Peru - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2021-10-08

Pricing

A key selling factor in the Peruvian market is product pricing. Products from Asian markets, such as China, Taiwan, and South Korea often outsell more expensive European or North American products in the consumer electronics, appliances, and automobile industries. Additionally, counterfeit and pirated goods are readily available. With investment in sales promotion, intellectual property enforcement, and post-sales service, U.S. goods can ensure competitiveness. However, in the capital goods market (including advanced electronics and construction machinery) where equipment performance and efficiency are critical,  consumers often prefer more expensive U.S. or European products due to their higher levels of quality, durability, technology, customer support, and regional service.

Outside of Lima and some of the other major cities in Peru, the market is under-populated and under-developed, and generally does not offer an attractive market potential. Certain exceptions exist, however, including large-scale mining operations located along Peru’s Andes mountain range and petroleum operations in the Amazon jungle. Payment for major purchases is generally made on a net 30-day basis. It is advisable to request up-front payment or work on a confirmed, irrevocable letter of credit basis when entering a new market or dealing with new customers. Over-the-counter purchases are made in cash (U.S. dollars are widely accepted), wire transfer, or credit card. Most retailers use credit terms as a sales technique, and major department stores issue their own credit cards.

Distributor mark-ups vary according to type of product, but usually ranges between 12% and 25%. All imports are subject to an 18% value-added local sales tax, which can be used as a tax credit by the importer. Some exceptions include enterprises established in industrial free zones and special treatment zones, and companies with operations in the jungle regions of Loreto, Ucayali, Madre de Dios, Amazonas, and San Martin, in accordance with the Peruvian-Colombian Amazon Cooperation Treaty. A few specific goods such as cigarettes, beer, wine and liquors pay an excise tax, in accordance with the lists and rates mentioned in Appendices III and IV of Legislative Decree No. 821 (passed on April 23, 1996). In May 2018, a 10% excise tax for new automobiles was established. However, the 30% excise tax applied to used cars was reduced to 10%. Imports from countries with which Peru has bilateral or regional agreements are covered by separate, preferential tariff schedules.

Trade Promotion and Advertising

In 2020, Peruvian advertising totaled $442 million (0.21% of Peru’s GDP), decreasing 24% from the 2019 value of 583 million (advertising expenditures have declined since 2016, following an overall trend of increases since 2004). TV was the largest ad medium in Peru in 2020, accounting for nearly 43% of the total ad spend. In Peru, a total of 26 million people are reached via advertising campaigns through Facebook, which positions this platform as the most preferred, with its audience being nearly 100% of the active population in social networks over 13 years old.

Facebook opened 2021 with an increase of 4% adding 1 million new users to its platform. Its audience is made up of 46% women and 54% men. Instagram in Peru is the fourth most used social network with a reach of 42% of users, mainly urban. Peru has 5.1 million users on Instagram,  the sixth highest number  in Latin America, behind Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

The El Comercio Group owns the most influential paper (El Comercio) as well as five other major dailies aimed at different audiences: Perú21, business journal Gestión, popular Correo, and tabloids Trome and Ojo. Other major dailies include La República, Expreso, Diario Uno, La Razón, and El Popular. El Peruano, founded in 1825, is the government’s newspaper of record, publishing all legislation and decrees, and also reports news. Caretas, a weekly magazine founded in 1950, is also one of Lima’s most influential news publications. In July 2019, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC) reported there were 1,829 television stations and 5,667 radio stations in Peru. The highest number of television stations are in Cusco region (with 199 stations), followed by Puno (161 stations), Ancash (136) Lima (134), and Cajamarca (124). For radio stations, Cusco region is also the leader (509 stations), followed by Cajamarca (466), Ancash (412), Lima (396), and Puno (382). Radio has the largest audience of all communications media, reaching even the most isolated populations in Peru. It is often the first source of current news and is the principal means for transmitting information about local issues and events in the regions outside of Lima.

The key Peruvian television providers are the six major Lima-based networks: Latina, América, Panamericana, ATV, ATV+, and Global, along with TV Perú, the state-owned network, which is the only station available in many parts of Peru. These broadcasters use affiliates in the provinces. Additionally, there are numerous smaller, independent stations that serve particular cities and regions. A report by TV regulatory agency Osiptel concluded that 70% of households used cable television as of 2019, a 10% increase from 2018, with most of it from pirated cable TV connections. Canal N, a 24-hour cable news channel owned by El Comercio Group, and RPP, the cable channel for one of the most widely heard radio stations, are highly influential. The main cable service companies are Spain’s Telefónica del Perú, offering “Movistar TV” with 62% market share, the U.S. DirecTV Group with 19% market share, and Mexico’s America Móvil Perú, offering “Claro” with 8% market share.

Sales Service/Customer Support

Peruvians consider customer service and support as critical factors in making a final purchasing decision, especially for products requiring periodic services. Therefore, it is important for the product to be sold through a reliable distributor to guarantee quality assurance. For example, two of the perceived advantages that Asian-manufactured automobiles enjoy in Peru in comparison to their U.S. counterparts are servicing and availability. A similar advantage is found with mining equipment, where U.S. after-sales service has a superior reputation in comparison to third-country competitors.

