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Overview of Import Procedures

Chile

Last updated on 14 Feb 2020


Contents

Changes

Amendments as regards customs procedures and regulations, waste as well as trade-related news have been brought to the import documentation for Chile. Attention is drawn to the following changes:

Customs Procedures and Regulations

In accordance with Resolution No. 5233 of 12 November 2019, published by the Chilean National Customs Service (SNA), the chapter on Customs Procedures and Regulations in this overview has been amended with respect to the requirements for the submission of a Declaration of Customs Value. For more information on this matter, please see the quoted section.

Waste

As the so-called Ban Amendment (Decision III/1) on the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal came into force on 5 December 2019, details of said Amendment have been included into the paragraph on Waste further below. The Amendment, which had already been ratified by Chile in 2009, prohibits the exportation of hazardous waste from countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Union (EU) and Liechtenstein to other countries. Please refer to the mentioned chapter for particulars.

Other Changes

For current trade-related News, please turn to the following section.

News

On 2 November 2019, Law 21.179 was published in the Chilean Official Gazette. Said law establishes labelling requirements for milk and dairy products which will come into force on 3 August 2020. By way of example, the labelling of raw, reconstituted as well as recombined milk as natural milk will be prohibited. Moreover, it will become mandatory to indicate the type of milk and name of the species the milk proceeds from (if other than cows), amongst others, on milk bottles or containers of fluid milk and milk powders to be sold to the public.

General Information

  • Conventional long form of country name: Republic of Chile

  • ISO Country Code: CL

  • Population: 17.93 million (July 2018 est.)

  • Area: 756,102 sq km

  • Population density: 24 inhabitants per sq km

  • Capital: Santiago

  • Major ports: Coronel, Huasco, Lirquen, Puerto Ventanas, San Antonio, San Vicente, Valparaíso

  • Customs airports: Antofagasta (ANF), Arica (ARI), Balmaceda (BBA), Concepción (CCP), Coyhayque (GXQ), Iquique (IQQ), Osorno (ZOS), Puerto Montt (PMC), Punta Arenas (PUQ), Santiago (SCL), Valdivia (ZAL), Calama (CJC), Copiapó (CPO), La Serena (LSC), Temuco (ZCO)

  • Business languages: Spanish, English

  • Currency: 1 Chilean Peso = 100 Centavos

  • ISO Currency Code: CLP

Note

The tariff codes correspond to the current Chilean customs tariff based on the Harmonized System (HS) 2017; Chile applies the HS on the basis of the HS Convention (for further general information on the Harmonized System, please turn to the section thereon below).

International Agreements

Chile is a member of the following treaties and has signed the agreements listed below:

  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

  • Customs Convention on the A.T.A. Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods (A.T.A. Convention), please refer to the document Carnet A.T.A. for further details

  • Convention on the International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) (the procedure is currently not applicable)

  • International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS Convention)

  • Latin American Integration Association (ALADI)

  • Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

  • Pacific Alliance

  • World Customs Organization (WCO)

  • World Trade Organization (WTO).

Preferential Treatment

An Association Agreement, which includes a free trade agreement (FTA), exists between Chile and the European Union (EU). Chile has also concluded an FTA with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA, consisting of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Furthermore, it participates in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement, which entered into force for the ratifying parties, i.e. Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. The remaining countries, i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia and Peru, are yet to ratify this trade deal, which will enter into force 60 days after they ratify it. Chile also participates in a Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (Trans-Pacific SEP) agreement with Brunei Darussalam, New Zealand and Singapore. Moreover, Chile has signed an Economic Complementation Agreement with the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as an FTA with the Central American states Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (in the framework of a Central America-Chile FTA). Chile is also a member of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI, comprising Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela), which has the final aim to introduce a common Latin American market. Together with Colombia, Mexico and Peru, Chile forms the Pacific Alliance, a regional integration initiative which also comprises a free trade area. Moreover, Chile participates in the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).

Chile has concluded bilateral FTAs with the following countries: Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, the United States of America (USA), Uruguay and Vietnam. In addition, a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) exists between Chile and Indonesia.

Partial preferential agreements are in force with Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, India and Venezuela.

Goods which are originating products in the sense of these agreements may benefit from preferential treatment in Chile.

Export Controls

Besides the stipulations of the country of importation, export control provisions may have to be observed in international movements of goods and services. The subject of such provisions may be particular commodities, countries of (final) destination and legal or natural persons involved in the respective transactions. These persons may comprise, but are not limited to, the following legal entities or individuals:

  • exporters and consignors

  • importers and consignees

  • end users

  • freight forwarders and their agents

  • banks and financial institutions.

The listed entities may include governmental agencies in the country of (final) destination, too.

Countries may even partially or completely interdict external trade with another country. However, goods may also be exempt from such embargoes if exported for humanitarian or special reasons.

In general, the following types of merchandise (as well as related services and maintenance) are regulated in the framework of export control laws:

  • arms and ammunition

  • military equipment

  • designated explosive substances

  • strategic goods (e.g. encryption technology for communications equipment)

  • dual-use goods, i.e. commodities which may be used for military and civil purposes alike (including software and technologies)

  • goods which could be used for torture, capital punishment or similarly inhuman treatment.

In principle, the competent authorities of the exporting country regulate the scope of goods to be controlled upon their exportation and in respect of the parties and countries involved in the transactions. Following the examination of the relevant documentation, export authorisations may be issued. The export control authorities may also require documents from the respective bodies in the country of destination in order to control the goods and monitor their delivery chains. Such documents may comprise, e.g., international import certificates, end-user certificates or delivery verification certificates.

In addition, specific import requirements may apply to the abovementioned goods as well. Further information as regards control measures applicable in Chile may also be viewed in the section on Arms and Ammunition below.

As regards controls of dual-use goods in the framework of the European Union (EU), the basic legal stipulation is Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 of 5 May 2009, setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. The responsibility for the execution of the so-called Dual-Use Regulation lies, however, with the competent authorities of each individual Member State.

Exporters should be aware of the fact that they may be held legally responsible for respective foreign trade transactions, comprising all different aspects of transboundary movements of goods and services. This individual responsibility is usually not transferable to other persons. Advice should be sought from the competent authority in the exporting country.

Registration

For the purpose of business establishment in Chile, companies must be inscribed in the commercial register. Alternatively, companies may opt for a simplified procedure and apply for an inscription in the register of companies and corporations (RES) via the online platform at www.empresasenundia.cl administrated by the Ministry of Economy, Promotion and Tourism or via the website "Escritorio Empresa" accessible at www.escritorioempresa.cl, a new platform intended to gradually integrate various procedures of Chile. Afterwards, the company receives a provisional Unitary Taxpayers' Register (RUT) number in order to submit the declaration on the start of activities at the Internal Revenue Service (SII). For further information on the application for tax registration, please see the quoted document.

Customs Procedures and Regulations

The Chilean Customs Law differentiates between the following import-related customs procedures:

  • import for home consumption

  • temporary admission

  • particular warehousing

  • temporary admission for active processing

  • re-import

  • deposit

  • transit

  • re-embarkment

  • re-destination.

