Argentina is one of the most rapidly growing markets in South America. It also has a complex structure of duties for imports that can be complex. However, with a little research, the taxes that importers must pay can be dissected in a way that makes them easier to digest.
Argentina is a member of the trade union MERCOSUR, along with Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. MERCOSUR's goal is to streamline import and export duties as much as possible, while allowing member states to maintain their autonomy. For example, MERCOSUR member states charge 20 percent duty on any automobile imports, and 11 percent on any raw material imports. Any Argentinian import duties will begin with MERCOSUR rates.
Value Added Taxes
In addition to the MERCOSUR tariffs, Argentina imposes value added taxes, or VATs, to imports. These are divided into two different categories: simple imports and good imported specifically for resale. Simple imports are taxed at 21 percent or 10.5 percent for specific industries such as steel or petrochemical, and goods imported for resale are taxed at a lower rate, 10.5 percent and 5.5 percent, to encourage economic growth.
Industries Exempt From Import Duties
Certain industries in Argentina are exempt from import duties or are given special lower rates in order to encourage the growth of certain industries. The biggest industries that benefit from these exceptions are steel, cellulose, and petrochemicals. However, these exemptions are not automatic: the importer will need to check with the Argentinian government to see if their industry and company qualifies.