- Labeling Requirements
- Oenological Practices (Winemaking Standards)
- Required Documents
- Licensing/Import Procedures
- Marketing Samples
- Industrial Alcohol
- Tobacco Products
For products imported through the National Food Institute – INAL (all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except wine):
Imported processed foods from the United States may be imported in their original package, and there is no need to translate the labels. However, a Spanish-language sticker label must be affixed to the retail package and include the following information:
- Name and brand of the product
- Country of origin
- Composition: ingredients and additives in decreasing order of weight
- Net weight or measure
- Lot number
- Expiration date (if applicable)
- Exporter’s name and address
- Importer’s name and address
- Importer’s RNE (National Register of Establishment number)
- RNPA (National Register of Food Product number)
- Storage, preparation and usage instructions (if applicable)
- Nutritional information
For products imported through the National Institute of Vitiviniculture – INV (wine only):
Imported wines may carry the label of the country of origin. However, a sticker label must be affixed to the retail package and include the following information, in Spanish:
- Brand name
- Wine type
- Wine color (red, white, rosé)
- Country of origin
- Name and address of the importer
- INV Importer Registration Number (No. de Inscripción INV)
- Net content expressed in centiliters, milliliters or cubic centimeters.
- Alcoholic content expressed in percent by volume (%)
- Sugar content (if containing 6 or more grams by liter (g/l))
- Analysis of Free Sale number (this may be requested in advance by the importer in order to allow for the number to be printed on labels before importation)
- The following health statements: "Beber con moderación" (Drink with moderation) and "Prohibida su venta a menores de 18 años" (Sale prohibited to minors under 18 years old).
GM (Genetically Modified) Food Labeling:
There are currently no specific regulations regarding the labeling of GMO products and products which contain ingredients produced from GMOs. The use of labels which contain references such as "Biotech Free" or "Non-GMO" is voluntary. Please see the Argentina Biotechnology report prepared by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, for more information.
The U.S. and Argentina are signatories to the Mutual Acceptance Agreement on Oenological Practices (MAA), which recognizes differences in countries’ winemaking practices. Through this Agreement, signatory countries (U.S., Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, and New Zealand) accept that wine made in another signatory country should be allowed to be sold in its market, despite the differences in oenological practices. This Agreement, however, does not apply to variances in labeling regulations; therefore, U.S. exporters are still required to verify their labels are in accordance with Argentine regulations (refer to the Labeling Requirements section for more information).
Various documents are required to register as an importer, register a product, and to receive a Certificate of Free Sale (Certificado de Circulación Libre). Several of these forms are found online:
- Importer registration: RNE (MS Word)
- Product registration: RNPA (PDF)
- Certificate of Free Sale: Certificado de Circulación Libre (PDF)
The National Administration for Medicine, Food, and Medical Technology (ANMAT) also provides instructions (Spanish-language only) on how to fill out these forms as well as other related applications.
For products imported through INAL (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except wine):
The importer must register as an importer and register the product through the INAL. A registration should be approved in less than thirty (30) days.
Further details on these requirements are listed below:
A. New importers must register as an importer by applying for an RNE (National Register of Establishment). This is a one-time process. In their request, the importer must include:
- RNE Registration form (MS Word)
- Proof of Tax Identification Registration with AFIP (the importer must register and obtain a CUIT, or unique tax identification number, prior to the RNE process)
- Proof of Importer/Exporter Registration with AFIP (the importer must register with AFIP as an importer, prior to the RNE process)
- Municipal authorization for the warehouse – contact local municipality for information
- Power of Attorney (if applicable)
- Approval of the company’s partnership
- Blueprints of storage plant and/or premises (if applicable)
- Payment of fee
The importer should file the above paperwork with the local sanitary office of the jurisdiction in which the importer’s business will be located. Please refer to ANMAT’s Contacts list (PDF) for a full list of offices throughout the country. Importers also have the option of filing the application for an RNE with the National Food Institute (INAL). Contact information for INAL can be found in the Contacts section of this document.
B. In order to register the product, the importer (who must already have an RNE) must apply for a RNPA (National Register of Food Product). The requirements are the following:
- RNPA Application form (MS Word) – in triplicate
- A Certificate (of Free Sale and/or fit for Human Consumption) drafted by the manufacturer and signed by the appropriate authority in the country of origin (in the U.S., TTB would be the appropriate agency for beverage alcohol products). The certificate must state that the product is fit for human consumption and has been authorized for free sale in the country of origin. It must also describe all the products and their brands intended to be registered.
- Original and three copies of the label(s) of the product used in the country of origin (if applicable), with corresponding translation into Spanish to be done by a Public Translator
- Copy of the potential Spanish-language label to be used on the imported product
- Power of attorney (if applicable)
- Proof of payment of registration fee
The importer should file the above paperwork with the local sanitary office of the jurisdiction in which the importer’s business will be located. Please refer to ANMAT’s Contacts list (PDF) for a full list of offices throughout the country. Importers also have the option of filing the application for an RNPA with the National Food Institute (INAL). Contact information for INAL can be found in the Contacts section of this document.