Prior to the arrival of a consignment in Chile, carriers of air and sea freight or their agents must present the respective customs office of entry with a Manifest.

Goods intended for free circulation, warehousing or any other customs treatment purposes are subject to official clearance by the customs authorities, for which a Customs Import Declaration is to be handed in. A Commercial Invoice as well as the respective freight document, i.e. a Bill of Lading in the case of ships and an Air Waybill in the case of air freight, are to be submitted in addition to the Customs Import Declaration. If the value of the insurance is not indicated separately in the Commercial Invoice, an Insurance Certificate and/or an insurance policy must be submitted as well. A Packing List is required if the goods are shipped in containers. If no list is available, it may be substituted by a sworn declaration of the consignee informing on the commodities contained in the packages. Moreover, in the case that the Commercial Invoice already contains the information usually stated in the Packing List, said invoice may substitute the Packing List for containerised goods. In case of consignments equal to or exceeding the CIF value of 50,000 USD, a Declaration of Customs Value may be required to be filed to the Chilean customs authorities after clearance of the goods. Further documents, e.g. a proof of origin, such as a Certificate of Non-Preferential Origin, or a notice of receipt, may be required as well. Depending on the nature of the goods, additional documents, e.g. import licences, permits and/or certificates from the respective responsible authorities, may be mandatory. For further information, please refer to the quoted documents of this section and turn to the chapters on specific commodities in this overview.

The appointment of a customs agent for customs-related transactions is mandatory for all commercial transactions with a FOB value of 1,000 USD and more. This also applies if the Manifest is assigned to more than one freight document for the same consignee and the total amount is more than 1,000 USD. Importations with a FOB value of less than 1,000 USD may be declared by the importer with a simplified import declaration. In general, only residents may act as importers in Chile.

Goods entering the customs territory must be transferred into a customs warehouse within 24 hours of their unloading. The maximum storage time in these warehouses is 90 days. It may be prolonged upon application at the customs authority.

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Programme

By virtue of Resolution No. 246 of 12 January 2018, the National Customs Service (SNA) has implemented the authorised economic operator (AEO) scheme in Chile, which provides for the accreditation and privileged treatment of law-abiding and reliable economic operators. It is based on the Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework) of the World Customs Organization (WCO). Economic operators, e.g. importers, may thus apply voluntarily for the certification as an AEO.

There are two phases during the certification process: An evaluation of the documents and verification of the level of customs compliance as well as verification visits. As a prerequisite to obtain the status as AEO, the operator must meet a number of requirements, e.g. be a natural or legal person resident or established in Chile and prove that he has not been sanctioned with the revocation of the AEO's certification during the preceding three years. Moreover, the company or the legal representatives, partners, directors and managers, as applicable, must not have been declared insolvent or bankrupt during the preceding three years and they must not have been involved in or sentenced for economic, customs or fiscal crime during the period of time mentioned previously. In addition to these requirements, the operator must fulfil further conditions, e.g. have a risk and analysis management system.

The benefits are, amongst others, preferential inspection of the goods in their facilities, priority use of non-invasive technology for the goods' audit, priority attention for the customs clearance and use of the certification for advertising purposes.

Customs Value

The customs value of imported goods is the transaction value, which is the price paid or payable for the goods when imported into the customs territory of Chile. Rules on determining the customs value are applied according to the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII (Customs Valuation) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994.

If the customs value cannot be determined on the basis of the transaction value, the following values are to be applied successively as a basis for its calculation:

  • the transaction value of identical imported goods

  • the transaction value of similar imported goods

  • the deductive value

  • the computed value

  • the value deduced by way of an appropriate fall-back method.

Temporary Admission

In Chile there are two types of customs procedures for temporary admission: temporary admission and temporary admission for inward processing.

For temporary admission, a fee must be paid, which is determined as a percentage of the total amount of the customs duties and taxes which would be paid for importing the goods. Certain goods are exempted from these fees, e.g. goods for exhibitions promoted by the government, clothes, vehicles, musical instruments as well as animals for public theatre performances or circuses. The goods must be re-exported within a specific period of time, which depends on the type of goods.

In case of the customs procedure for temporary admission for inward processing, final products, half-finished products, primary products and pieces may be imported to be transformed, assembled, integrated, processed or subjected to another production process. To do so, it is necessary to get a previous authorisation from the Ministry of Finance. The period of time for said products to be re-exported is up to two years and may be extended for one further year.

Warehousing

In addition to the customs warehouses mentioned above, goods imported into Chile may be placed under the particular warehousing customs procedure and consequently taken to private warehouses for up to 90 days. This customs procedure is only applicable to shipments of goods with a customs value of at least 10,000 USD. This minimum amount is not applicable to goods which may not be stored in a customs facility due to the condition of the goods, e.g. inflammable, toxic, explosive or other hazardous substances. Moreover, the customs procedure is not applicable to goods headed under the customs tariff numbers 0301-0304, 0306, 0307, 0401, 1101, 1506-1517, and of the chapters 2, 6 and 8 of the Customs Tariff Code. Please note that particular warehousing will be permitted for the necessary period if the mentioned goods are subject to quarantine requirements.

Free Trade Zones

There are two free trade zones in Chile:

  • ZOFRI in Northern Chile, Iquique's Free Zone, administrated by Zona Franca de Iquique S.A., Edificio Convenciones, Recinto Amurallado ZOFRI, CL-Iquique, phone number: +56 57 515100, fax number: +56 57 515670

  • ZonAustral in Southern Chile, Punta Arenas' Free Zone, administrated by Sociedad de Rentas Inmobiliarias Ltda., Avenida Bulnes Km 3,5 Norte, CL-Punta Arenas, phone numbers: +56 61 2362000, 2362025, fax number: +56 61 2362026.

Companies operating in these zones benefit from several tax and customs incentives. All types of commodities may be imported into a free trade zone, whether included in the list of prohibited imports or not, except arms and parts thereof, ammunition and other goods infringing on moral, health, animal and plant health or national security. The goods may be stored, processed, finished, packaged, labelled or marketed without restrictions, amongst other activities. They may be returned or exported to other countries or imported into Chile in accordance with the respective legislation. In case of products which are elaborated or manufactured in a free trade zone, import duties and taxes are only payable for parts and pieces originating in a foreign country.

Prohibited Goods

Certain goods are prohibited from being imported into Chile. These include, amongst others, the following commodities:

  • products elaborated on the basis of meat and fats of bovine or porcine origin which contain starchy substances (except canned meat, which may contain up to 5%)

  • used vehicles, motorcycles and tyres (for the exemptions from this prohibition, please see the section on Motor Vehicles)

  • asbestos

  • pornographic material

  • certain pesticides for agricultural use

  • toys and articles for childrens' use containing toluene above a stipulated limit (please see the chapter on Toys and Articles for Children for further details)

  • adhesives manufactured on the basis of volatile solvents

  • hazardous waste intended for disposal (more information may be obtained form the section on Waste below)

  • certain ozone-depleting substances (ODS), e.g. chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and ODS from non-members of the Montreal Protocol (please turn to the section on Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) for further details).

