Dominican Republic - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2021-08-24

(A) Commerce/Industry:

For U.S. exports to the Dominican Republic to receive the preferential tariff treatment provided by CAFTA-DR, the Dominican importer should present to the Dominican General Customs Directorate (Dirección General de Aduanas) certification in support of the claim of preference. The Dominican importer should work with the U.S. exporter to ensure that a U.S. good meets the relevant rule of origin prior to making a claim. For additional information, please visit Free Trade Agreements Help Center.

A certification should include the following information:

  • The name of the certifying person, including, as necessary, contact or other identifying information;
  • Tariff classification under the Harmonized System and a description of the good;
  • Information demonstrating where the good originates;
  • Date of the certification; and
  • In the case of blanket period certification, the time period over which the certification is applicable.

It is important to note that the ultimate responsibility for claiming preferential treatment lies with the Dominican importer; however, the U.S. supplier should be ready to provide to the Dominican importer assistance and cooperation in producing accurate and well-documented claims for preferential treatment. he exporter, importer, or producer of the goods may produce the certification where the goods are originating.

To see an unofficial English translation of the accompanying instructions, please review the Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures.    

Import licenses are not required for most products, except pharmaceutical products (drugs, cosmetics and skin care products, cleaning products), all agricultural products, and agro-chemicals. For pharmaceutical products a Sanitary Register must be obtained at the Ministry of Public Health for each trademark/product imported by the company.

The Sanitary Register is valid for a period of five years. For more information on the registration of pharmaceutical products, please visit the website of the General Directorate of Pharmaceutical, Food and Sanitary Products (Direccion General de Medicamentos, Alimentos y Productos Sanitaios – DIGEMAPS) at the Ministry of Public Health at the Ministry of Public Health portal.  

(B) Agriculture

A phytosanitary and animal health product certificate issued by recognized authorities in the country of origin must accompany live plants and agricultural material used in planting products. Imports of animals normally require certificates of origin and other veterinarian documentation to assure disease-free status. Testing is done at the port of entry to reconfirm pest-free status.  For the most part, the sanitary and phyto-sanitary process is transparent and fairly applied.

The CAFTA-DR further opened the market to agricultural product imports.  Many products already enter with a zero percent tariff.  Duties for sensitive products will be phased out over the next five years: rice, chicken and parts and powder milk.

At the same time, small amounts of sensitive agricultural products are allowed into the DR duty-free through a tariff rate quotas (TRQ) system and the amounts increase gradually while their duties are phased out.

The most restrictive trade practice, however, is the requirement that import permits be obtained from the Minister of Agriculture for each shipment of agriculture and related products, including agro-chemicals and fertilizers. In addition, the lobbies for local meat and dairy products are strong and routinely try to block or restrict imports by influencing import licensing decisions. Additionally, the Ministry of Health/DIGEMAPS requires that all food products be registered in the Sanitary Registry and that all consumer-ready food imports have a Spanish label attached at origin.