Ecuador - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers
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Ecuador has imposed a broad range of tariff and non-tariff restrictions on trade in goods and services over the last decade.  Besides import tariffs, Ecuador uses the Andean Price Band System (APBS) for agricultural products, a consumption tax for ‘luxury’ goods and services, compound tariffs on textiles and other goods, and value added taxes for specific services described below.

The Ministry of Health grants prior authorization (sanitary registration or notification) for imports of processed foods, food ingredients, and beverages, as well as cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, reagents, natural products, and pesticides.

There are products that are required to obtain a standards certification.  For more information on standards please review the standards section below.

Agricultural imports are subject to decisions of “Consultative Committees” to protect local production.  The committees, mainly composed of local producers, often advise against granting import authorizations of products such as corn, dairy, and meats.  In addition, the Consultative Committees determine the price, usually higher than international prices, at which local production will be purchased by local industry and require the purchase of all local production before imports are allowed.

Ecuador maintains bans on the import of used motor vehicles, tires, and clothing. Used special-purpose vehicles such as ambulances, mobile clinics, street sweepers, and fire trucks are permitted as donations.

Imports of psychotropic medicines and certain precursor chemicals used in narcotics processing require prior authorization from the National Agency of Sanitary Control and Vigilance (ARCSA). 

Imports of weapons, munitions, explosives, armored vehicles, ships, and other related equipment require prior authorization from the Ministry of National Defense (PDF)

In April of 2023, then President Lasso issued Decree 707 that allowed civilians to carry weapons.  With this, anyone who wants a weapon for personal defense needs a permit and must meet several requirements.  A ministerial agreement also updated the requirements, controls, and permits for importers.  Additionally, in January of 2023 the Ecuadorian government made a significant reduction in the special consumption tax for firearms, sports weapons, and ammunition from 300 percent to 30 percent.