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Importing different products to Argentina does not have to be a complex or complicated issue if you have all the necessary information for this type of economic activity.
However, knowing in detail different aspects such as the Argentinean dollar rates considered by Customs for the procedures will be very useful to better estimate your costs.
What exchange rate is taken into account for imports? Is there any quota or restriction to import?
In this article we will clear all these doubts so that you can operate safely and without wasting time. Read carefully!
Who determines the price of the dollar to import?
You are probably wondering which entity regulates the price at which you can import products from abroad to Argentina. The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) is the regulating entity in charge of the dollar exchange rate and establishes its price both for buying and selling.
Many times and in order to support the exchange rate and add reserves, it is possible for the BCRA to buy international currencies.
It is important to note that with this practice the bank is not losing control of the money supply and the short-term interest rate, and therefore, it is not weakening its own impact on monetary policy.
For further information, please visit the BCRA’s official website: www.bcra.gob.ar
Benefits of the dollar for imports
The benefit you will obtain when importing by buying in dollars is that the value of the products is lower at the time of acquiring them.
Earlier we had talked about Banco Nación as a loyalty and reference entity in Argentina, but… What are the benefits it can give you?
- Access to a longer payment term agreed with the exporter.
- It allows to defer the payment of inputs and imported raw material until receiving the payment for the sale of different goods.
- Transparent interest rates.
- Interest bonds based on the risk rate.
Along with the dollar, it is important to emphasize that the Central Bank extended until June 30, 2021 the validity of the financing lines for productive investment of micro, small and medium-sized companies (MSMEs).
In this way, it seeks to encourage the import of goods to increase the productive export capacity of Argentine companies.
If you have come this far, you probably have doubts about how much it will cost to import.
Let me tell you that the exchange rate used is always the official one at the time of purchasing the product, which means that you will be buying at a lower price than usual.
Import taxes in Argentina will be charged once the purchase enters the country, since each of them has a different interest rate depending on what product we are talking about.
Transactions in foreign currency will then be converted at the “seller” exchange rate for imports, according to the quotation of the Banco de la Nación Argentina, which as we said is the reference banking entity, at the close of the day on which the purchase transaction takes place and in accordance with the rules and regulations in force at that time.
Dollar quotas for imports
The limits to purchase goods abroad from Argentina are currently set by the importers’ invoicing; based on their invoicing, they are allowed a certain economic and financial capacity to carry out commercial operations abroad.
If this amount is exceeded by the importing companies, they will not be approved by the SIMI (the Integral Import Monitoring System), which is a requirement to be able to import into Argentina.
Foreign exchange restrictions imposed by the Argentine Central Bank (BCRA)
Did you know that there is nothing to prevent you from importing products to Argentina?
There is only one aspect to consider, which may vary depending on the product you are buying:
Depending on the product, in the case of household appliances, you will have to wait 90 days or 1 year to import again.
What you will find are some “barriers” that will have to be negotiated with the entity that imposes them: the BCRA.
Economic Emergency Law
At the end of December 2019, the Argentine Government enacted a law aimed at addressing the situation of devaluation of the national currency, which is usually accompanied by capital flight.
In view of this, the State’s monetary reserves were depleted and it was left with no international payment capacity.
It is for this reason that the country has recurrently presented important complications at the time of paying its debt, contracting new international financing commitments or complying with international suppliers with respect to foreign trade.
Thus, the Economic Emergency Law of December 2019 has as a central point of interest to regulate the foreign exchange market, setting a 30% tax on the purchase orders of US dollars, called “PAÍS tax”.
Therefore, if you wish to purchase that currency in a bank or an exchange house, you will have to pay 30% more than the official value at the exchange rate in Argentine pesos, plus a 35% withholding tax for Profits.
During the current coronavirus pandemic, Emergency Laws were enacted, such as Decree No. 297/20 and Provision No. 80/20 where the DGA (Customs General Directorate) established by means of General Instruction No. 2/20, the importance of the product to be imported.
It was established that the customs service will prioritize the products or services declared as “essential”.
Below we will detail what these are:
- Products or services having to do with health, military, security, migration, meteorological service, firefighters and air traffic.
- Products or services related to graphics, radio and telecommunications.
- Products or services related to supermarkets, wholesalers, retailers and proximity stores.
- Public works.
- Industries and productive sectors of food and beverages, personal hygiene and cleaning, medical equipment, medicines, vaccines and other sanitary supplies.
- Products and services related to agricultural production, distribution and marketing activities, and fishing.
- Products and services related to telecommunications, such as digital services, fixed and mobile internet.
- Maintenance of basic services: water, electricity, gas, communications, etc. and emergency care.
- Products / services related to public transportation of goods such as oil, fuels and liquefied petroleum gas.
- Postal services and parcel distribution.
- Products / services related to: operation and maintenance of oil and gas fields, oil and gas treatment and/or refining plants, transportation and distribution of electric power, liquid fuels, fuel vending stations and electric power generators.
- Activities of S.E. Casa de Moneda, ATM services, transportation of cash and all those activities that the Banco Central de la República Argentina deems essential to guarantee the operation of the payment system.
- Industries that when generating an interruption in their activities cause structural damages in production lines and/or machinery authorized by the Secretariat of Industry, Knowledge Economy and External Commercial Management, in order not to discontinue their production.
- Biofuel products and services.
- Activities supported by the National Securities Commission.
- Products and services related to mining environmental protection.
- Tanneries, with minimum requirements, for the reception of leather coming from the cold storage activity.
It is also possible to find a second emerging law based on imports: the 0% import duty and exemption from the statistical rate for certain medical and sanitary supplies.
This law was approved in order to guarantee the population access to critical inputs within the framework of COVID-19, in which the National Executive Power through Decree Nº 333/20 allowed the import of products/services at 0% rate, such as: ethyl alcohol and gel, surface disinfectants for medical equipment and floors, surgical gloves, disposable caps, face masks, ultrasound scanners, clinical thermometers, among others.
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