Please note that the Chilean Government may impose further import prohibitions. Particular goods may, e.g., be temporarily prohibited from being imported if they pose a risk to human or animal health or to the national environment or if they originate in certain countries.

For further details, the National Customs Service may be contacted as follows: National Customs Service = Servicio Nacional de Aduanas (SNA), Plaza Sotomayor 60, Casilla 1720, CL-Valparaíso, phone numbers: +56 32 2134500, 2134505. Please see also the document entitled Prohibited Imports, which contains the scope of banned goods.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures and General Importability of Goods Subject Thereto

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures may be applied within the territory of a country to protect the life and health of its population, fauna and flora from one or more of the following risks:

  • diseases carried by animals

  • plant pests (e.g. insects, bacteria, viruses)

  • toxins or disease-causing organisms in foods, beverages or feedstuffs

  • additives

  • contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, residues of pesticides or veterinary drugs, extraneous matter).

SPS measures may be included in the relevant laws, decrees, regulations, requirements and procedures of a country or an economic community.

The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization (WTO), also referred to as SPS Agreement, sets out the rules that the WTO member states are obliged to follow when they implement SPS measures governing food and feed safety, animal health and plant health. Said Agreement applies to all SPS measures which may, directly or indirectly, affect international trade. Every WTO member has the right to take respective measures to pursue the abovementioned protection goals. Under the WTO rules, countries are allowed to set their own standards, but their regulations are required to be based on scientific evidence and international standards, i.e. the imposed measures must be transparent and comprehensible. WTO members are to notify the content of a proposed sanitary or phytosanitary regulation, whether new or not substantially the same as the content of an international standard, guideline or recommendation, and the covered products to the WTO in advance.

International organisations working towards an international harmonisation of SPS measures include the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE, former Office International des Epizooties, for animal health), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC, for plant health) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (a joint Commission of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), for food safety). In addition, the SPS Agreement offers technical assistance to developing countries with regard to capacity building and programmes concerning food safety, animal and plant health.

SPS measures must be in proportion to the potential risk involved and must be equally applied to national and imported goods. These measures may take various forms, such as requiring products to come from disease-free areas, specific treatment or processing of products, prescribing an inspection of products, quarantine regulations, setting the allowable maximum levels for pesticide residues, or permitting the use of only certain additives in food.

For any merchandise potentially bearing SPS risks, comprehensive risk assessment measures usually apply in order to ascertain whether the good is importable or not. This holds true in particular for animal or plant species or products which have previously not been traded between two countries. In the course of establishing the health standards to be met for a certain good, specific conditions under which the particular item will be importable are usually defined, e.g. the mandatory fumigation treatment of designated plant produce or the vaccination of particular animal species against their characteristic diseases. Such terms are then reflected in the respective health certificate (i.e. those certificates mentioned in the chapters on animals, plants and products thereof in this overview).

Live Animals and Animal Products

Imports of animals and animal products, including veterinary medicines, are subject to a pre-listing procedure conducted by the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) of the Ministry of Agriculture. As such, both the country of export as well as the respective manufacturing/exporting establishment must be officially approved by the SAG in order to import goods into Chile. Whereas the approval of an establishment normally entails an on-site inspection of the company's premises, manufacturers of so-called industrialised animal products, i.e. products which are deemed to pose no health risks, may be assessed based on the submission of a documentary file (monograph) attesting to the quality control of the production process.

Upon arrival in Chile, live animals are subject to quarantine, the period and place of which is stipulated by the SAG and for which the importer is to apply for beforehand. Consignments of animals and animal products are further subject to a general inspection and must be accompanied by a respective health certificate from the competent authority in the country of export, unless otherwise stipulated under national regulations. Moreover, in accordance with Decree No. 510 of 2016, animals and animal products may only be imported via certain customs offices, which may be consulted in said Decree.

In order to initiate the inspection and the subsequent final customs release of the goods in question, the importer must submit a Warehousing Certificate for Agricultural and Livestock Products in which the authorised storage place for the goods, the route and transport conditions are stated. Such a certificate is also required for the import of veterinary medicines and prime materials, which must be registered prior to their arrival in Chile. For further information, please refer to the documents listed below:

  • Application for Quarantine Space

  • Approval of Manufacturers/Exporters of Animals and Animal Products

  • Assessment of the Production Process of Industrialised Animal Products

  • Registration of Veterinary Medicines

  • Veterinary Health Certificate for Animal Products

  • Veterinary Health Certificate for Live Animals

  • Warehousing Certificate for Agricultural and Livestock Products.

Importers should note that specific protective measures may apply to the importation of certain live animals and animal products, e.g. as a consequence of the outbreak of contagious diseases. For further information on the animal health status of the countries of origin and exportation, the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS), a service provided by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), may be consulted. It is also advisable to contact the importer for the current status of possible import prohibitions.

With regard to issues concerning Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, amongst others (please also refer to the same-named section above), the authority responsible for veterinary controls of live animals and animal products in Chile may be contacted as follows: Agriculture and Livestock Service, Livestock Protection Division = Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (SAG), División de Protección Pecuaria, Avenida Presidente Bulnes 140, CL-8350723 Santiago de Chile, phone number: +56 2 23451111.

For the importation of live hydrobiological species (e.g. fish) and fishery products, import permits are to be obtained from the Chilean National Service for Fishery and Aquaculture (SERNAPESCA). Please see the following documents for details:

  • Permit to Import Fish Products

  • Permit to Import Live Hydrobiological Species.

With regard to species covered by CITES, please see the section on Endangered Species below.

Plants and Plant Products

The import of plants and plant products is controlled by means of phytosanitary requirements set by the responsible authority, i.e. the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) under the Ministry of Agriculture, for the respective product/product group according to the country of origin. Phytosanitary requirements are published in the form of official resolutions and posted on the SAG's website, where they may be consulted prior to the intended import transaction. In case no official requirements have been set, importers must apply for an Import Authorisation for Controlled Plants and Plant Products. This way, a pest risk analysis (PRA) may be initiated, which will either result in correspondingly established phytosanitary requirements or the refusal of import due to high pest risk. Depending on the potential pest risk, the SAG may require exporting establishments to become officially approved by means of on-site inspections of the company's premises on the part of SAG officials or employees of the responsible health authority in the country of origin.

Since July 2012, the SAG has introduced four official categories into which plants and plant products are placed according to their likelihood of carrying and introducing pests and diseases and to their intended use: As such, categories 1 and 2 both refer to processed plant products, distinguishing between those which are not deemed to be infested with pests (category 1) and those which are deemed to be (category 2). The other two categories refer to unprocessed plants: while category 4 includes those intended for propagation, category 3 excludes these cases and, instead, includes, e.g., plants for consumption or processing in Chile.

Depending on the category, different requirements exist. That is, plants and plant products of the categories 2, 3 and 4 are to be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of export and must comply with the phytosanitary requirements which have been set by the SAG in the corresponding resolutions. Plant products of category 1 are exempt from the presentation of a Phytosanitary Certificate. Plants and plant products of categories 2, 3 and 4 are furthermore subject to the above-mentioned PRA if no official requirements have previously been set, while products of category 1 do not require a PRA. It is moreover noteworthy that it is up to the SAG's discretion to decide on the correct categorisation of the plant products.

