Discusses pricing formula and other fees, value-added tax (VAT), etc.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

U.S. exporters should keep in mind the relatively small size of the Honduran market and the high elasticity of demand for consumer products when devising marketing strategies. Price is one of the most important factors in Honduran buying behavior. In many cases, Honduran businesspeople buy directly from abroad if they feel that the cost of imports available in the local market is too high. U.S. exporters should carefully analyze both consumer and wholesale costs when making pricing decisions.

Price escalation represents another important consideration in terms of export retail pricing. Products imported into Honduras are usually priced based on the cost, insurance and freight value, import duties, in-country transportation costs, and distributor margins.
The Honduran government controls the prices for coffee, medicine, cement, and steel products and regulates the prices of gasoline, diesel, and liquid propane gas. In addition, the government pressures producers and retailers to keep prices of staple food products such as milk and sugar as low as possible.

The local sales tax is 15 percent for most goods. As of June 2015, products exempted from the 15 percent tax include staple foods, purified water, medicines and pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, educational materials, electrical power generation machinery and equipment, agricultural machinery and tools, handicrafts, capital goods such as trucks, tractors, cranes, computers, and equipment used for the maquiladora industry. A 15 percent sales tax is also assessed on new cars, alcohol, cigarettes, and tobacco products. Taxes on fuels, particularly gasoline, are among the highest in the Central American region.

Services exempt from the sales tax include utilities (electrical power and potable water), educational services, professional fees (legal, accounting, engineering, etc.), clinical and medical services, land transportation services, banking, insurance and financial services. Tourism services are subject to a four percent tax with air transportation subject to a 10 percent tax.