and transition economy countries and requires the use of cost and pricing structures from a surrogate market economy country. Decree 1219/2006 does afford investigated producers/exporters the opportunity to prove that they operate under market conditions, however.

As of 30 November 2008, Argentina applied the following AD measures on imports from mainland China. As of that date, Argentina did not apply any AD measures on imports from Hong Kong or CV measures on imports from any source.


AD Duty Orders in Place as of 30 November 2008

Product

NCM Classification

Anti-Dumping Measures

Date of Imposition/
Renewal

Date of Expiry

Spokes and spokes with nipples for bicycles and motorcycles, 1.8 mm. to 2.5 mm. in diameter, regardless of length

8714.19.00, 8714.92.00 and 8714.99.00

Minimum FOB price of US$1.64 to 3.10/dozen

18/01/2008

18/01/2013

Vacuum flasks with glass inners

9617.00.10

Minimum FOB price of US$4.82/unit

10/10/2007

10/10/2012

Bicycles

8712.00.10

Minimum FOB price of US$23.00 to 65.00/unit

17/11/2008

17/11/2013

Playing cards

9504.40.00

Minimum FOB price of US$42.94 to 53.05/dozen

27/04/2007

27/04/2012

Microwave ovens

8516.50.00

Minimum FOB price of US$74.40 to 118.56/unit

07/03/2007

07/03/2012

Air-conditioning equipment

8415.10.11, 8415.10.19, 8415.83.00 and 8418.61.10

Minimum FOB price of US$200 to 290/unit

16/08/2006

16/08/2009

Tyres 2/

4011.50.00

Minimum FOB price of US$2.59 to 2.71/kg

21/03/2003

1/

Twist drill bits 3/

8207.50.11 and 8207.50.19

Minimum FOB price of US$22.37 to 397.54/kg

05/08/2004

1/

Bearings

8482.10.10

Minimum FOB price of US$12.35 to 49.30/kg

31/05/2006

31/05/2011

Bearing parts

8482.10.10

Minimum FOB price of US$12.35 to 49.30/kg

31/05/2006

31/05/2011

Solid fumigant pesticides

3808.10.25

Minimum FOB price of US$13.26/kg

15/06/2006

15/06/2011

Vacuum flasks with stainless steel inners

9617.00.10

Minimum FOB price of US$10.75/kg

27/11/2006

27/11/2011

Measuring tapes, except folding tapes, tapes used for tailoring and non-metallic tapes used for anatomical measuring

9017.80.10

Minimum FOB price of US$0.60/unit

18/05/2007

18/05/2012

Austenitic stainless steel pipes and tubes

7306.40.00 and 7306.60.00

63.02%

18/05/2007

18/05/2012

Drinking glasses

7013.28.00 and 7013.37.00

Minimum FOB price of US$2.61/kg (cups), US$1.06/kg (glasses), US$0.77/kg (jars)

13/03/2008

13/03/2013

Electric irons

8516.40.00

Minimum FOB price of US$6.26/unit

23/10/2008

23/10/2013

1/ A review of these AD duty orders is currently under way. Each order will remain in place until its respective review has been completed.

2/ Sunset review initiated on 1 April 2008.

3/ Sunset review initiated on 6 August 2007.

Source: Ministry of the Economy and Production

 

AD Investigations Under Way as of 30 November 2008

Product

NCM

Preliminary  AD Margins

Date of Initiation

U-joints and tripod joints

8708.99.90

Minimum FOB price of US$5.16/kg (u-joints), US$13.06 (tripod joints)

11/07/2007

Certain low-carbon steel chain link

7315.82.00

Minimum FOB price of US$1.83/kg

15/08/2007

Certain DIN rail mountable electrical connectors

8536.90.90

 

02/10/2007

Stainless steel cutlery

8211.10.00, 8211.91.00, 8215.20.00 and 8215.99.10

 

25/04/2008

Certain roller chain

7315.11.00

 

28/04/2008

Slide fasteners and parts thereof, of polyester monofilament, nylon, injected plastics or bronze

9607.11.00, 9607.19.00 and 9607.20.00

 

05/05/2008

Pumping equipment for the extraction of oil, with a torque of up to 1,824 thousand pounds per inch

8403.40.10

 

