Tariffs and regulations

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice.

Austrade strongly recommends you reconfirm these prior to selling to Chile.

For further information please see the Chilean National Customs Service website.

Tariffs and non-tariff barriers

Tariffs

Chile’s tariff rate is based on the Harmonised System, and for most products is presently a uniform eight per cent applicable on the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of most products.

The Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement entered into force on 6 March 2009. From 1 January 2015, all tariffs were eliminated except sugar, which retains a tariff of six per cent for Australian exports.

Preferences on negotiated items are granted to other members of the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA).

Chile has recently become a member of the Mercosur agreement and products manufactured by Mercosur members are subject to lower duty rates than non-membership nations

Exemptions from customs duty are granted to imports for some specific activities, principally in relation to the copper, nitrate and fishing industries.

Supplementary import duties are occasionally levied on specified products.

Chile maintains import and export licensing requirements. However, these are more for statistical purposes rather than control. Import licenses are approved by the Central Bank, and it usually takes only a matter of days.

Non-tariff barriers

Import restrictions

Most imports may enter Chile free from controls although a document known as the Informe de Importación is required for all imports. This document is issued by the Central Bank, and may also be obtained and processed through a local commercial bank.

Payment for visible trade transactions is not permitted unless document has been issued.

Shipments on deferred payment terms, of over 360 days, require the prior authorisation of the credit terms by the Central Bank.

Application for deferred payments must be accompanied by the manufacturer's original pro-forma invoice.

If the exporter is not the manufacturer the exporters' original pro-forma invoice must be provided quoting the price stated on the manufacturer's pro-forma invoice and must indicate any additional charges that may be incurred, i.e. freight, insurance etc. Commission should not be included. Used passenger cars and some used parts are generally prohibited.

The import document number issued by the bank must appear on all commercial invoices and bills of lading covering the shipment.

Product certification, labelling and packaging

Hay and straw may be used only for packing bottles, glassware, crystal, china, porcelain and earthenware. If used, it must have been disinfected and be covered by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the consulate.

Goods packed in sacks or bags must not exceed 80 kilograms in weight.

Packaged goods must be marked to show the quality, purity or mixture, and the net weight or measurement of the contents.

All items ordinarily used or consumed by the public must show the country of origin.

All outer containers must be marked to conform with the commercial invoice and bill of lading. Any variance exceeding 0.5 per cent is subject to a fine. Outer containers must be stenciled in Spanish and in black letters not less than 50mm in height. Marking must show destination, gross weight in kilograms, marks and numbers.

Foods and beverages must have labels bearing the following details in Spanish:

  • specific name of product
  • ingredients (including all additives)
  • net weight or volume of contents in metric units
  • date of manufacture or packing
  • expiry date, designation imported product
  • product registration numbers (where applicable)
  • name and address of the importer, agent or representative.

Statements appearing on labels in a language other than Spanish must have a direct Spanish translation in letters of the same type and colour.

Every packet containing drugs or pharmaceuticals must have the product's registration number plainly printed on it before it may be sold.

Piece goods must carry labels giving the percentages of their component fibres for example, cotton, silk, nylon.  The same description must appear on the invoice.

Chile’s technical standards and quality controls are established by the Instituto Nacional de Normalizacion (National Bureau of Standards). Its requirements are in accordance with the internationally accepted norms, referred to as

Basic Requirements. The Instituto Nacional de Normalizacion is Chile's representative in the International Standards Organisation.

Special certificates

Livestock require sanitary certificates issued by an approved authority in the country of origin; in Australia this is usually the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, Commonwealth Department Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia or the relevant state department of agriculture.

Plants and their parts, whether in their natural state or processed, require phytosanitary certificates issued by an approved authority in the country of origin.

Foodstuffs require a certificate of analysis issued by an official laboratory in the country of origin to obtain prior authorisation from the Chilean National Health Service.

A certificate of age may be required for imports of alcoholic beverages.

Methods of quoting and payment

Quotations should be in Australian dollars or US dollars on a CIF basis (Incoterms 1990) with details of component costs, including, FOB (Incoterms 1990), freight, and insurance.

Terms of payment are usually a letter of credit but other terms such as cash against documents may be negotiated.

Shipments on deferred payment terms, of over 360 days, require the prior authorisation of the credit terms by the Central Bank (see 'Import restrictions').

Documentary requirements

Commercial invoice

Five invoice copies, preferably in Spanish, is required. Some importers may request additional copies.

The invoice must include:

  • detailed description of the goods
  • invoice number and date of shipment
  • name and address of exporter
  • name and address of importer
  • terms of sale
  • final destination in Chile
  • whether dispatch is effected by sea or air
  • number of packages
  • marks
  • gross, legal and net weights
  • unit price of each item
  • statement of charges comprising FOB or FAS value (Incoterms 1990) - should be shown in the extreme right-hand margin of the invoice
  • freight
  • insurance
  • any other cost item up to total CIF price (Incoterms 1990)
  • the number and date of the Informe de Importacion from the Central Bank of Chile.

The invoice must contain the following signed declaration in English or Spanish: 'We hereby certify that the details contained in this invoice are true and correct and that the goods are of .................origin'. Signed .............. (Director, Secretary, Partner or Proprietor)', whichever is applicable.

Fax signatures are not permitted on the original document.

Bill of lading

To Order bills are acceptable, but the name of the consignee must be included. The original and two copies signed by the shipper or their representative must be provided and must indicate:

  • the name of the consignee
  • the Registration Certificate number and date of issue
  • the gross weight of items shipped, and the total gross weight
  • all freight charges.

Details of the goods and freight should appear on the face of the document and must not exceed 30 lines. If the description exceeds this space, a further Bill of Lading should be use.

Certificate of insurance

Number of required copies will be stipulated insurance.

Insurance

Normal commercial practice.

Public health requirements

All pedigree livestock, birds or unregistered purebred animals imported for breeding are subject to quarantine. All other livestock and birds are subject to a rigid sanitary inspection and to quarantine if necessary.

Imported food products are subject to detailed regulations regarding standards of quality and imports require prior authorisation from the Chilean National Health Service.

Plants and their parts, either in their natural state or processed, require both a phytosanitary certificate issued by an authority in the country of origin (usually, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, or relevant state department of agriculture) and permission for entry from the Department of Plant Quarantine in Chile.

To obtain permission the importer must submit a written application along with the phytosanitary certificate to the department giving details of the plants or products and of the individual shipments and requesting inspection.

Drugs, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals must be registered and authority to import must be obtained from the Seccion Farmacia of the National Health Service by a legally appointed local representative of the maker. The application must be supported by:

  • A Chilean consular certificate stating that the product is officially accepted for distribution in the country of origin.
  • A declaration of the formula and the manner of proving it, if necessary.
  • Full details of the therapeutic qualities claimed, dosage etc.
  • Sufficient samples to enable easy analysis to be made.