Furthermore, consignments of plants and plant products are subject to the issue of a warehousing certificate in order to be transported into an authorised warehouse after their arrival in the country. Certain processed goods are exempt from the requirement of a warehousing certificate, e.g. canned or cooked fruit, vegetables and grain. Goods subject to phytosanitary control will be inspected upon arrival. Depending on the phytosanitary risk category of the product, inspections may range from documentary controls to physical examinations and to sample-taking and analysis procedures. Fruit, forest, ornamental and vegetable species intended for propagation are subject to post-entry quarantine, i.e. a phytosanitary verification under official containment conditions, in order to prove that they are free from controlled pests and to issue the definitive import authorisation. The SAG differentiates between five types of quarantine, which are applied according to the type of plant material. Moreover, in accordance with Decree No. 510 of 2016, plants and plant products may only be imported via certain customs offices, which may be consulted in said Decree.

For more details of the requirements, please refer to the following documents:

  • Import Authorisation for Controlled Plants and Plant Products

  • Phytosanitary Certificate

  • Warehousing Certificate for Agricultural and Livestock Products.

In case of seeds and seedlings, additional procedures must be adhered to. Please see the section on Seeds below for further details.

With regard to species covered by CITES, please see the section on Endangered Species below.

The authority responsible for phytosanitary control in Chile may be contacted as follows, inter alia concerning issues of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures (please also turn to the same-named section above): Agriculture and Livestock Service, Agricultural and Forest Protection Division = Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (SAG), División Protección Agrícola y Forestal, Avenida Presidente Bulnes 140, Piso 3, CL-8350723 Santiago de Chile, phone number: +56 2 23451111.

Seeds

Besides the import requirements for Plants and Plant Products in general, which are presented in the quoted chapter, specific additional stipulations apply to seeds and seedlings. In order to be marketed in Chile, seeds and seedlings of agricultural, fruit or vine varieties (except vegetable varieties) must be entered into the List of Officially Described Varieties (LVOD), which is administrated by the SAG. This list contains all varieties entered in the Register of Protected Varieties (RVP) and in the Register of Varieties Suitable for Certification (RVAC) as well as the varieties which are not inscribed in these registers and which have therefore been included in the list upon application for an Inscription in the List of Officially Described Varieties.

Seed varieties may be imported in commercial quantities into Chile if they are inscribed in the RVAC. In order to prove that the seeds to be imported belong to a variety which is registered in the RVAC, the importer must submit one of the following documents bearing the name of the variety: a label or certificate issued by a certification institution in the country of origin (if the variety is certified) or labels, invoices or other documents of the owning company or of its authorised producers or distributors (if the variety is not certified in the country of origin). Moreover, seeds to be imported must generally comply with the plant health norms and the germination and purity requirements established in Chile. Seed varieties which are not registered in the RVAC may only be imported in commercial quantities if they have been approved, i.e. produced and marketed habitually, in Chile. In this case, the identification of the seed variety will be verified by means of cards or invoices of the exporting company which bear the name of the variety.

As regards the RVP, Law No. 19342 of 1994 and its Regulation provide for the possibility to obtain the breeder's rights for a new variety, i.e. the exclusive authorisation to produce propagation material of the variety in question and to sell, offer, commercialise, import and export this material. This registration is voluntary and may be applied for at the Seeds Division of the SAG.

Moreover, consignments of seeds may be required to be accompanied by a Seed Testing Certificate, which certifies the degree of purity of seeds to be imported.

In case of living modified plant propagation organisms, i.e. living biological entities which are able to transfer or replicate genetic material, including sterile organisms, viruses and viroids, and which possess a new combination of genetic material obtained by means of modern biotechnology, a specific import authorisation must be applied for at the SAG.

For further information on the mentioned procedures, please refer to the following documents:

For the labelling requirements for seeds, please see the section on Packaging, Marking and Labelling Requirements.

Endangered Species

Consignments containing endangered species of plant or animal origin as well as products thereof subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) require a corresponding import permit issued by the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG). For endangered marine species, a permit from the National Service for Fishery and Aquaculture (SERNAPESCA) is necessary. Please refer to the following documents for further information:

  • Permit to Import Endangered Species of Marine Fauna Subject to the Washington Convention (CITES)

  • Permit to Import Endangered Species Subject to the Washington Convention (CITES).

Foodstuffs and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Importations of foodstuffs are to be accompanied by a warehouse certificate from the Institute of Public Health (ISP) in order to be transported to an appropriate warehouse, which has previously been approved for this purpose by the same authority. A Free Sale Certificate may also be required. After the transport of the goods to the warehouse, a licence must be obtained from said authority in order to be allowed to dispose of and trade in the respective products. Please see the following documents for more details:

  • Free Sale Certificate

  • Licence for Dealing in Foodstuffs, Chemicals and Radioactive Substances

  • Warehousing Certificate for Foodstuffs, Chemicals and Radioactive Substances.

In case of non-alcoholic natural or artificial, energising or hypertonic beverages, syrup, or any similar products as well as mineral or thermal waters enriched with colourants, flavours or sweeteners which have a high content of sugar (i.e. more than 15 g per 240 ml or equivalent portion), a sworn notarial declaration on the nutritional composition of the beverages signed by the importer must be submitted for customs clearance. Moreover, in case of such high content of sugar, it must be indicated in the Customs Import Declaration.

For specific stipulations concerning alcoholic beverages, please see the following section.

Additionally, certain foodstuffs are banned from importation. The chapter on Prohibited Goods may be consulted for further details. For particulars on the labelling requirements of foodstuffs, please turn to the relevant section below.

Alcoholic Beverages

All natural and legal persons dealing in ethyl alcohol and alcoholic beverages must officially notify the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) of the commencement of their activities in order to be entered into the register of producers, packers, traders, importers and exporters of ethyl alcohol and alcoholic beverages. For further information, please refer to the document Registration of Importers of Alcoholic Beverages. For the purchase of ethyl alcohol, an according credential must be obtained from the SAG. Alcoholic beverages are furthermore to be registered with the SAG (please refer to the document entitled Registration of Alcoholic Beverages for more details). Moreover, imported alcoholic beverages are subject to an inspection by the SAG upon arrival in Chile, which is to be applied for by the importer. The dealing in certain alcoholic products is subject to the submission of regular statements.

In addition, there are particular labelling requirements for alcohol and alcoholic beverages in Chile; please turn to the relevant paragraph below.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international agreement which aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology which may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health. The Protocol differentiates between five risk classes ranging from no-risk to high-risk GMOs, which are defined in the respective lists. Chile is not a member of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Non-parties to the Protocol may nevertheless impose measures for the importation, placement on the market and use of GMOs. For member states, a facilitated procedure may be available in the form of an advanced informed agreement (AIA) on designated products.

