Labeling requirements are set by COGUANOR’s (Comisión Guatemalteca de Normas) labeling standards. Importers are allowed to use a stick-on label with the following information written in Spanish:
- Name of the product (the official name as noted on the U.S. Certificate of free sale)
- Description of the product
- Physical characteristics (including ingredients)
- Net weight/volume
- List of ingredients and additives and the percentage of total for each
- Name, address and telephone number of the distributor/importer
- Expiration date (if applicable)
All agricultural products of animal or plant origin must obtain an authorization for import from the Ministry of Agriculture to enter Guatemala. Please consult with an importer for the most current information.
The following is a general list of the documents that are required when importing into Guatemala:
- Commercial invoice
- Bill of lading
- Certificate of Free Sale
- Packing list
- Certificate of origin
All imported products of animal or vegetable origin are inspected by the "ventanilla unica" from the Unit of Norms and Regulations within the Ministry of Agriculture. The documents required are: a commercial invoice, bill of lading, certificate of free sale, packing list, and certificate of origin. These may be copies, but in order to clear customs, the originals will be needed. An application form must be submitted along with a fee payment in order to receive an import permit. The license is usually issued within 24 hours. For processed foods and all products of animal origin, the Unit of Norms and Regulations will require that the application be signed and stamped by Control de Alimentos (Food Control). This is done to verify that the product has a Sanitary Registration number. Food Control will also require a Free Sale Certificate in order to process the request. These certificates are generally issued by the state health or agricultural departments.
Food Control will authorize the import permit and then the product will be inspected by Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OIRSA). This is a regional inspection entity in Central America. Whether the imported product comes by air, land or sea, inspectors from OIRSA will need to review all the documents to ensure that the paper work is in order. Inspectors will perform a visual inspection of the imported products in order to authorize release from customs. Please note that to clear through OIRSA, the original copies of the required documents must be presented.
The importer must also pay the duties to SAT (Superintendent of Tax Administration). This payment is done in the form of a deposit at either of the two banks that are approved by Guatemala, and the deposit slip becomes the proof of payment. After all this has been done, the shipment will be released. However, there is a red/green light system in place. If a red light is received, there will be an additional review of both the documentation and the products. If a green light is received, the products will be released without further inspection.
There are excise taxes for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products set as a percentage of wholesale prices.
For the most current tariffs and taxes applied to imported products for this country, please visit the Online Tariff Database provided by Tariffic. 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.
Embassy of Guatemala, Washington, D.C.
Comisión Guatemalteca de Normas, COGUANOR (Guatemala Standards Commission)
Organismo Internacional Regional de
Office of Agricultural Affairs,
Unidad de Normas y Regulaciones (Unit of Norms and Regulations), Ministerio de Agricultura
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.