Argentina - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers
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Importers must request Non-Automatic Import Licenses (NALs) on 1,500 out of 10,200 import product categories. The NALs are mainly applied on machinery, auto parts and consumer goods including textiles, footwear, household electrical appliances, computers, and cellphones. Since December 2019, the Argentine government has reduced the validity of the licenses from 180 days to 90 days and has indicated processing of import license applications would require more time due to the need for a more substantial review of such requests. Importers must also obtain Central Bank approval to access to foreign exchange market in order to make payments once the import license is approved, which can cause additional delays.  Argentina continues to apply reference values to several thousand products which is a mandatory value of the product, calculated by Argentine Customs, without considering the importer’s invoice. Importers of affected goods must pay duties calculated on this reference value. The U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. Embassy Buenos Aires have received numerous complaints from importers who have not received import license approval in a timely manner. Companies have also reported problems accessing the official foreign exchange market to pay for imports in dollars, due to Argentina’s current strict capital controls.