22/05/2008

Certain pumps for refrigerant liquids or water for engines, with a flow between two and 18 cubic metres per hour, for use in certain vehicles

8413.30.90

 

30/07/2008

Certain synthetic organic colouring matter

3204.12.10, 3204.14.00 and 3204.17.00

 

31/07/2008

Tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, whether or not of porcelain or china

6911.10.10, 6911.10.90, 6911.90.00 and 6912.00.00

 

31/07/2008

Certain carbon steel pipe fittings

7307.19.20 and 7307.93.00

 

23/10/2008

Certain polyester staple fibre and textured filament yarn

5402.33.00 and 5503.20.90

 

17/11/2008

Source: Ministry of the Economy and Production

 

Under Resolution 763/1996, Argentina requires the presentation of a certificate of origin for merchandise subject to various trade remedy actions (including AD/CV and safeguard measures) or for statistical purposes. The certificate of origin consists essentially of a declaration by the manufacturer or exporter as to the origin of the product and must include such information as the name and contact information of the producer or exporter, the name of the merchandise, place of shipment, method of transportation, quantity and unit of measurement, name of Argentinean importer and information regarding the certifying entity. The certificate of origin should be issued in the country of origin by the competent government authority, or else by the entity to which this function is delegated, and countersigned by the Argentine consulate in the country of origin and is valid for six months.

Argentinean officials believe that a potential pitfall of this system is that the origin criteria used in the foreign country where the certificate of origin is issued may not fully correspond with the origin requirements established under Argentinean law. Merchandise could also be transshipped through third countries together with false country-of-origin declarations in an attempt to circumvent AD and safeguard measures. To address these problems, the MEP issued a resolution (Resolution 437/2007) on 28 June 2007 establishing procedures to verify the origin of imported merchandise in instances where the accuracy or truthfulness of the certificate of origin may be in doubt.

Verification of non-preferential origin may be triggered by a number of factors, including (i) changes in import patterns for a particular country or group of countries after the application of trade remedies, (ii) abrupt variations in import prices, (iii) doubts as to whether the producer or exporter in the declared country of origin is complying with applicable country-of-origin regulations, and (iv) historical production and export trends in the country of origin listed in the origin certificate.

Importers subject to an origin verification process must submit an Origin Verification Questionnaire no later than 45 days after being notified by the MEP. The questionnaire must include such information as the name, address, phone and fax number of the producer and exporter; the name, tariff classification and detailed description of the good; and the tariff classification of non-originating materials and materials of unknown origin, as well as the names and addresses of the suppliers of those materials. The tariff classification of both originating and non-originating/unknown origin components must be listed in descending order of importance together with the name and address of the suppliers. Importers must indicate on the questionnaire whether non-originating/unknown origin components have undergone a tariff change and must provide a description of the processes involved in the production of the finished good.

The questionnaire must be signed and dated by the exporter or producer of the goods or the supplier of the materials used in the production of the goods and countersigned by the Argentinean consulate in the declared country of origin. In addition, the questionnaire must be accompanied by supporting documentation to help Argentinean officials verify the information contained therein, such as (i) a description of the product exported to Argentina, (ii) a detailed description of the production process, (iii) a list of suppliers of inputs, parts and components, (iv) commercial documentation showing the purchase of inputs, parts and components used in the manufacture of the finished good, (v) a copy of the commercial catalogue, (vi) production and export statistics, (vii) product schematics, and (viii) any other documents that may help expedite the origin verification process.  

Argentina advises that, in the absence of specific rules of origin for a particular product or group of products, origin will be determined in the following fashion.

  • Goods wholly obtained or produced in a country.
  • Goods wholly obtained or produced in a country from inputs originating in that country.
  • Goods transformed or perfected in more than one country – goods originate in the country where the last substantial transformation occurred.
  • Goods made by the simple assembly or joining together of parts or components originating in more than one country – goods originate in the country where the parts or components with the highest value were produced.

