As with most of Latin America, importing/exporting to Peru could be very worthwhile. There are many opportunities for Canada and US exporters from all over the World. However, customs regulations and import requirements can differ greatly from country to country, and are constantly changing. This trade & export guide for Peru will attempt to answer most of the questions you may have.
Besides keeping well informed, we cannot overstate the importance of partnering up with a specialized freight forwarder before starting to export to Peru. Knowledge of the local language, culture and, most importantly, customs regulations will be invaluable in making your exporting business a success.
Even after you have put in the work of learning everything there is to know about exporting to Peru, it is essential to have an experienced and reliable shipping company on your side.
Even though the World Bank classified Peru as the second easiest country to do business in when it comes to Latin America/the Caribbean, there are still some challenges you may face when exporting to Peru.
All of these obstacles, however, can be minimized by hiring service providers with the right connections and a good knowledge of the country’s culture and business practices.
Peru has been the fastest growing economy in Latin America since 2011 and it offers a unique and dynamic background for international companies and exporters. There is a large variety of business opportunities for foreign investors in Peru, including:
According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, in 2018, Peru imported $41 billion, mostly from the following countries: China, US, Brazil, Mexico and Chile. What these countries mostly exported to Peru ranks as follows (with the percentage of total dollar value indicated):
As one of the world’s promising economies in the world, Peru is expected to increase its imports to keep up with its development. Fastest-Growing Peruvian Imports in 2018 according to the International Trade Center include:
When it comes to exporting to Peru, there are few prohibitions and restrictions especially on used goods such as used clothing and shoes (except as charitable donations) or vehicles and accessories.
Imports of used cars and tires that are more than 5 years old are prohibited. The same is true of used buses and trucks that are more than 2 years old. However, used cars and trucks are admitted when undergoing a refurbishment process in the special zones of export treatment (in Ilo, Matarani, Tacna).
Used medical equipment can only be imported by individual physicians for their own use.
The Peruvian government has adopted free trade and free exchange principles. There are no quantitative restrictions or exchange controls.
Certain goods are prohibited for health and safety reasons such as weapons and several pesticides and non-organic fertilizers. Some you have to register with the Ministry of Health. Those that have to be registered are veterinary products, cosmetics and perfumes.
Like in most places, customs clearance goes without a hitch when exporting to Peru if you have all of the necessary documentation and fulfill all of the requirements.
Peru is a member of the Andean Community, and as such, it follows the Nandina code. This is a fully harmonized tariff system that conforms to the WCO’s Harmonized System.
Certain imports are subject to antidumping and countervailing duties. You should check the list of these beforehand. In order to avoid these duties, you will need to acquire a certificate of origin. This gets tricky as it can delay your customs clearance.
The Superintendent of Tax Administration (SUNAT) is responsible for the administration of tax and customs.
There are currently four type of free trade zones in Peru:
Peru applies a four level tariff regime: 4%, 7%, 12% and 20%, depending on the type of goods you are exporting.
The non weighted average customs duty is 10.2%.
However, many goods are exempted of taxes, since Peru shares over 70 bilateral commercial agreements with countries all over the world, including free trade agreements with the European Union and with the US.
The United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), created in 2009, has raised a tremendous amount of business and import/export opportunities for US exporters. Most of the tariffs on consumer and industrial products from US origin have already been eliminated. A small number of Peruvian tariffs still apply to certain U.S. agricultural products and will be eliminated by 2026.
When exporting to Peru, you must include the following documentation with your shipment:
Depending on your goods, you may need additional documentation, as mentioned above. For example, if you are exporting pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical equipment, you need a certificate from the Department of Medicine, Supply and Drugs. The Environmental Health Department gives out certificates for the import of toys, food products, alcoholic beverages and insecticide.
Different quality control organizations conduct inspections of goods when exporting to Peru. One of them is SGS Peru.
In most cases, exports to Peru will be done by ocean. The port of Callao is the biggest commercial seaport, closely followed by the port of Matarani. There are many other ports as well, from North to South, and each one of them handles a particular type of cargo.
The two airports available for cargo are the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco.
Within Peru, you can mostly transport your goods by road or air. However several cities in the Amazon region remain inaccessibles by road and relies on the 8,600 km of navigable waterways to transport their agricultural and mineral goods.
Rail transport represents a freight solution for the future as Peru continues to develop its railroad infrastructure with more than 5,000 km in project and construction.
As you can tell, if you plan to trade and export to Peru, there are plenty of things you need to be aware of. Whether it is by sea or air, shipping cargo to Peru becomes easier when you choose a specialized freight forwarding company to help you.
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