Chile - Country Commercial Guide
Safety and Security

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2019-10-13


The safety and security sector in Chile is overseen by the Ministry of Interior, which proposes to the President of Chile the rules and actions on internal policies to maintain public order, security and social peace. The agencies for Crime Prevention, the Police Force (Carabineros de Chile), and Investigation Police (PDI) are under the Ministry of Interior.

The safety and security sector is expected to continue growing due to a number of high profile security and cybersecurity incidents over the last 12 months. The largest protests since Chile’s return to democracy occurred on October 18, 2019 and continued for weeks. These protests are expected continue to occur throughout 2021. In addition to the social unrest, Chile has experienced an increase in violent incidents in southern Chile related to land claims of indigenous people. Chile´s coastline is 2,700 miles long, from the border with Peru to the southernmost islands in Cape Horn, and illegal fishing is a growing problem. The country also faces a serious problem of illegal immigration through the natural passes between Chile and bordering countries. To address all of these above issues, there is a growing market for security monitoring and detection systems, services, equipment, and technologies in this market.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and wildfire are common in Chile. Equipment and technologies to monitor and respond to these threats are in constant demand. Chile’s wildfire season lasts from November through April and has worsened over the last decade due to climate change and an ongoing historic drought. Chile also is a very seismically active country requiring equipment and technologies to monitor and respond to earthquakes and tsunamis. Firefighters in Chile are grouped under the National Council of Firefighters (Junta Nacional de Bomberos), which coordinates annual purchases of firefighting equipment and gear. Chile follows the standards of the U.S. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In order to participate in the Council’s tenders, foreign companies must register as a foreign supplier and also assign a local representative.

Prison overpopulation is another important aspect in the safety and security sector. The national penitentiary system includes 84 prisons for approximately 40,000 inmates, with an average occupation of 106.6 percent. One step to alleviate overcrowding has been the adoption of electronic bracelets for offenders.

The Chilean market for safety and security is highly competitive. U.S. companies must compete with foreign suppliers from China, India, Spain, Germany, Brazil and other countries. U.S. technology is highly regarded in the Chilean market; however, price has always been a priority in Chile.







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Total Market Size = (total local production + import) – exports

Units: $ millions

Source: Chilean customs data and estimates from local industry experts


Leading Subsectors

  • Broadcast devices and video cameras
  • Protective/safety clothing and footwear
  • Safety devices and tools
  • Equipment and implements for working at height
  • Identification and control elements
  • Detection and alert systems
  • Radionavigation and radio remote control devices
  • Fire Control implements


Chile has one of the highest levels of internet penetration in South America, and also leads the region on eCommerce sales on a per-capita basis. Cybersecurity continues to be an increasingly important issue for regulators and corporations alike, particularly since 2018 when a large financial institution was targeted for an attack that resulted in losses of $10 million. A second high-profile cybersecurity incident occurred in September 2020 when malware was discovered in the IT systems of the state-owned bank, BancoEstado.

As a result of the social unrest and country-wide protests that affected Chile in October 2019, when the country declared state of emergency, President Piñera signed a bill to allow the arm forces to protect the national critical infrastructure, including telecommunication and IT infrastructure. In July 2020, the Chilean Commission for the financial market (Chile’s SEC equivalent) published a regulation to require cybersecurity and information security management procedures.

Chile has an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense for closer cooperation in combating cyber threats. In 2019, Chile hosted the Cybersecurity Symposium organized with the Organization of American States. As part of its broader security-enhancement agenda, Chile has received a loan of $48 million from the Inter-American Development Bank to finance a “Program to Strengthen the Strategic Management of Public Security in Chile” which includes a cybersecurity component.


The Chilean Government is planning to implement various security plans for the coming years in three main areas. In Cybersecurity, it plans a CSIRT Incident Systems, the creation of a National Cryptological Center and Full Digitalization of the Immigration System. In Risk Prevention Control it plans a National Policy for Disaster Risk Reduction (2020-2030) and a National System for Disaster Prevention and Response. In Internal Security & Public Order it plans a Mobile Remote Surveillance in all Country by 2022 and a Teleprotecion System Nationally.

Seguridad Expo is the main international event in safety and security sectors in Chile. The event attracts over 5,000 visitors due to its wide range of technological solutions in the sector and its interesting program of activities. The exhibition is divided into three halls: Public and Private Security; Industrial Safety, Occupational Health, and Biosecurity; and Fire and Natural Disasters. SeguridadExpo provides an excellent opportunity for U.S. companies to introduce their equipment and products in the Chilean market.

Web Resources

Chilean Ministry of Interior

Chilean Council of Firefighters

Carabineros de Chile (national police)

Investigative Police (PDI)

For additional information, please contact CS Chile Commercial Specialist Isabel Valenzuela,