2.  Safeguards

On 30 May 2007, Argentina imposed a safeguard surcharge on imports of recordable compact discs (CD-R) classified under NCM 8523.90.10 from all sources, with the exception of mainland China, Hong Kong, Chile, Mexico, North Korea, South Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines and Singapore. These producers were excluded because they are covered by the exception contained in Article 9.1 of the WTO Agreement on Safeguards, which provides that “safeguard measures shall not be applied against a product originating in a developing country Member as long as its share of imports of the product concerned in the importing Member does not exceed 3%, provided that developing country Members with less than 3% import share collectively account for not more than 9% of total imports of the product concerned.” For all other countries, the ministry decided to impose a surcharge of US$0.13 per unit from 30 May 2007 through 29 May 2008, falling to US$0.11 per unit from 30 May 2008 through 29 May 2009 and US$0.08 per unit from 30 May 2009 through 29 May 2010. The surcharge will expire on 30 May 2010.

In February 2005, Argentina established a safeguard quota for a period of three years (1 January 2005 through 31 December 2007) on imports of certain colour television receivers classified under NCM 8528.12.90 and imported from Brazil’s Manaos Free Zone. The 2007 quota was set at 10% of total imports of subject merchandise during 2006.

Argentina and Brazil signed a bilateral agreement in February 2006 (known as the Mechanism for Competitive Adaptation, Productive Integration and Balanced Expansion of Commerce – or MAC) that allows each side to temporarily restrict imports of specific products from the other side if those imports are deemed to cause “important injury” to the domestic industry.

Preferential Treatment

Argentina affords duty-free treatment to imports from Mercosur countries (Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela), although some non-tariff barriers remain. Venezuela became a member of Mercosur in July 2006 and Argentina has committed to grant duty-free treatment to imports from Venezuela by 1 January 2010, with the possibility of extending this deadline with respect to sensitive products until 1 January 2014.

Mercosur has free trade agreements or partial preferential trade arrangements with several countries, including Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Israel, Mexico and Peru. Argentina also provides certain duty breaks to members of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) for goods not covered under the aforementioned agreements. Mercosur is conducting FTA negotiations with Jordan, Morocco and Turkey.

Product Standards/Certification Requirements

The Argentine Standards Institute (IRAM) is a private institute recognised by the Argentinean government as the country's only official standardisation body and also acts as a certification organisation for products and systems. According to information from the WTO, the first stage in the development of standards is the preparation of a draft standard by a study body comprising representatives of the specific area. The draft is then submitted for public discussion during a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 180 days (with exceptions). The draft, with revisions if necessary, is then submitted to the General Committee on Standards, which makes it official and passes it on to the IRAM Directorate-General for approval as a standard. Standards based on regional standards (COPANT and Mercosur) are made available for comment for 30 to 60 days, and the intention to adopt such a standard is publicised by IRAM. For the adoption of international standards, the provisions of ISO/IEC Guide 21 are used to determine whether the standard in question is identical, modified or not equivalent to the international standard. IRAM standards can be cancelled following consultation with the study body and publication of the intention to do so in the IRAM Bulletin.

The following bodies may establish technical regulations: the Secretariat of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Office of the Chief of Cabinet of the National Government; the executive branch; and the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI). The provinces can also prepare and adopt technical regulations, pursuant to national legislation, but only to regulate intra-provincial trade. According to the WTO, benchmarks used in the preparation of technical regulations include international and Mercosur standards, the standards and recommendations issued by the International Organisation for Standardisation and the Pan American Commission on Technical Standards, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Organisation of Legal Metrology, and the regulations of the International Electrotechnical Commission. Certification is the responsibility of a variety of institutions, such as IRAM, INTI, the National University of Buenos Aires and the National Technological University, each of which is free to set prices for assessing product conformity.

Since 1998, technical regulations governing safety and mandatory certification have been adopted in Argentina for electrical equipment, toys, footwear, gas appliances and products, construction steel, bicycles, elevators and personal protective equipment, among others.

Resolution 92/1998 established mandatory safety requirements for most electrical and electronic equipment that fall within the range of 50-1,000 volts AC or 50-1,500 volts DC, including household appliances, audio/video equipment, lighting fixtures and information technology equipment (e.g., printers, scanners, monitors, etc.). These products must bear the national certification mark, known as the “S” Mark, as well as the mark of the certification organisation that are accredited by the Argentine Accreditation Organisation.