In the scope of the Cartagena Protocol, the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) is a platform for the exchange of scientific, technical, environmental and legal information on, and experience with, modified organisms. It also assists parties to implement the Protocol and has local branches in various countries. Further information may be obtained from the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH), 413, St. Jacques Street, Suite 800, CA-Montreal, Quebec, H2Y1N9, phone number: +1 514 2882220, fax number: +1 514 2886588.

The national BCH in Chile is the Division of Natural Resources and Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment = División de Recursos Naturales y Biodiversidad, Ministerio del Medio Ambiente (MMA), San Martín 73, CL-Santiago de Chile, phone numbers: +56 2 25735600, 25735664.

Pharmaceutical and Sanitary Products

The importation of both new pharmaceutical products and similar pharmaceutical products as well as cosmetic products is subject to a registration with the Institute of Public Health (ISP). The same authority is also in charge of registrations of pesticides for domestic and sanitary use (please note that pesticides for agricultural purposes are controlled by the Agriculture and Livestock Service, SAG; turn to the section on Pesticides and Fertilisers for further details). The trade in pharmaceuticals, similar products as well as pesticides is subject to a Licence for Dealing in Goods Controlled by the Ministry of Health. A warehousing certificate must be obtained for the actual importation and customs release of the goods. For more information on the corresponding procedures, please see the following documents:

  • Licence for Dealing in Goods Controlled by the Ministry of Health

  • Registration of Cosmetic Products

  • Registration of Importers of Certain Cosmetic Products

  • Registration of New Pharmaceutical Products

  • Registration of Pesticides for Sanitary and Domestic Use

  • Registration of Similar Pharmaceutical Products

  • Warehousing Certificate for Goods Controlled by the Ministry of Health.

The online application system GICONA of the ISP enables the electronic application for some of the abovementioned procedures. In order to make use of the system, a prior Registration in the GICONA System is necessary.

The section on Packaging, Marking and Labelling Requirements contains stipulations on the product labels of cosmetic products as well as of pesticides for domestic use.

Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances

The trade in and use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as their precursors are subject to an authorisation by the Institute of Public Health (ISP). Importers, e.g. companies and other establishments related to the health sector, must apply for an authorisation to import these products and substances at the mentioned authority. For the purpose of customs clearance, the customs authority requires a warehouse certificate issued by the respective health authority which details the authorised warehouse facility as well as the transport route and conditions for transporting the substances from the customs office to the indicated warehouse. In order to obtain this certificate, an application accompanied by, inter alia, a proof of analysis must be submitted to the authority. After the substances have been transported to the warehouse, a licence is to be applied for in order to use and dispose of the imported products. For further details, please refer to the following documents:

  • Certificate of Analysis

  • Import Certificate for Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances

  • Licence to Use Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances

  • Warehousing Certificate for Goods Controlled by the Ministry of Health.

The online application system GICONA of the ISP enables the electronic application for some of the abovementioned procedures. In order to make use of the system, a prior Registration in the GICONA System is necessary.

Medical Devices

Medical devices are regulated by the Institute of Public Health (ISP) by means of different decrees. Accordingly, only those devices conforming to prescribed standards may be sold in Chile.

Particular prerequisites exist for the importation of devices which are deemed to be under mandatory control; these are at the moment: examination gloves, surgical gloves, condoms, sterile needles and syringes for single use. These products must mandatorily be registered with the ISP. The product registration number must consequently be shown on the product or its packaging.

For the purpose of a better surveillance, the above-mentioned products and, in addition, medical devices other than those deemed to be under mandatory control, require a warehousing certificate, which must have been obtained before the Customs Import Declaration is submitted. Afterwards, a licence is to be obtained for the use and distribution of medical devices in Chile. On the basis of this, the products' conformity with prescribed standards is to be evaluated by a certification body authorised by the ISP. If compliant, the certification is valid for the whole batch which has been subjected to inspection.

The ISP also recommends the inscription of importers for purposes of monitoring the distribution of goods on the national market, which is, however, a voluntary procedure.

For further information, please refer to the following documents:

  • Licence for Dealing in Medical Devices

  • Registration of Medical Devices

  • Registration of Importers of Medical Devices

  • Warehousing Certificate for Goods Controlled by the Ministry of Health.

Controlled Chemical Substances

Regarding the importation of controlled chemical substances and substances for their production, Chile has adopted the regulations of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Import permits for the goods covered by the CWC are to be obtained from the Ministry of National Defence. For more information, please see the documents:

  • End Use Certificate

  • Permit to Import Controlled Chemical Substances

  • Registration of Importers of Controlled Chemical Substances.

Chile is a member of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, commonly known as the Rotterdam Convention. This Convention undertakes to ensure that exports of designated chemical substances may only take place with the consent of the importing party. By means of the prior informed consent (PIC) procedure, information is gathered and disseminated as to whether an importing party wishes to receive future shipments of a certain chemical and to ensure the compliance with that decision by the exporting party. The treaty further requires all parties to notify the Convention Secretariat about any national legal changes with regard to a ban or a severe restriction of a chemical. In terms of the actual shipment of a product, information about the characteristics of the chemical must be provided, labelling requirements adhered to and stipulations such as the indication of the HS Code in the shipping documents met, thus guaranteeing the sound handling of such substance.

In case a company is seeking to export chemicals which are covered by the Convention (i.e. the pesticides and industrial chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention) or which are subject to national regulatory action (i.e. bans or severe restrictions in the importing country's own territory), an export notification must be sent to the Designated National Authority (DNA) of the importing country nominated to this effect in order to obtain prior consent. For further information, please refer to the document Export Notification for Goods Coming under the Rotterdam Convention. A number of agricultural and industrial chemicals listed in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention has been added to the list of prohibited imports. For more information, refer to the document entitled Prohibited Imports and refer also to the section on Prohibited Goods.

In addition to the Rotterdam Convention, Chile is also party to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (also referred to as the POP Convention), a treaty designed to curb and eventually abolish the production, use and trade of toxic, long-lasting chemicals by requiring its signatories to take measures to eliminate or restrict the production and use of POPs and to minimise any possible unintentional releases of such substances into the environment. Exemptions, i.e. the continued use and/or production of one or more chemicals covered by the treaty for a certain period of time, may be applied for by the member states. Furthermore, amendments to the treaty (lastly done so in 2009 with the addition of nine more chemicals to the original list of twelve chemicals) are subject to the approval and ratification of each signatory state, thereby allowing the country time to implement the measures required to adhere to the new stipulations. As a consequence, imports and exports of the chemicals covered by the Stockholm Convention may be subject to prohibitions or severe restrictions. Importers are also advised to contact the responsible authority for issues of nature protection, i.e. the Official Contact Point (OCP), which is the Directorate for the Environment and Oceanic Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs = Dirección de Medio Ambiente y Asuntos Oceánicos, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Teatinos 180, CL-Santiago de Chile, phone numbers: +56 2 8274375, 8274373, 8274394, 8274383, 8275096, fax numbers: +56 2 3801759, 3801655.

