Importing to Chile

Importing to Chile: A Step-by-Step Guide

Chile has specific processes and regulations for importing goods, depending on the value of the merchandise and the nature of the products. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to import goods into Chile.

Import Process Depending on the Value of the Merchandise

sin agente

Without Customs Broker (Only for air imports)

If the value of the merchandise does not exceed US $3,000 FOB value, the importer can undertake the customs process personally. Required documents include the Air way bill, commercial invoice, and notarized power of attorney from the owner or consignee for a specific dispatch. Additionally, certifications and endorsements may be required based on the specific circumstances.

  • Original bill of lading/ Air way bill or document that replaces it, according to the mode of transport.
  • Commercial invoice.
  • Notarized power of attorney from the owner or consignee for a specific shipment, in cases where the person processing the shipment is a third party.
  • Approvals or Certifications when applicable.

With Customs Broker (Only for air imports)

If the value of the merchandise exceeds US $3,000 FOB value, the importer must hire a customs broker. In cases where the customs clearance of the goods must be entrusted to this professional, the importer must provide them with the basic documents required to prepare the Declaration of Entry, which can be submitted to the Customs Service online.

Recepción de la Agencia de aduanas, Agente de Aduanas Aquiles Pérez

Regarding the basic documents, it is necessary to clarify that some are mandatory for all commercial imports, and others are required only in certain cases. The following are the mandatory documents for all commercial imports:

  • Original bill of lading, waybill, or air waybill, proving ownership of the goods by the consignee.
  • Original commercial invoice, proving the goods being purchased and their values.
  • Importer’s sworn declaration on the price of the goods, a form provided by the customs broker.
  • Mandate constituted by the sole endorsement of the original bill of lading.

Among the documents that are required only for certain import operations are the following:

  • Certificate of Origin, in case the import is subject to any tariff preference under a Trade Agreement.
  • Packing list, when applicable, always corresponding in the case of goods packed in containers.
  • Insurance certificate, when the value of the premium is not stated in the commercial invoice.
  • Expense Note, when these are not included in the commercial invoice.
  • Permits, visas, certifications, or approvals, when applicable.

Taxes on Imports

Importations into Chile are subject to an ad valorem duty or customs duty of 6% of the CIF (cost + insurance + freight value) and a 19% VAT on the CIF value plus the ad valorem duty. Additional taxes may be applicable to specific goods like gold items, jewelry, and alcoholic beverages.

Ad-Valorem duty (6%)

Payment of the ad valorem duty or customs tariff of 6% on CIF value

VAT (19%)

Payment of VAT (19%) on the CIF value plus the ad valorem duty

Calculation example:

Below is an example of calculating the taxes to be paid when importing to Chile:

CIF Value:US $1.000,00
Ad-Valorem Duty (6% of 1.000):US $ 60,00
VAT (19%) (on 1.060,00):US $ 201,40

In the case of goods originating from countries with which Chile has signed a trade agreement, the corresponding Certificate of Origin may be presented, allowing them to be exempt or subject to a percentage reduction of the ad valorem tax (6%).

2.1 Goods that have to pay additional taxes

An additional tax of 15% on the customs value of the goods + ad valorem duty must be paid on:

  • Gold, platinum, and ivory articles
  • Jewelry, natural or synthetic precious stones
  • Fine carpets and tapestries, fine carpets, fine tapestries, and any other article of a similar nature; qualified as such by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Fine furs, qualified as such by the Internal Revenue Service, manufactured or not
  • Caviar and its substitutes
  • Air or compressed gas weapons, their accessories and projectiles, with the exception of those for underwater hunting

With an additional tax of 50% (on the customs value of the goods + ad valorem duty)

Pyrotechnic articles, such as fireworks, firecrackers, and the like, except those for industrial, mining, or agricultural use or for luminous signaling

The additional taxes that will be applied to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are as follows:

Mineral waters, artificial drinks, and syrups10 %
Wines, champagne, cider, and beers20,5 %
Liquors, piscos, whiskey, brandies, and distillates, including liqueur wines or flavored wines similar to vermouth31,5 %

In cases where mineral waters, artificial drinks, and syrups have a nutritional composition with a high sugar content, that is, when they have more than 15 grams (g) per 240 milliliters (ml) or equivalent portion, the rate for calculating the additional tax will be 18% (article 5 of law No. 20,606).