In August 2007, the Argentinean government established new safety requirements for new tyres classified under NCM 4011.10.00, 4011.20.10 and 4011.20.90. In addition to the requirements set forth in IRAM standards 113320 and 113321, domestically produced and imported tyres are required to comply with the following additional requirements in order to obtain the required Certificate for the Homologation of Autoparts and/or Safety Elements (Certificado de Homologación para las Autopartes y/o Elementos de Seguridad – or CHAS).

  • Tyre importers must have approved product warranty and product traceability systems in place. Specifically, a product warranty system entails a set of measures designed to ensure that customers are appropriately compensated for design or manufacturing defects. Such a system must include a telephone information system and/or Web site to address customer complaints. A product traceability system entails a set of measures designed to identify, through marks inscribed on each product, the product or product lot’s importer and/or manufacturer, the production plant and the week of manufacture.
  • INTI will audit importers on an annual basis to ensure that they comply with the product warranty and product traceability requirements. In addition, INTI will audit quality control labs annually to ensure that they comply with the requirements of ISO 17025 and that tyres tested at those labs comply with all applicable safety requirements.
  • Importers must submit a copy of the distribution contract with the manufacturer, which must include a commitment (for a minimum of five years) by both the importer and manufacturer to comply with all applicable safety requirements.

In addition to the above, Argentinean authorities issued a separate resolution on 21 August 2007 that requires wheels classified under NCM 8708.70.90 to comply with safety standard IRAM-AITA 8A1:1992.

Labelling

Argentina has labelling regulations in place for a wide range of products. Many of these requirements were developed as technical regulations at the MERCOSUR level and subsequently incorporated into the national legislation. Some of these labelling requirements are summarised below. 

Joint Resolutions 149/2005 and 683/2005 incorporated technical regulations issued under Mercosur GMC 26/2003 and 46/2003 regarding labelling requirements for packaged food items. Packaged foods must included a range of information on their packaging, including the name of the product, a list of ingredients, the net content, the country of origin, the producer’s and importer’s name and address, the expiry date, the lot number, and preparation and use instructions (where applicable). In addition, Resolutions 150/2005 and 684/2005 regulate the application of Mercosur GMC Resolution 47/2003 relating to technical standards applied to nutritional labelling for packaged foods.

Disposition 3473/2005 implemented Mercosur GMC Resolution 36/2004 establishing labelling requirements for cosmetics and personal hygiene products. The minimum required information to be included on the labels includes such things as the name and brand of the product, the country of origin, the name and address of the manufacturer and/or importer, the product’s registration number, the net content, the expiry date, the ingredients/composition and any applicable warnings or restrictions.

Resolution 33/2007 implemented Mercosur GMC Resolution 33/2007 establishing new labelling requirements for textiles and apparel. Under the new labelling regulations, subject merchandise will have to include the following information in a label, stamp, decal, print or similar means that is permanent, indelible, legible and clearly visible: (i) name or registered brand and tax identification of the domestic producer or importer; (ii) country of origin; (iii) fibre content (fibres accounting for less than 10% of the total may be listed as “other fibre(s)”); (iv) care labelling instructions; and (v) size or dimensions, as applicable. This information will have to be presented in the language of the country of consumption (Spanish in the case of Argentina) but could also be presented in another language(s).

Certain textile and apparel articles sold in packages are allowed to bear the required information on or inside their packaging instead of on the article itself if that information can be seen from the outside. These articles include fabric diapers, handkerchiefs, napkins, bibs, hosiery and socks, gloves, garments made with raschel-type machines, crocheted bedspreads, mosquito nets and seamless products. If the package contains more than one item, the number of units and the fact that those items cannot be sold separately will have to be clearly stated. Textile products made with compact fabric obtained by overlaying carded voiles may bear the required information on their packaging. Textile and apparel products sold in airtight packages whose labelling information is not visible from the outside must include at a minimum the following information on their packaging: the fibre composition, the country of origin and the size or dimension.   

As regards curtains, bed linen and kitchen, table and toilet textile articles sold in packages, the required information has to be included on or inside their packaging if that information is visible from the outside. In such instances, the product’s dimensions need not be included on the product itself.

