Uruguay - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques
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Foreign manufacturers with sustained sales in Uruguay generally use the services of an agent or distributor.  Nearly all importers/distributors base their operations in Montevideo, although some maintain sales networks in the interior of the country.  A local representative keeps the U.S. firm up to date with local market conditions as well as changes in government policies affecting trade.

Pre-owned and refurbished equipment from the United States may be marketable in Uruguay, depending on the industry.

Uruguayans typically regard U.S.-manufactured products as high quality, but U.S. products at times may not have competitive pricing when compared to regional or global competitors.  U.S. manufacturers offering flexible, innovative, and competitive credit terms may overcome the price competitiveness hurdle for export sales to Uruguay.  EXIM financing may be an option for some U.S. products enhancing their competitivity. 

Uruguayans consider sales support and customer service important factors when deciding which products to buy.  U.S. manufacturers should consider hiring local agents to provide customer support services.  Any product that requires operator training or needs after-sales technical service, such as medical equipment, should have a qualified local company ready to assist the customer.  After-sales technical service is mandatory in most public tenders.  Company representatives who respond from neighboring countries tend to be less satisfying to Uruguayan customers.

Trade Promotion and Advertising

Local advertising agencies are available.  Many companies offer English-speaking professionals and have experience working with U.S. and other international companies.  Several local ad agencies produce TV commercials for foreign clients.  El País, El Observador, and La República are the leading newspapers in terms of circulation, while Búsqueda is a highly respected, weekly business-oriented journal.  Television and radio advertising are also widespread.  Several major international advertising agencies maintain offices in Montevideo.  Digital media readership increased five-fold in the last eight years.

Traditional media outlets can provide ad-based campaigns and can offer a mix of printed and digital ads on their platforms, including El País, El Observador, and La Diaria.  For retail products, companies may rely on TV and radio ads. Television and radio have vast penetration countrywide.  Creating a local social media page for the company/product/service for the targeted audience is recommended.

Resources for Advertising

    El País 
    El Observador 
    La República
    Radio El Espectador
    Saeta TV
    Montecarlo TV
    Teledoce TV


Imported goods are subject to applicable taxes and tariffs.  Tariffs can range from 0 to 35 percent and excise taxes range from 10 to 30 percent, except for tobacco and alcohol which are higher.  Additionally, there is a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 23 percent.

Sales Service/Customer Support

After sales service and customer support are important when consumers are evaluating a potential purchase.  As in many parts of Latin America, a seller’s Spanish language capability is also an important consideration. 

Local Professional Services

The U.S. Embassy in Uruguay maintains a list of local service providers.  The list can be found here

Principal Business Associations

The U.S. Embassy in Uruguay maintains a list and description of many of the top business associations in the country.  The list of business associations can be found here.

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

In general, and apart from import tariffs, there are few limitations on selling U.S. products or services in Uruguay.  The country’s utilities are generally run by state-owned entities, with a few exceptions.