Bolivia - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements & Documentation

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

Last published date: 2022-08-02

Imports must have the following documentation:

  • Invoice (unless a commercial sample under $25 in value)
  • Ocean bill of lading, inland bill of lading, through bill of lading, air waybill (air cargo)
  • Proof of insurance
  • Certificate of pre-shipment inspection (when applicable)
  • Port expenditures (when applicable)
  • Transportation invoice
  • Packing list
  • Certificate of origin (when applicable)
  • Other certificates (as needed)

Individuals may receive parcel post shipments valued at less than $5,000 by filling out a customs form at a Bolivian post office. Exporters should follow IATA or ICAO rules governing the labeling and packaging of dangerous and restricted goods and check with air carriers for further information and appropriate forms. 

Imports of perishable items, such as seafood products, must have sanitary health certificates issued in the country of origin of the product and comply with product specification, labeling, and marking standards.  Sanitary regulations are available through SENASAG (https://www.senasag.gob.bo).  Please refer to SENASAG for specific requirements for products, including cotton fiber; insecticides; pesticides; tobacco and tobacco products; livestock, swine, and poultry; seeds (treated and non-treated) and plants; food and beverages; and wheat.  Imports of tobacco and tobacco products must also have licenses issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports (https://www.minsalud.gob.bo).

Pharmaceutical products must also be registered with the Ministry of Health and Sports and approved by the Ministry’s National Pharmacology and Health Technologies Agency (AGEMED) (https://www.agemed.gob.bo).  Please refer to their websites for obtaining sales permit certificates, labeling, and other specific guidelines.  Three samples of the product must be provided to the National Laboratory (INLASA) (https://www.inlasa.gob.bo) so that specialists can verify the content.  If pharmaceutical products contain drugs covered by the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, importers must obtain special import permits from the Ministry of Health and Sports.  This may also include an authorization from the National Controlled Substances office with the Ministry of Government.

Imported products may be sold through established agents or distributors, or through subsidiaries.  Given their direct access to the Ministry of Health and Sports’ Medicines and Health Technology Unit (UNIMED), it may be easier to market products through agents or representatives.  If a representative registers pharmaceutical imports, they must have exclusive rights to import and be qualified to act as legal representatives.  Pharmaceutical brand names must also be registered with SENAPI at https://www.senapi.gob.bo/. Pharmaceutical importers have commented that current regulatory requirements to import medicines add bureaucracy, including a requirement that forces importers to notarize their importation documents at the nearest Bolivian diplomatic post in their country.