Local Professional Services

Private Banks

  • Banco Azteca
  • Banco Cencosud
  • Banco de Comercio
  • Banco de Crédito
  • Banco Falabella
  • Banco Pichincha
  • Banco GNB Peru
  • Banco Interamericano de Finanzas
  • Banco Internacional del Peru – Interbank
  • Banco Pichincha
  • Banco Ripley
  • Banco Santander
  • BBVA Banco Continental
  • Citibank del Peru
  • ICBC Bank
  • Mibanco
  • Scotiabank

Accounting/Business Consultants

  • Apoyo S.A.: economic studies, business consulting, market research, opinion surveys, multi-customer studies, strategic communication (Bilingual)
  • ConsultAndes: executive advisory, business development, public relations, community relations and public responsibility, crisis management, corporate communications, security (Bilingual)
  • DBM: outplacement consultant and career transition services
  • Deloitte: auditing, consulting, tax, and legal services
  • ERM: environmental consulting services
  • Ernst & Young: accounting, auditing and tax advisory
  • KPMG Caipo y Asociados: auditing, tax and financial advisory
  • LB&C Logistics Business & Consulting: supply chain security, international trade, legal services
  • Macroconsult: economic studies, business consulting, market research, infrastructure, regulation and competition, investment banking. (Bilingual)
  • Malaga-Webb & Asociados: business restructuring and corporate finance
  • Organizacion Cuanto: economic studies, social studies, polls, market research
  • Pricewaterhouse Cooper SCRL: auditing, accounting, tax and legal services

Credit Rating Agencies

  • Accuratio Credit Rating Agency ECR S.A.
  • Apoyo & Asociados Internacionales
  • Class & Asociados S.A.
  • Equilibrium
  • Microrate Latin America S.A.
  • PCR (Pacific Credit Rating)

Credit Reporting Agencies

  • Experian
  • Infocorp/Equifax                                                                                                                                 
  • Sentinel
  • Xchange Peru

Executive Search

  • Amrop Hever
  • Boyden International
  • Korn/Ferry International
  • Tasa Worldwide

Law Firms

  • Barreda Moller (Bilingual)
  • Barrios & Fuentes Abogados (Bilingual)
  • Estudio Aurelio Garcia Sayan Abogados (Bilingual)
  • Estudio Echecopar (Bilingual)
  • Estudio Ferrero Abogados
  • Estudio Grau Abogados (Bilingual)
  • Estudio Olaechea (Bilingual)
  • Miranda & Amado Abogados (Bilingual)
  • Muniz, Ramirez, Perez-Taiman & Luna Victoria Abogados (Bilingual)
  • Rey & de los Rios Abogados (Bilingual)
  • An additional list of local law firms can be found on the U.S. Embassy Lima’s website under the section titled “Legal Information”

Logistics

  • Maersk Sealand (Multilingual)
  • Neptunia S.A. (Bilingual)
  • Ransa, logistics operator (Bilingual)
  • Scharff Logistica Integrada S.A. (Bilingual)

Moving

  • Atlas International Service S.A. (Bilingual)
  • Express Transports S.A. (Bilingual)
  • Security International Moving S.A.C. (Bilingual)

Telecommunications

  • Bitel (Viettel Peru S.A.C.)
  • Claro (Telmex Perú S.A.)
  • Entel (Entel S.A.)
  • Movistar (Telefonica S.A.)

Principal Business Associations

  • American Chamber of Commerce of Peru – AmCham Peru
  • Exporter’s Association - ADEX
  • International Trade Society of Peru - ComexPeru
  • Lima Chamber of Commerce - CCL
  • National Society of Industries - SNI
  • National Society of Mining, Petroleum, and Energy - SNMPE
  • Peruvian Society of Hydrocarbons – SPH

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

Peru is open to trade and there are few limitations on selling U.S. products and services. The main limitations are the bureaucratic processes needed to set up a business or operate in Peru. For example, foreign corporations interested in doing business in Peru on a permanent basis must be formally incorporated and registered in the Peruvian Mercantile Registry (Registro Mercantil del Peru).

Resources

  • Antitrust, Unfair Competition Intellectual Property Protection, Consumer Protection, Dumping, Standards and Elimination of Bureaucratic Barriers -Agency (INDECOPI):
  • Central Bank: (Bilingual reports and statistics )
  • Government Procurement Supervisory Agency: (Spanish)
  • Ministry of Energy and Mines: (Spanish with limited bilingual content)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • National Interconnected System Operation (Comité de Operación Económica del Sistema Interconectado Nacional, COES-SINAC). (Spanish)
  • OSCE’s opinion on “government to government” procurement (Spanish)
  • Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board, PromPeru (Spanish)
  • Peru Travel, Peru Travel Information and Vacations Guide
  • Private Investment Promotion Agency – ProInversión (Bilingual)
  • Public Registry (SUNARP), in Spanish (https://www.gob.pe/sunarp)
  • Securities and Exchange Supervisory Agency (SMV) (Spanish)
  • SUNAT – Peruvian foreign trade statistics (http://www.aduanet.gob.pe/aduanas/informae/boleindi.htm)

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)