Includes information on average tariff rates and types that U.S. firms should be aware of when exporting to the market.
As a member of the Central American Common Market (CACM), Nicaragua applies a harmonized external tariff on most items at a maximum of 15 percent, with some exceptions. Approximately 95 percent of tariff lines are harmonized among Central American countries at this rate or lower. In response to rising prices in 2007, Nicaragua issued a series of decrees to unilaterally eliminate or reduce tariffs on many basic foodstuffs and consumer goods to 5 percent. These decrees have been regularly extended every six months, most recently in June 2022. Nicaraguan customs maintain an online database of import tariffs including tariffs applicable under CAFTA-DR (http://www.dga.gob.ni/sac01.cfm). Also note https://www.trade.gov/free-trade-agreements-help-center.
Under CAFTA-DR, 100 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial goods and more than half of U.S. agricultural products should enter Nicaragua duty free. Nicaraguan consumers value American brands for their high quality, and businesses seeking new entry for their products could take advantage of existing distribution channels for food, clothing, and personal electronics that are widely accepted in the Nicaraguan market.
Nicaragua has pledged to eliminate its remaining tariffs on nearly all agricultural goods by 2024, including those on pork, rice, and yellow corn. Nicaragua has also pledged to eliminate tariffs on chicken leg quarters and rice by 2023 and on dairy products by 2025. For certain products, such as poultry leg quarters, tariff rate quotas (TRQs) allow duty free access for increasing quantities as tariffs are phased out. Nicaragua will liberalize trade in white corn through expansion of a TRQ, but there is no tariff phase out.