A range of products are excluded from the textile and apparel labelling requirements, including tampons and sanitary towels, disposable diapers, hair accessories, textile appliqués, sewing kits, funerary articles, protective and safety equipment, horse-riding equipment, textile articles used on animals or toys, motor vehicle seats, camping tents, lined buttons and hangers, footwear, felt hats, book covers, belts, rope, flags, badges, labels, toys, umbrellas, bags and suitcases, cleaning cloths, parachutes, textile products for rent, used clothing (the term “used clothing” must be included), scuba-diving clothing, certain tablecloths, visors, bath articles (except towels, curtains and carpets), furniture, wrist bands and fans.

Law 26.043, issued on 15 July 2005, requires the packaging containing video games to include a label stating essentially that over-exposure to the product may be hazardous to one’s health, as well as an indication as to whether the product is suitable for persons of all ages, persons older than 13 years, or persons older than 18 years. This requirement is applicable to packages for all video games.

On 28 November 2006, Argentina issued labelling regulations for phytosanitary products formulated for agricultural use. Among other things, products destined for commercial sale or distribution must bear a label and include an informational sheet with certain information. Products not intended for commercial sale or distribution must bear a label with the common name of the active component, country of origin, commercial brand (if applicable), concentration, toxicological symbols and a warning for doctors in the event of poisoning.

On 17 January 2007, Argentinean authorities issued a disposition amending the labelling requirements for lighters. Currently, lighters commercialised in Argentina must comply with national safety standards and undergo certain product certification procedures. Certified lighters are required to bear a visible symbol that clearly shows that that product has been certified. The labelling requirements were amended to require the certification symbol set forth in the regulations to be shown in a self-adhesive label placed on a part of the product that is easily visible under normal conditions. The label must be indelible and each of its sides must measure at least 12 millimetres. The label must also include safety design elements to hinder forgery or reuse.

Toys must generally include certain information in Spanish on their packaging, including, among other things, the importer’s or producer’s name and address, name of the product, country of origin, net content and certain warning language where applicable, including, for example, language (and a corresponding warning symbol) indicating that a product is not suitable for use by children younger than 36 months, language indicating that the product should be used under adult supervision and language indicating the suitable age for use of the product. Certain toys, including recreational aquatic toys, balloons, projectiles and toys with projectiles, toys including hazardous chemical substances, skates and skateboards, toy kites, toy bicycles, toys replicating protective equipment, toys that produce elevated noise levels and toys designed to support the weight of children, among others, must also include specific warning language.

Footwear must be labelled with the following information: importer’s or producer’s name and tax identification; commercial brand and model; country of origin; and materials used in the upper, sole and lining. If any components are made from leather, the class/type and finishing of the leather must be indicated. Fibre composition must be indicated for any components made from textile materials. The required labelling information must be included in Spanish in at least one of the two units in the pair. The information must be printed, adhered or linked to the footwear in such a way as to ensure that it reaches the final consumer.

Documentation

Argentina requires presentation of an information form for the purpose of customs clearance for a broad range of products. In the case of imports arriving through customs offices connected to the MARÍA (SIM) computer system, the information form must be registered with AFIP. If the customs office does not have a SIM connection, the information form must be approved by the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade of the Secretariat of Industry, Trade and Mining. After registration with AFIP, the form becomes the automatic pre-importation licence (LAPI), which must be presented to customs before customs clearance.

In addition, the following documents are required for all shipments, regardless of value.

           Maritime Shipments

  • Commercial invoice in Spanish (original and three copies). If the invoice is in English the common practice is to show the Spanish translation just below the English text.
  • Bill of lading (minimum of one negotiable copy for customs purposes).
  • Packing list (not generally required for bulk commodities or for articles that are identical in kind, characteristics, composition, weight, etc.)
  • Insurance certificate (if insurance coverage is purchased by the exporter).

Air Cargo Shipments

  • Commercial invoice in Spanish (original and three copies).
  • Airway bill (number of copies depends on requirements of the importer and of the airline used).
  • Packing list.

Freight forwarding and/or agents’ fees cannot be shown on airway bills on a freight collect basis (i.e., the fees must be prepaid).

Other documents that may be required in specific instances include a certificate of origin (for merchandise subject to trade remedy actions, for statistical purposes or for preferential duty treatment under a trade arrangement), a non-automatic import licence or prior import authorisation, a Sworn Statement of Product Composition (for textiles, apparel and footwear), a sanitary or phytosanitary certificate and/or a certificate of conformity with technical regulations.