On 27 August 2018, Chile ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The Convention intends to ensure that exports of mercury may only take place with the prior consent of the importing country and for the purpose of environmentally sound interim storage or an allowed use. Such consent must also be sought in the case of export transactions from a member state to any country which is not a party of the Convention. Forms for the provision of written consent by a party or a non-party to the import of mercury are both made available by the Convention in different languages.

In addition, the phase-out of mercury-added products has been agreed upon. Therefore, by 2020, Chile will ban of the production, exportation and importation of numerous mercury-containing products, e.g. dry cell batteries, switches and relays, certain types of fluorescent lamps, cosmetics, pesticides as well as designated non-electronic measuring devices (e.g. thermometers and blood pressure monitors). Parties may apply for the registration of exemptions from the stipulated phase-out dates for one or more products or processes listed in Annex A or B of the Convention if their use or import is deemed essential. Unless a shorter period is indicated in the respective register by a party, exemptions usually expire five years after the relevant phase-out date and may be extended only once per product upon request.

Pesticides and Fertilisers

Importers of both pesticides and fertilisers must notify the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) of the commencement of their respective activities and must state the location of the company involved in such activities (for details with regard to pesticides for domestic use, please turn to the section on Pharmaceutical and Sanitary Products above).

Prior to their import and distribution in Chile, pesticides for agricultural purposes require an authorisation from the SAG. The application must be accompanied by a comprehensive documentation including a Material Safety Data Sheet, a Certificate of Analysis and a Free Sale Certificate from the country of origin. In addition to the obtainment of such a product authorisation, importers must apply for an import permit at the SAG office nearest to the respective customs point of entry. For this, a warehousing certificate for agricultural products, an inspection form, a Certificate of Analysis as well as the according Commercial Invoice, Manifest and freight documents are to be submitted. The products may be subject to sample-taking and analysis.

Importers of fertilisers must likewise apply for an import permit at the SAG office nearest to the customs office of entry, submitting documentation similar to that indicated above. Each consignment is further subject to documentary as well as physical inspection, e.g. sample-taking, conducted by SAG officials; products which are accompanied by a Certificate of Analysis may be exempt from such laboratory analyses. Moreover, in accordance with Decree No. 510 of 2016, pesticides and fertilisers may only be imported via certain customs offices, which may be consulted in said Decree.

For further details of the procedures, please refer to the following documents:

  • Authorisation of Pesticides for Agricultural Use

  • Certificate of Analysis

  • Free Sale Certificate

  • Material Safety Data Sheet

  • Notification of Activities with Pesticides and/or Fertilisers

  • Warehousing Certificate for Agricultural and Livestock Products.

Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS)

Chile is party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. In accordance with the provisions made under this Protocol, regulated substances may only be imported into Chile for reasons of recuperation, recycling or regeneration. Furthermore, the Free Resolution No. 5630 of 2007 stipulates that importers of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) must have been entered in the register of importers and exporters of ODS, which is maintained by the Subdepartment for General Norms of the Technical Division of the National Customs Service (SNA).

In addition, the Chilean government applies a quota system, stipulating the total amount of ODS which is allowed to be entered into Chile each year. Registered importers must apply yearly for an allocation of a quota of this allowed total amount. This quota system is in accordance with the phase-out system for ODS along the provisions of the Montreal Protocol. Specific record-keeping and reporting requirements must also be adhered to. Importers are to inform the Ministry of Environment (MMA) via the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (Registro de Emisiones y Transferencias de Contaminantes) about specific details of the products to be imported, e.g. the trade mark and model.

Further information on the prescribed procedures may be found in the following documents:

  • Registration of Importers of Ozone-Depleting Substances

  • Quota Allocation for the Importation of Ozone-Depleting Substances.

Radioactive Substances

In order to import radioactive substances into Chile, importers must apply for authorisation at the Chilean Commission for Nuclear Energy (CCHEN). Additionally, to deal in imported radioactive substances, a licence must be obtained from the Institute of Public Health (ISP). Importations of radioactive substances are also to be accompanied by a warehouse certificate from the ISP in order to be transported to an appropriate warehouse, which has previously been approved for this purpose by the same authority.

Furthermore, the CCHEN is to be notified before and upon the arrival of the goods.

The following documents may be consulted for more details:

  • Authorisation to Import Radioactive Substances

  • Licence for Dealing in Foodstuffs, Chemicals and Radioactive Substances

  • Warehousing Certificate for Foodstuffs, Chemicals and Radioactive Substances

  • Notification of Radioactive Substances.

Motor Vehicles

In order to be imported and marketed in Chile, light and medium vehicles must undergo a type approval at the Centre for Vehicle Control and Certification of the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunication, which may be applied for electronically via the Ministry's electronic system for procedures (SISTRA). A similar procedure applies to motorcycles. For further details, please refer to the following documents:

  • Type Approval for Motorcycles

  • Type Approval for Motor Vehicles.

The importation of used vehicles, motorcycles and tyres is generally prohibited. However, certain vehicles with special functions are exempt from this import ban, e.g. ambulances, wrecking cars and snowplow vehicles. Moreover, the import prohibition does not apply to used vehicles with more than 18 seats having electrical traction (commonly called trolley buses). Furthermore, used antique or historic vehicles of an age of 50 years or more are not banned from importation. For the purpose of their customs clearance, a certificate issued by the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunication must be presented which proves that the vehicle is duly conserved or refurbished as regards its original condition. This certification may also be issued by a private institution aiming at the conservation of antique or historic vehicles.

Arms and Ammunition

Imports of arms and ammunition are monitored by the General Directorate for National Mobilisation (DGMN). To begin with, importers of arms and ammunition must register with the DGMN as importers and, at the same time, enrol in the respective DGMN register as a dealer or habitual user of the products in question. The registration is to be requested prior to or together with the application for an import authorisation at the DGMN, which authorises the import of defined quantities of arms and/or ammunition for the period of one year. The importer must furthermore apply for the authorisation of each single importation of these goods by said authority. For further details, please refer to the following documents:

  • Authorisation to Import Arms and Ammunition

  • Authorisation to Introduce Arms and Ammunition

  • Registration of Importers of Arms and Ammunition.

Toys and Articles for Children

The importation of toys and articles for children containing toluene above a stipulated limit into Chile is prohibited. Importers of toys must obtain a certificate in the country of manufacture, certifying that toys to be imported contain less than 170 mg of toluene per kilogramme measured with the head space method. For more details, please see the document entitled:

  • Declaration on Toluene Contents.

Standardisation

Chile aims at compliance with international standards under the guidelines of the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade. The competent authority for the development, administration and surveillance of Chilean standards is the National Standards Institute (INN). The INN is in charge of Chilean standards but is not authorised to issue certificates of conformity. The certification process must be performed by accredited certification bodies, authorised by the competent Chilean authority for the respective product. For example, electrical and fuel products have to be certified by a certification institution authorised or accredited by the Superintendence of Electricity and Fuels (SEC). In this context, a recognition of foreign certificates of conformity may be applied for at the SEC. For more information on this procedure, please see the document entitled Approval Certificate for Electric and Fuel Products.

In case of light and medium motor vehicles as well as motorcycles, conformity to the standards and norms of the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunication must be proven by means of a type approval. Further information may be found in the section on Motor Vehicles.