The tax base on which the additional tax is calculated is the CIF value (value of the product at origin + freight cost + insurance involved for its transportation to the destination point) + customs duties.


Mineral waters, artificial drinks and syrups


Wines, champagne, cider and beer


Liqueurs, piscos, whiskey, spirits and distillates

The tax base on which the additional tax is calculated is the CIF value (value of the product at origin + freight cost + insurance involved for its transportation to the destination point) + customs duties.


Below is an example of calculating an import of Pisco:

CIF value:US $1.000,00
Ad valorem duty (6% on the CIF value):US $ 60,00
Additional tax (31.5% on US $1,060.00):US $ 333,9
VAT (19% on US $1,060):US $ 201,40

(ad valorem duty + VAT + additional tax)

3. What goods can I import?

In Chile, any merchandise can be legally imported, except those that are expressly prohibited by current legislation, such as: Toxic industrial waste, used vehicles and motorcycles, asbestos (in any form), pornography, among others.

There are special occasions in which the merchandise to be imported, due to its nature, may be subject to authorization or control by some regulatory service or approval, which must be obtained beforehand from the respective agency.

se puede importar

3.1 Goods that require certifications, approvals, or visas for import

Below are some examples of goods that must be subject to control prior to import:

Firearms, ammunition, explosives, and chemical, flammable, and asphyxiating substancesGeneral Directorate of National Mobilization (
Written or audiovisual material related to martial arts intended for teaching, without any limitation, regardless of the person, establishment, or entity that carries out the operationGeneral Directorate of National Mobilization (
Alcohols, alcoholic beverages, and vinegarsAgricultural and Livestock Service (
Plant products and goods that are considered dangerous for plantsAgricultural and Livestock Service (
Animals, products, by-products, and remains of animal or vegetable originAgricultural and Livestock Service (
Fertilizers and pesticidesAgricultural and Livestock Service (
Food products or by-products of animal or vegetable originAgricultural and Livestock Service (
Food products of any kindSEREMI de Salud
Pharmaceutical or food products for medical and/or cosmetic usePublic Health Institute of Chile
Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances that cause dependencePublic Health Institute of Chile, Seremi de Salud
Toxic or hazardous substances for healthSeremi de Salud
Fertile, fissionable, or radioactive elements or materials, radioactive substances, equipment, or instruments that generate ionizing radiationChilean Nuclear Energy Commission (
Hydrobiological resources, regardless of their stage of development, including ornamental speciesUndersecretary of Fisheries (
Fishery productsUndersecretary of Fisheries (
Radiocommunications equipment. Requires prior authorization for the use of the transmission bandUndersecretary of Telecommunications (
Human remains or ashes from cremationMinistry of Health, Hospital San Juan de Dios
Waste and scraps from batteries and accumulators; waste from zinc, lead, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, pharmaceutical products, organic solventsMinistry of Health (
Species of wild fauna and flora protected by the CITES ConventionAuthority defined in accordance with Article IX of the Convention (

Do you need a reliable Customs Agency?

Based on the considerations mentioned, the Agencia de Aduanas Aquiles Pérez stands out as an outstanding option due to its solid reputation, extensive experience in customs management, commitment to legality, and capacity to provide comprehensive advisory services to clients. The agency’s constant communication with various participants in the international trade chain positions it as a reliable choice for ensuring the success of international trade operations.

Furthermore, choosing a reputable customs agency like Agencia de Aduanas Aquiles Pérez goes beyond mere regulatory compliance, as it represents significant cost savings and the assurance that operations will be carried out transparently and successfully. Therefore, based on its track record and commitment to legal compliance, Agencia de Aduanas Aquiles Pérez is highly recommended for anyone seeking a reliable customs agency.

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