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Argentina Provides Duty-Free Treatment to Computers, Tablets, Other Products

The Argentinean government has provided duty-free treatment to computers, tablets, printers, storage units, keyboards, mice and certain other items classified under a range of tariff lines within headings 8443, 8471, 8473, 8517, 8523, 8531, 8541, 8542 and 8543. Previously, these products faced most-favoured-nation duty rates as high as 35 percent. This action is being implemented in two phases, as summarised below.

  • Duties on goods classified under the following tariff lines were eliminated on 21 February 2017: 8443.31.11, 8443.31.13, 8443.31.19, 8443.31.91, 8443.32.23, 8443.32.29, 8443.32.31, 8443.32.33, 8443.32.39, 8443.32.51, 8443.32.59, 8443.32.99, 8471.60.52, 8471.60.53, 8471.60.54, 8471.60.59, 8471.60.61, 8471.60.62, 8471.60.90, 8471.70.11, 8471.70.12, 8471.70.19, 8471.70.21, 8471.70.29, 8471.70.32, 8471.70.33, 8471.70.39, 8471.70.90, 8471.80.00, 8471.90.11, 8471.90.12, 8471.90.13, 8471.90.14, 8471.90.19, 8471.90.90, 8473.30.11, 8473.30.19, 8473.30.31, 8473.30.39, 8473.30.41, 8473.30.42, 8473.30.49, 8473.30.99, 8473.50.10, 8473.50.50, 8473.50.90, 8517.62.77, 8523.51.10, 8523.59.10 (except for caravan, of the kind used for animal identification), 8531.20.00, 8541.30.21, 8541.30.29 (except for thyristors, for a current exceeding thee amps), 8541.40.16, 8541.40.22, 8541.40.29, 8542.33.19, 8542.33.90, 8542.39.39, 8542.39.99 and 8543.70.99 (only LED lamps other than for use in a motor vehicle).
  • Duties on goods classified under the following tariff lines will be eliminated on 31 March 2017: 8471.30.11, 8471.30.12, 8471.30.19, 8471.30.90, 8471.41.10, 8471.41.90, 8471.49.00, 8471.50.10, 8471.50.20, 8471.50.30, 8471.50.40 and 8471.50.90.

Trade Secretary Miguel Braun was recently quoted as saying that this action would result in a 50 percent decline in prices as well as an increase in the availability of higher-quality equipment. According to Mr. Braun, the goal of this duty reduction is to narrow the digital divide and double or triple sales of these products in Argentina, which is believed to be the country in the region with the highest prices.

Entrepreneurship and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise Secretary Mariano Mayer added that the measure will benefit some 800,000 SMEs and negatively impact six large domestic computer assemblers. The government will continue to purchase about 250,000 computers from domestic producers, however, to give them time to transform their respective business models. According to Mr. Braun, the government does not expect to eliminate the high duties currently in place on foreign cellular phones and certain other equipment that compete with products manufactured in the Tierra del Fuego region, an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, because the special development regime for that region will in place until 2023.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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