On 17 August 2007, the DGA issued a notice (External Note 57/2007) that requires importers to comply with certain additional documentation requirements when the declared value of imported merchandise is lower than the criterion value established by the DGA. In such instances, and when such imports originate in or are shipped from any one of 13 Asian suppliers (including mainland China and Hong Kong), the commercial invoice must be validated by the customs authority of the applicable foreign country and any additional import documentation must be submitted in its original form. To this end, the ports are required to submit a copy of the import declaration, the transport document and the commercial invoice to the RILO Division at the General Sub-Directorate of Customs Oversight (Subdirección General de Control Aduanero) so that it may have the commercial invoice validated. To avoid potential delays, the importer may submit a copy of the commercial invoice visaed by the Argentinean consulate of the jurisdiction where that invoice was issued. The DGA advises that the commercial invoice must be in Spanish or in a language “of frequent international use”. Otherwise, the DGA will have the discretion to request that an official translation be performed by a public translator.

In addition, the DGA has extended this requirement to merchandise whose declared value is below previous values for identical or similar merchandise, as referenced in Official Destination Alerts (Alertas de Destinaciones Oficializadas) issued within the framework of External Note 55/2007. The ADO system, which came into effect on 31 July 2007, authorises the DGA’s Division for Import Valuation to issue these alerts to combat under-invoicing. Similar to criterion values, imports with a declared value lower than an ADO value require payment of a guarantee equivalent to the difference in duties to be paid on the declared value and the ADO value.

In response to a number of requests for additional information on these requirements, the DGA issued a separate notice on 6 September 2007 (External Note 60/2007) that made the following clarifications.

  • Commercial invoices issued in a country not included in Group 4 are not subject to the requirements of External Note 57/2007. Group 4 includes mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • For commercial invoices issued in a Group 4 country, the visa must be obtained from the Argentinean consulate of the jurisdiction where that invoice was issued.
  • In instances where the commercial invoice is issued in a Group 4 country different from the declared country of origin and shipment, the RILO Division will also request from the pertinent foreign customs authority the export documentation from that location to Argentina.
  • In instances where the declared import value is lower than the criterion value established by the DGA and the importer chooses to pay the difference on a voluntary basis, the importer need not comply with the requirement to submit a visaed commercial invoice for purposes of customs clearance of the merchandise. However, this does not preclude the RILO division from requesting documentation from the importer to ascertain the value of the merchandise if any value investigations are conducted. 

Temporary Entry and Samples

The temporary admission regime (destinación suspensiva de importación temporaria) allows duty-free admission of goods such as commercial samples, packaging, pallets, containers and goods for exhibits. The exports must be completed within the stipulated time as set by customs in accordance with the type of imported merchandise. In the case of re-exportation in the same state, the goods must be exported within three years in the case of capital goods, or eight to 12 months in the case of other goods (the period for commercial samples is eight months). A bond is required to cover the value of import charges for the goods and is refunded when the goods are re-exported.

Resolution 392/2006 regulates the importation of primary and intermediate goods for use in export production. The finished goods must be exported within 360 days from the date of temporary admission although this deadline may be extended for an additional 360 days. There are special permissions for long-term projects, for which the maximum stay under the temporary admission regime is 1,080 days.

Introduced in 2002, the in-factory customs regime (régimen de aduana en factoría, or RAF) is a new regime suspending payment of import duties. This allows industrial establishments to import raw materials, parts, components, materials, packing, packaging and protection materials that are directly used for production and/or processing of goods either for subsequent exportation or importation for consumption. The imported goods are subject to a bond payment, however. Implementation of the RAF is formalised for each branch of industry through a regulation issued by the MEP. A pre-condition for this is a memorandum-agreement signed with the specific activity association or chamber, setting targets for production, employment and the use of locally manufactured components in the product being produced. As of 1 November 2008, specific regulations under the RAF had only been adopted for the automotive sector.