Used Goods

The import requirements and stipulations for goods in used condition may differ from those prescribed for the same products if new. For example, second-hand electrical appliances may be regarded as hazardous waste upon importation into Chile (please turn to the respective section below for more information thereon).

Particular kinds of goods may, moreover, be prohibited from importation into Chile if they are to be entered in used condition (please refer to the paragraph on Prohibited Goods above for more details).

Waste

Chile has signed the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. Furthermore, Chile has ratified and accepted the so-called Ban Amendment (Decision III/1), which came into force on 5 December 2019. Besides the ban resulting from said Decision, which involves designated countries of export, the importation of hazardous waste for disposal into the country is prohibited (please also refer to the chapter on Prohibited Goods above). Importations of hazardous wastes intended for recovery operations may only be permitted if it can be proven to the Ministry of Environment (MMA) that the importation will be conducted by an authorised company which is in possession of a resolution on environmental qualification. Moreover, importers must notify, at least, the type, quantity and origin of the waste as well as the applied treatment, including the destination of generated waste (if applicable), by means of the register of emissions and transfers of pollutants (RETC).

For further information regarding the imports of hazardous waste into Chile, importers may contact the Ministry of Environment = Ministerio del Medio Ambiente (MMA), San Martín 73, CL-Santiago de Chile, phone number: +56 2 25735600.

Chile furthermore applies the provisions of the OECD's Decision of the Council concerning the Control of Transboundary Movements of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations. The OECD provides a guideline for the international trade in wastes for recovery operations by virtue of the mentioned Decision. A corresponding OECD guidance manual has been developed. The OECD control system is based on two types of control procedures:

  • green control procedure: for wastes that present a low risk for human health and the environment and, therefore, are not subject to any other controls than those normally applied in commercial transactions

  • amber control procedure: for wastes presenting sufficient risk to justify their control accordingly.

Commercial Samples

Goods to be imported into Chile as samples without commercial value are to be rendered unusable, except in case of commodities which would lose their characteristics, e.g. certain chemical products. The samples must previously be authorised by the regional director or administrator of the customs authorities, as applicable. Samples intended for official international fairs may only be used for demonstrating the functioning of the presented machines and equipment. Each exhibitor is allowed to import samples of a FOB value of up to 200 USD. The samples may be imported free of customs duties, whereas the corresponding value added tax must be paid.

Harmonized System

As a multipurpose international product nomenclature, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), commonly referred to as Harmonized System, constitutes a universal economic language and code for goods.

Developed and continuously enhanced by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the HS consists of over 1,200 four-digit headings grouped in 97 chapters, which are arranged into 21 sections. Most of the headings are further subdivided into five-digit or six-digit subheadings. In total, the Harmonized System comprises about 5,000 commodity groups, each identified by a six-digit code (HS Code). HS Codes are identical in different countries, provided the latter apply the same version of the HS. The classification of goods into HS-based nomenclatures generally follows the same principles. In trade practice, however, it may not be necessarily the same.

In an interval of usually five years, the Harmonized System is kept up to date reflecting changes in technology or in international trade volumes. The last amendment became effective in 2017 when the sixth revision of the HS replaced the former version referred to as HS 2012. However, the actual implementation of the current HS version (HS 2017) as well as the adaptation of related non-tariff measures may take place at varying points in time in different countries.

Requirements for Import Formalities

Generally, import documents should be prepared in Spanish. In matters prescribed by international agreements or customs rules, customs documents may also be accepted in other languages, e.g. English.

Not only in view of the periodic amendments of the HS, commodity codes and related descriptions included in commercial documents should always contain a reference to the nomenclature basis, e.g. HS 2012 or HS 2017 (please refer to the section on the Harmonized System above). In case the commodity codes indicated go beyond the six-digit level of the HS and refer to the tariff nomenclature of the destination country, these codes should be adjusted with the importer.

Exporters should bear in mind that besides officially required documentation, additional necessities may result from contractual agreements with the importer. If a sales contract or a letter of credit (L/C) stipulates that particular documents are to be supplied by the exporter, their provision constitutes an obligation, regardless of official requirements. Moreover, customs or further authorities may request additional documentation if they consider the information given in the customary documentation as insufficient or doubtable. Besides necessities of the authorities, importers or forwarders, requirements for import documentation are also influenced by trade practice.

Incoterms®

Responsibilities of sellers and buyers concerning the delivery of goods under international sales contracts are frequently defined by the so-called International Commercial Terms (Incoterms®). As created by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Incoterms® constitute authoritative rules for the allotment of costs and risks to the parties of sales contracts. On the basis of the determination of how costs are allocated to the parties, Incoterms® are also used for purposes of customs valuation. The commercial terms used in contracts or trade documents may, however, base on previous versions (e.g. Incoterms® 2010). In general, it is advisable to refer to a specific edition when Incoterms® are included into the concerned documents. On 1 January 2020, the current 2020 edition came into effect.

The edition of the Incoterms® 2020 stipulates the following eleven rules:

  • ... for sea transport (and inland waterways):

    • Free alongside Ship: FAS

    • Free on Board: FOB

    • Cost and Freight: CFR

    • Cost, Insurance and Freight: CIF

  • ... for any mode(s) of transport:

    • Ex Works: EXW

    • Free Carrier: FCA

    • Carriage paid to: CPT

    • Carriage and Insurance paid to: CIP

    • Delivered at Place: DAP

    • Delivered at Place Unloaded: DPU

    • Delivered Duty paid: DDP

The former rule DAT has been renamed to DPU, which defines that the place of destination could be any place, not merely a terminal.

If the DDP rule is used, the exporter is responsible for the customs and import clearance of the goods. The importer, however, is required to assist the exporter in obtaining official authorisations where applicable. Therefore, this term should not be used if the exporter is not in the position to either directly or indirectly arrange for the clearance of the commodities.

Currency and Payments

Companies and legal persons are free to choose the currency of payment for foreign trade operations. The recommended term of payment for a first-time transaction is an irrevocable and confirmed letter of credit (L/C).

Importers with an annual import value equal to or exceeding 50 million USD must report their transactions to the Central Bank of Chile on a quarterly basis. For further information, please refer to the document entitled Exchange-Related Report on Import Operations.

Please note that processing fees may be calculated in monthly fiscal units (UTM) or in development units (UF). The UTM and UF are Chilean units of account. By way of example, the current exchange rate of one UTM is 49,673 Chilean Pesos (CLP). It is noteworthy that the values of the UTM and UF in CLP are subject to short-term changes and may therefore vary; in the case of the UF, these changes may occur on a daily basis. Please verify the exchange rate for both the UTM and UF on the website of the Chilean Central Bank at www.bcentral.cl.

Country of Origin Labelling

Country of origin labelling is required for certain goods as indicated in the chapter below.

The country of origin labelling on the merchandise and/or its packaging should correspond to the origin stated on the commercial documents. It should be borne in mind that any indication of a country on the commodity itself may be valued as a declaration of origin. In case of any doubts, it is advisable to contact the importer.

