Uruguay flag Uruguay: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Uruguay

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
International Economic Cooperation
Uruguay is member of the Latin American Integration Association. It also belongs to the Mercosur, and has signed a free trade agreement with Mexico. The country have signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).
Non Tariff Barriers
Uruguay has a liberal import policy. There is no quota system. License is required for the import of products such as medical equipment, chemicals, cattle, sugar, cereals, meat and flour. All importers should nevertheless be registered with the Central Bank and declare all their imports by filling an import declaration. Recording Certificates are valid for 180 days. A deadline for customs clearance of the goods is fixed.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Uruguay applies the Harmonized Customs System (SH)
Customs Classification
Uruguay applies the harmonized Customs System, based on the World Customs Organization's system. Customs duties are calculated Ad valorem on the CIF value of the goods. However, Uruguay applies some minimum price for textile and clothing imports. Importers have to pay the difference between the amount of the invoice and the minimum price. The custom duties are payable on that minimal price. Uruguay is not part of the WTO.

Uruguay is a member of the MERCOSUR (Mercado Comun del Sur, gathering Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay and Uruguay), aimed at creating a free trade zone, a common external tariff and a free circulation zone for goods, services, capitals and persons. Customs duties between member countries were theoretically abolished in 1994, with nevertheless a lot of exceptions, according to the "adaptation regime" (Regimen de adecuacion).

The common external tariff (CET) does ot concern all products, currently: only 75% of the tariff lines benefit from a single tariff. The goods still outside the system, for the 4 countries are: equipment goods, IT, telecommunications, cars and sugar sectors.

Import Procedures
Only commercial firms, industrial firms, or individuals listed in the registry of importers may legally import products into Uruguay. A proforma invoice is required to start the import procedures, and importers must use an agent to handle their customs entries.  Required documents are commercial invoice, transportation document, and certificate of origin.  However, the country may require other certificates depending on the type of product (HS Code).

The Mercosur common external tariff applies to ad valorem CIF value of imported goods. This customs policy may be subject to exceptions based on the type of goods. It is also important to mention that re-exporting within a Mercosur member country does not give rise to an exemption from customs duties: For instance, if you export a product to Uruguay, and sell it to Brazil later, you would have to pay Uruguayan customs fees, and later Brazilian customs fees. To avoid such a situation, it is highly recommended to use free zones.

For more information, please visit the Uruguayan customs website.
Importing Samples
The import of sample is tax free if  the value of goods in customs doesn't exceed USD 100 for each delivery.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export Controls.

For Further Information
National Customs Office

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Latest Update: May 2024