Samples brought into Argentina by a travelling representative are admitted free of duty if they have no commercial value. If the samples have value, a bond may be given for the amount of the duty which would be payable on such merchandise. Upon re-exportation of dutiable samples covered by bond, the amount paid is refunded. Importers of samples used in registered trade shows must obtain through the show organiser a duty and tax exemption for such items prior to arrival in Argentina. Samples sent by parcel post or in other ways are treated the same as any other commercial shipment and have the same documentary requirements.

Exchange Controls

Argentina does not impose any restrictions on the total amount of currency derived from trade operations that can be exported/imported to/from Argentina.

Importers may fully pay for imports (i) in advance, (ii) through sight payments or (iii) through delayed payments. Advance payment transactions require that the importation be fulfilled within 365 days after such payment is made while sight payment transactions require that the importation be fulfilled within 90 days. These deadlines can be extended to a maximum of 540 days in instances where the shipment is delayed for reasons outside the control of the importer. Any additional extensions must be authorised by the Central Bank. In addition, the Central Bank may authorise longer deadlines for advance payment transactions.

Foreign exchange earnings from goods exports must be cleared on the unified free foreign exchange market created in 2002, within a period that varies between 60 and 360 days from the shipment date, depending on the type of product. The exporter can arrange for longer deadlines with the importer when the exportation involves capital goods, technological goods and turn-key plants, provided this operation is performed either through the Mutual Credit Agreement of ALADI or is guaranteed by a foreign bank and the financing term of the FOB value of the exportation is not longer than six years from the shipment date.

The deadline for selling foreign exchange in the foreign exchange market can be extended for 120 business days in order to give the exporter additional time to arrange for the liquidation of the currency. In instances where the operation is unpaid by the buyer and the foreign exchange entering the country corresponds to the collection on an export credit insurance, the deadline can be extended from 120 days to 180 days.

Foreign exchange earnings from services exports must also be surrendered on the unified free foreign exchange market. The amount to be sold is 100% of the amount actually received, net of withholdings or discounts abroad made by the customer. In the case of services provided in Argentina to non-residents, 100% of any amount received in foreign exchange must be surrendered. Income in respect of services provided to non-residents must be sold within 135 working days from the date when it either was received abroad or in Argentina or credited in overseas accounts.

Decree 285/2003 imposed a registration requirement with Argentina’s Central Bank for inflows and outflows of foreign exchange and a 180-day minimum investment period. Decree 616/2005 extended the minimum time period to 365 days and expanded the registration requirement to include "all types of debt operations of residents that could imply a future foreign currency payment to non-residents". This decree requires that all foreign debt arrangements of private Argentine residents, with the exception of trade finance and initial public debt offerings that bring foreign exchange into the market, must include provisions to ensure that the debt is not repaid in less than 365 days.

Decree 616/2005 also imposed more restrictive controls on the following classes of inbound investments: inflows of foreign funds from private sector debt (excluding foreign trade and initial stock and bond issues); inflows for initial public offerings of Central Bank debt instruments; inflows for most fiduciary funds; inflows of non-resident funds that are destined for the holding of Argentine pesos or the purchase of private sector financial instruments (excluding foreign direct investment and the primary issuance of stocks and bonds); and investments in public sector securities purchased in the secondary market. These inflows are subject to three restrictions: (i) they may not be transferred out of the country for 365 days after their entry; (ii) proceeds from foreign exchange transactions involving these investments must be paid into an account in the local financial system; and (iii) 30% of the amount of such transactions must be deposited in a local financial entity for 365 days in a non-transferable account denominated in US dollars and paying no interest. This account may not be used as a guarantee or collateral in any credit operations.

 

 


[1] Argentina has relaxed the prohibition on imported used and retreaded tyres to allow the importation under certain conditions of remoulded tyres classified under NCM 4012.11, 4012.12, 4012.13 and 4012.19. Specifically, the total amount of remoulded tyre imports authorised by the government from any particular country may not exceed the total amount of used tyres (NCM 4012.20) of the same kind exported by Argentina to that country.

[1] For example, Argentina established temporary tariff-rate quotas on 22 August 2007 for imports of certain fertilisers from all sources. Specifically, a maximum of 300,000 tonnes of urea fertilisers classified under NCM 3102.10.10 and a maximum of 200,000 tonnes of urea/ammonium nitrate fertilisers classified under NCM 3102.80.00 were to be allowed duty-free entry into Argentina through 30 November 2007.

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