Includes the barriers (tariff and non-tariff) that U.S. companies face when exporting to this country.
Chile has very few barriers to imports or investments, allowing foreign firms to enjoy the same protections and operate under the same conditions as local firms. In agriculture, some exceptions apply. In the case of dairy, beef, and poultry products, there is an equivalency between the inspections and certification systems. Therefore, U.S. establishments in these sectors no longer have to be individually inspected by the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture. Many import restrictions on fresh fruits have been resolved as a result of technical talks held annually and subsequent to the FTA negotiations under the Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Committee. However, new market access exists for a wider range of U.S. fruits and vegetables. Agricultural exporters should contact the Department of Agriculture/APHIS to check on any restrictions for specific products before shipping to Chile.
Chile only approves the import of processed food products on a case-by-case basis. There is no blanket approval process for permitting identical products from different companies to enter Chile after they have been tested and found in compliance with local health regulations. To bring in a food product, the importer must obtain the permission of the Health Service Officer at the port of entry, which may take samples and perform the necessary tests. Chile is increasingly following international standards such as the Codex Alimentarius. However, a 2015 nutritional labeling law differs significantly from labeling requirements in the U.S (see details below under Labeling and Marking Requirements). Another distinction is that all labels must be in Spanish, nevertheless, regulations from the Ministry of Health allow the importer to place a sticker before the product is sold to the public if the labeling information is in another language. For more information regarding Chile’s labeling requirements, see the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Food and Agricultural Import Regulations report at USDA Chile website.