Packaging, Marking and Labelling Requirements

Labels must be affixed at visible places; all respective labelling information must be presented in clear, legible and irremovable writing.

Seeds

In order to be marketed in Chile, seeds of the category general seeds ("semilla corriente") must bear on their packaging a yellow label with the following information:

  • name and address of the packager

  • the wording "semilla corriente" (general seeds)

  • species

  • variety or name of the hybrid, if applicable

  • lot number

  • month and year of packaging

  • indication that it is a mixture of fodder or pasture seeds as well as the name and percentage of each contained species and variety, if applicable (the latter may also be presented on the packaging instead of the label)

  • sanitary status of the seeds (obligatory only for certain species).

In case of flower and vegetable seeds, only the wording "semilla corriente" (general seeds) and the month and year of packaging must be presented on the label, while the rest of the above-mentioned details may be shown on the packaging. For tubers and bulbs, the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) may stipulate other requirements.

Foodstuffs and Beverages

Labels of imported alimentary products must bear the following details:

  • product name

  • net content and, in case of foodstuffs contained in a liquid, drained weight

  • name and address of the importer

  • country of origin

  • number and date of the import authorisation by the Ministry of Health

  • date of manufacture and/or packaging

  • date of expiry or best-before date

  • list of ingredients and additives in descending order according to their proportion/percentage

  • information on the nutritional value

  • storage conditions

  • instructions for use

  • production lot number

  • indication that the product was modified by biotechnology, if applicable

  • further product-specific details, as applicable.

In case of foodstuffs or alimentary material to which sodium, sugar or saturated fats have been added in an amount exceeding designated threshold values, these must be labelled with a corresponding warning symbol. The energy content must also be indicated by means of such symbol if sugar, honey, syrups or saturated fats have been added and if the energy value exceeds the prescribed threshold value. The threshold values are stipulated in Decree No. 977 of 1996 (as amended), e.g. 400 mg sodium/100 g in case of solid foodstuffs. Said legal basis also stipulates the exact form and dimensions of the required warning symbol. It must have an octagonal form and bear the text(s) "ALTO EN" (high in) followed by "GRASAS SATURADAS" (saturated fats), "SODIO" (sodium), AZÚCARES" (sugars) or "CALORÍAS" (calories), as applicable, as well as the phrase "Ministerio de Salud" (Ministry of Health) in white colour on a black background.

The details must be provided in Spanish and may additionally be presented in another language. Overprints or amendments to the information contained on the original label are not permitted, except in case of imported products the labels of which are written in a language other than Spanish or do not comply with the legally prescribed labelling requirements.

In case of alcohol and alcoholic beverages, the applicable law (i.e. Ley 18.455) and its pertaining regulations prescribe the following details at least to be shown on the product labels:

  • name or designation indicating the true nature of the product

  • alcoholic strength

  • quantity (volume)

  • name and address of the bottler

  • country of origin

  • name and address of the importer

  • expiry date (in case of products containing milk or egg)

  • concentration of acetic acid in grammes per litre (in case of vinegars)

  • kind and concentration of denaturant (in case of denaturalised alcohols)

  • ingredients (in case of cocktails).

Cosmetics

Labels of cosmetic products must be in Spanish (other languages are additionally allowed) and must include at least the following details:

  • product name

  • cosmetic purpose, if not obvious from the denomination

  • list of ingredients, according to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), in a decreasing order of concentration

  • minimum shelf life or date of expiration, if necessary

  • lot number or manufacturing number

  • net content (in metrical system)

  • name or company name and address of the holder

  • name or company name and address of the manufacturer or importer as well as the country of manufacture, if applicable

  • instructions for use, indications, warnings and precautions on the use, as appropriate

  • Registration of Cosmetic Products number

  • precautions for storage and conservation, if necessary.

If, at the time of importation, the products are not correctly labelled, they may be brought into an authorised warehouse for relabelling before distribution.

Pesticides

Consignments of pesticides for agricultural use must be labelled in Spanish. Depending on the type of product, the Chilean authorities may demand the information to be presented in a more or less detailed manner. Therefore, the required details are to be indicated on the label in the form of one, two, three or four columns, corresponding to the mandated amount. In general, the following indications must be contained:

  • description of the product (commercial name, class, type of formulation, characteristics)

  • composition of the product, indicating the generic and chemical names of every active substance as well as its content

  • net content

  • Authorisation of Pesticides for Agricultural Use number [please refer to the quoted document for further details]

  • batch number

  • expiration date (month/year)

  • indications in terms of the inflammability, corrosiveness or explosiveness of the product

  • warning legend "Read label and leaflet before using the product"

  • instruction for use (adequate method, dosage, etc.)

  • generic name of plagues the product is meant to control and effects

  • information on incompatibility, potential risks, etc.

  • first aid instructions

  • further product-specific information as requested by the authorities.

In case of pesticides for sanitary and domestic use, the following information must at least be given on the product labels in Spanish:

  • product name

  • common use or effect

  • composition, including statements of the following:

    - common name and chemical name of each active substance

    - quantity of each active substance, as percentage of weight per weight (for solid formulations) or of weight per volume (for liquid formulations), expressed in the metric system (exceptions from this rule require approval by the Institute of Public Health - ISP)

    - total quantity of complementary components of the formulation, solvents and propellants

  • chemical group to which the pesticide belongs

  • name and address of the manufacturer or importer, as applicable, and of the company responsible for the distribution of the product in the country

  • hazard criteria, e.g. as regards flammability, corrosiveness or explosiveness

  • indication as "poison" in form of a written statement and the pictogram of a skull with crossed bones

  • warning statement (in uppercase): "PLEASE READ THE LABEL (AND THE ATTACHED BROCHURE) BEFORE USING THE PRODUCT."

  • instructions for use

  • common name of the pests which may be controlled and of the effects achieved through application of the product

  • precautions to prevent damage to the user, to third persons and to the environment; period of re-entry

  • symptoms of poisoning, first aid measures and antidotes, if available

  • warning statements in accordance with the products physico-chemical characteristics and with its kind of sale

  • phone numbers of the toxicological information centres and emergency numbers of the manufacturer or importer, all in Chile

  • Registration of Pesticides for Sanitary and Domestic Use number by the ISP, including information on the batch or production series

  • expiration date

  • precautions for storage.

Depending on the kind of product, further details may be allowed or even required, e.g. in case of pesticides for special sale.

The labels of fertilisers must, amongst others, indicate the composition of the product in percentage. According to the stipulations of the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG), not only nutrients but also any accompanying elements (heavy metals, etc.) must be stated on the packaging of imported fertilisers, whether imported in bulk or not; the applicable legal text is Circular No. 290 of May 2010. In addition, Resolution No. 1035 of 2011 prescribes the tolerances set out as the basis for the acceptance of laboratory analyses.

Wood Packaging

Wood packaging material (WPM) of imported commodities must be treated using methods in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 15 at a facility approved by the plant protection authority of the exporting country. Each WPM must bear a treatment mark which certifies the treatment. A plant quarantine inspector may inspect the WPM of imported goods at random.