C. Once the RNPA has been issued and the product has arrived at the port, the importer needs to obtain a Certificate of Free Circulation (Certificado de Libre Circulación) at INAL. The documents required for this transaction are the following:
- Letter requesting a Certificate of Free Circulation for the product/s, addressed to the Director of INAL
- Copy of invoice
- Bill of lading
- Copy of the importer’s RNE
- Copy of the RNPA
- Copy of product label, adequately stamped with approval
- Certificate of Fit for Human Consumption and/or Analysis, issued by the sanitary authority of the country of origin (in the case of products produced in the U.S., TTB may issue such certificates)
- Certificate of Aging (for alcoholic beverages, except for wine)
- Proof of payment made to INAL
Once the importer has an RNPA, he does not need to apply for a new one every time he imports the product. However, he must request a Certificate of Free Circulation for each shipment.
For products imported through INV (wine only):
The importer must have proof of prior Tax Identification Registration with AFIP (in which the importer will obtain a CUIT, or unique tax identification number) before registering with the National Institute of Vitiviniculture (INV).
The importer should visit the local office of the INV (a contact list can be found on the last page of the INV Import Regulations document - PDF) and submit form "1856-O y M – Modelo Oficial" with an attached copy of the registration ticket issued by AFIP, signed and stamped by the applicant. If approved, the INV will issue a Certificate of Inscription as Importer of Wine Products (Certificado de Inscripción como Importador de Productos Vitivinícolas) along with a registration number that may be requested by authorities in subsequent importations.
Notice of importation:
The importer must also submit three originals of form 1815-O. y M. for an Import Permit, called a Guía Única de Importación along with analysis certificates issued by an official or officially approved laboratory of the country of origin. This form, which should be requested for each and every importation made by the importer, is a sworn declaration submitted by the importer that informs the INV about the product to be imported, and allows the INV to take samples of the wine in order to test the product according to the Argentine regulations. The Guía Única de Importación is also needed to transport the wine from the customs warehouse to the importer’s storage facility where staff from the INV will take the samples.
Please note that this permit must be submitted at least 48 hours before the expected date of arrival.
The Import Permit is usually issued the same day that the importer submits it and the delivery of the free sale analyses does not exceed 7 days from the date the samples were taken. The importer keeps two of the three copies, which will be part of Customs documentation. Once the Customs office has approved the import, the applicant must submit a signed copy to the INV together with an OM-1993 SIM form, "Import for Consumption" (Importación para Consumo) which is issued by Customs.
For more information on import requirements, please refer to INV’s Import Regulations document (PDF, in Spanish only).
Samples brought into Argentina are admitted free of duty if they have no commercial value. If the samples have value, bond may be given for the amount of the duty which would be payable on such merchandise. Such bonds are for a period of up to ninety days. Upon re-exportation of such samples covered by bond, the amount paid is refunded. The handling of samples under bond should be entrusted to a customs-house broker. Samples sent by parcel post or in other ways are treated the same as any other commercial shipment and have the same documentary requirements.
Ethyl alcohol, denatured ethyl alcohol, and methanol are regulated by the Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultura (INV), which also regulates wine products. All those who deal in these products (importers, exporters, distillers, producers, storage plants, etc.) must register with the INV. The Argentine law which regulates these industries is Law No. 24.566, which is available on the INV’s website (see Contacts section for details).
Ethanol imports are assessed a 20 percent duty while biodiesel imports are assessed 14 percent. In both cases, there are neither quotas nor limitations to import (Argentine Bio-Fuels report, FAS June 2007).
Importers must submit an application to receive a Phytosanitary Authorization for Importation, or AFIDI, at SENASA’s offices in Buenos Aires (see Contacts section below). The AFIDI will inform the importer of the specific requirements for the importation of the tobacco product in question. The AFIDI application form is available on the SENASA website.
Tobacco products must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of origin, issued in the U.S. by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Certificate should include all of the requirements as set out by SENASA.
For the most current tariffs and taxes applied to imported products for this country, please visit export.gov. Please ensure you have a 10-digit HS classification code in order to obtain tariff information. Also see the Census Bureau’s Schedule B search function ( https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/schedules/b/index.html), which allows you to classify your product according to United States export codes. Simply click "Search" and enter the keyword (i.e. beer) that best describes your product.
Please note: There are two agencies which control the importation of alcoholic beverages into Argentina.
- The National Food Institute, or "Instituto Nacional de Alimentos," regulates alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, with the exception of wine.
- The National Institute of Vitiviniculture, or "Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultura," regulates wine products. (The INV also regulates the ethyl alcohol and methanol industries).
Instituto Nacional de Alimentos (INAL), ANMAT
Embassy of Argentina, Washington, D.C.
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) U.S. Department of Agriculture
Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultura (INV)
Administración Federal de Ingresos Publicos (Customs)
The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports. Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.
TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.