The Latin American world has been bustling with international commerce for decades, and South American countries like Chile are no exception to the rule. While plenty of excellent business opportunities await here, exporting to Chile should not be done without the proper information on local trade & regulations as well as exploring the best shipping options. There are plenty of different factors to keep in mind while obtaining help from freight forwarders and shippers to facilitate trade to and within Chile, and we will explore all of the details right here.
Chile has worked tirelessly on reducing the trade barriers for foreign imports into the country across a variety of sectors and industries. While this process has been made easier by the efforts of the local government in the past two decades, there are still certain limitations to consider:
Chile is an active member country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as in the Pacific Alliance. The country has managed to sustain a robust financial market, with plenty of investment opportunities and dependable economic institutions.
The local economy is ripe for foreign imports, as the Chilean peso has experienced a steady stream of inflation in the past three years. Also, only a third of the workforce is employed in manufacturing and production, with most employees working in service industries.
There is a variety of business opportunities for foreign investors, including:
According to the last available data from the WTO, Chile imported USD 75.03 billion worth of goods in 2018. The most popular importations to Chile rank as follows (with the percentage of total dollar value indicated):
Chile’s regulations are extremely well-adapted to a liberal import policy — there are no restricted or prohibited imports, save for the limitations on food and agricultural products that we’ve mentioned above.
Chilean customs operatives primarily seek to prevent and limit the entry of illegal materials and items into the country — meaning the seizure of illegal explosives, ammunition, weapons, and narcotics.
Special certificates, permissions, and approval documentation are needed for the import of agricultural and processed food products, as well as hazardous materials for industrial use.
Customs clearance for the export of Chilean products must be preceded by the submission of an export declaration to the customs office. In the case of goods whose value is above USD 1,000, a Documento Unico Salida (DUS) must be submitted by the exporting entity.
There are certain goods whose export is subject to the regulations dictated by international agreements, requiring a special export license. There are also goods that are specially controlled by the Chilean government in terms of exports, such as:
All agricultural product exports require a phytosanitary permit upon reaching customs.
Chile subscribes to the Harmonized Customs System.
Chilean customs duties on imported commodities are calculated on the Ad valorem principle. The basic value for the calculation is the CIF value. For the past 17 years, there has been a generic tariff duty of 6% for a majority of imported products.
Local importers must use the following commercial forms:
Barring the (rare) direct presence of a foreign company in Chile, business partners with local knowledge are essential to a swift and efficient import procedure. Having the help of a reliable freight forwarder with first-hand knowledge of the local regulations and language is a good idea.
Agricultural products require phytosanitary and sanitary certificates before import into the country, as well as other special permissions. The Chilean Agricultural Inspection has more concrete information on the permits required for individual products.
The following organizations perform the quality control of imported goods in Chile:
When it comes to Chilean imports and their modes of transportation, most arrive into the country via seaports. Once inside the country, the movement of goods is performed almost entirely by road — cargo air traffic and local rail are not that well developed.
The most important ports being used are Valparaiso, San Antonio, San Vicente, Coronel, Lirquen and Iquique.
Chile trade & export is a complex topic with plenty of things you need to be aware of, so working with a reliable Freight Forwarder will certainly pay off.
Apart from transporting commercial goods, if you need to relocate to Chile, the best way to do so is with the help of reliable professionals. That way, you will save plenty of time and nerves that you would have otherwise wasted while preparing your moving. So, you should become acquainted with all the steps that finding the adequate service when moving overseas to Chile entails.
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