If you thought trade in Africa is bad, consider this!

March 31, 2012 — Leave a comment

On January 10 2012 the Argentine tax authorities passed General Resolution 3252/2012, requiring importers to file an advance import affidavit before the definitive import of any type of goods. The affidavit is analysed by the tax authorities and by any other relevant government agency; only once approval has been granted may the import be carried out  The resolution applies to all types of product definitively imported into the country as from February 1 2012.

Under the resolution, importers must file an affidavit (through the tax authority’s website) before issuing a purchase order or similar document. The authority will inform importers (through its online application) of any news regarding the status of their petition and, if applicable, the reasons for any objections made and the government agencies where importers can remedy those objections. Importers must enter the affidavit number in the authority’s María Information System when the goods enter customs clearance. The customs clearance process will be automatically stopped if this number is not entered.

The tax authority has a 72-hour period (from the date on which the affidavit is filed by the importer) to make any comments. This time period may be extended by up to 10 calendar days in “those cases in which the specific activities of the agency in charge so requests”. Once the above periods have elapsed with no comments being made, the import operation may continue. Otherwise, the comments should be dealt with by the importer with the agency that raised them.

Import operations that already have an open irrevocable letter of credit (or similar document) or that have been prepaid (in both cases dating from before February 1 2012) are exempt from the obligation to obtain an affidavit. However, there are some contradictions in the text of the resolution that may create problems at the time of applying this exemption. The following import operations, among others, are exempt from the obligation to obtain an affidavit:

  • imports made under the courier or sample regimes;
  • imports that relate to turnkey projects (provided that they were approved before February 1 2012); or
  • imports that are sent in different shipments (provided that they were approved before February 1 2012).

At present, the foreign trade sector of Argentina is almost paralysed, with no clear sense of direction. Only time will tell whether the affidavit system starts processing requests relatively smoothly, or if the paralysis will result in an increase in litigation by desperate importers. Source: taken from the article: “Argentina’s foreign trade paralysis continues” – International Law Office.

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