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Argentina Revamps Non-Automatic Import Licencing Regime

Argentina has established a new import licencing regime that will still require importers of a broad range of products to obtain an import licence prior to importation. According to press reports, however, the new regime includes simpler, more transparent and less burdensome administrative procedures aimed at ensuring a more expeditious import process, as well as more efficient monitoring and oversight mechanisms.

According to the new regulation, imports into Argentina must obtain an automatic import licence except for a range of items that will need to obtain a non-automatic licence. Automatic licences will be processed through the Integral Import Monitoring System (SIMI) after the importer provides certain information, including its name and tax identification number, the FOB value of the product, tariff classification, type and quantity, brand, model, version, state of the goods, country of origin and country of provenance.

Importers wishing to obtain a non-automatic import licence must be duly registered in the Ministry of Production Single Registry (R.U.M.P.), provide the aforementioned information, and provide within ten working days from the date the procedure was formalised and viewed certain additional information that may include, among other things, the name and address of the exporter and more detailed information on the goods to be imported as well as any applicable standards or certification requirements. In the case of covered travel goods and textile, apparel and footwear products (as well as certain other items), information must also be provided on the composition of the product. If the required information is not provided within ten working days, the request for the non-automatic import licence will be cancelled.

Argentinean authorities may require additional information or documentation from importers seeking a non-automatic import licence involving certain aspects of the operation and/or merchandise, such as corporate information, commercial or pro-forma invoices and more detailed information on the goods, and may also request relevant technical bodies to assist in the review process. The importer must provide any such additional information within ten working days from the date of the request. If only partial information is submitted, the importer will have an extra five working days to complete or rectify the information and/or documentation.

The FOB unit value of any goods subject to non-automatic licencing declared through SIMI may be as much as seven percent higher or lower than the actual value on the import declaration, while the declared quantity may be as much as seven percent higher and subject to no limitation if lower, compared to previous tolerances of five percent in value terms and four percent in quantity terms. Non-automatic import licences are valid for a period of 180 days from their date of issuance, unchanged from previous practice, although they may now be renewed once.

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