Outline of the system
The aim of the Regulations is to govern the import policy applicable to tariff rate quotas (TRQ) under the Dominican Republic's WTO Schedule XXIII of tariff concessions, for garlic, rice, chicken meat, onion, beans, milk powder and corn. To that end, it establishes a system of non-automatic import licenses for the adjudication of TRQ for those products, with the exception of corn, which is governed by the automatic licensing system.
Garlic ( 0703.20), onion (0703.10), rice 1(006), beans (0713.31, 0713.32 and 0713.33), sugar (1701), chicken meat 0207.11, 0207.12 and 0207.14, milk powder (0402.10, 0402.21 and 0402.29) corn (1005)
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
Automatic licensing under quota (including TRQ) administration for corn.
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Non-Automatic licensing under quota (including TRQ) administration.
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The established import procedure is applied for statistical purposes and to administer import levels for all agricultural products, whether fresh or processed, originating in and/or consigned from any country.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
See answers 6.1-6.11
The system applies to products originating from which country?
Originating in and/or consigned from any country.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
Decree No.603-06 on Expansion of the Commission for Agricultural Imports, Decree No.319-22 establishing the regulations governing the Register of Importers of Agricultural Products and Decree No. 605-21 repealing Decrees Nos. 505-99 and 569-12, Decree No.553-22 establishing the regulations on the rules of procedure for agricultural imports under the tariff rate quotas in the Dominican Republic's WTO Schedule XXIII of tariff concessions.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
A Commission for Agricultura Imports (see Decree No.603-06 on the expansion of this Commission) and an annual timetable are also established and the Executive Branch is empowered to abolish the established procedure.
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
The Register of Importers of Agricultural Products (RIMPA) is being created with a view to establishing a database of lawfully constituted natural and legal persons that are engaged in agricultural trading activities under a trade name. Such a database will make it possible to check that these persons are complying with national and international rules governing trade in goods. Importers of agricultural products must be listed in the RIMPA in order to obtain an import licence. This instrument is the cornerstone of the licensing and quota administration system for agricultural products. Its key objective is to provide the basis for the registration of such importers.
The registration application must be submitted online, through the Ministry of Agriculture website (www.agricultura.gob.do). Users are required to fill in the RIMPA registration form and attach various documents.
The Import Licensing Department at the Ministry of Agriculture will provide registration confirmation, which consists of a special identification code. This identification code is made up letters and numbers indicating: the year of registration; the commercial activity of the natural or legal person (retailer, distributor or processor); whether the company is classed as large, medium-sized or small; and the application's position in terms of order of receipt.
The registration may be cancelled at the holder's request; because of failure to comply with the provisions set out in the regulations; where the registration code is found to have been issued on the basis of false information; and/or by duly substantiated order of the competent judicial or administrative authority.
The Ministry of Agriculture may, during the registration process, as part of the evaluation phase, or once registration has taken place, make technical visits, which will be conducted by the Ministry itself or by authorized natural or legal persons. These visits are made to verify the conformity of the relevant health documentation and the establishment.
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
(a) In the case of powdered milk from the European Union, the procedure for a person, firm or institution to obtain an import authorization is regulated by the European Union, which allocates licences to its exporters. Only persons, firms and institutions with a European exporter's licence are eligible to apply for an import authorization.
(b) Any person, firm or institution is eligible to apply for an import authorization.
Is there a registration fee?
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Commission for Agricultural Imports. Chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture/Department of Import Licensing for Agricultural Products
Autopista Duarte Km. 6 1/2, Los Jardines del Norte, CP 10602, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
Commission for Agricultural Imports. Chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture/Department of Import Licensing for Agricultural Products
What information is required in applications?
Written applications for import authorizations must give the name or business name, physical and electronic addresses and telephone and fax contact numbers of the importer, as well as a description and the quantity, US dollar value and provenance of the goods.
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
Applicants must attach a sanitary or phytosanitary clearance certificate (obtainable from the same administrative body) and a copy of the invoice or pro forma invoice. A clearance certificate from the Seeds Department must also be attached to applications to import seeds.
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
There are no other conditions attached to the issue of an import authorization.
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
An administrative charge is payable for clearance certificates and import authorizations.
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
No deposit or advance payment is required for an import authorization to be issued.
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Import authorizations are hardly ever refused, usually only when fraud or negligence is suspected in connection with an application.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
The reasons for any refusal or delay in the application process are made known to the applicant.
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
There is no specific legal procedure in this instance, but the interested party may appeal to the competent authority.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
The import authorization, clearance certificate(s) and commercial invoice.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
Imports are not subject to any other administrative procedures.
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
The import authorization is valid for forty five (45) days; upon expiry of that period, a new authorization may be issued under the same procedure.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
There are no penalties for the non utilization of an import authorization or a portion thereof.
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Import authorizations are not transferable.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
The Government is not involved in procedures for obtaining foreign exchange.
Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?
Importers must pay the total value of the goods with their own foreign exchange or by bank transaction, and a licence is not required as a condition for obtaining foreign exchange.
Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?
Foreign exchange is freely available from commercial banks and on the informal market.
What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?
The following questions are only for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports (whether applicable globally or to a limited number of countries or whether established bilaterally or unilaterally)
Where is information on allocation and formalities for licences published? Is the overall amount published? The amount allocated to goods from each country? The maximum amount allocated to each importer? How to request any exceptions or derogations from the licensing requirement?
The timetable establishing the quotas and dates in respect of the importation of products under the technical rectification is published annually in a national newspaper and on the Ministry of Agriculture website.
The established procedure applies to all imports, whether effected by traditional importers or by private or public institutions.
The Commission shall publish the allocation of import volumes on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture by 15 January at the latest. This publication must include the opening and closing dates of each quota in the calendar year. The Directorate General of Customs shall assign an electronic code to each applicant through the Integrated Customs Management System. These codes shall be issued within five working days of the publication of the allocation.
The volumes of WTO TRQ shall be allocated on the basis of:
a) End use of the product concerned and the line of business of the applicants.
b) Historical record of the total imports of agricultural goods made by the applicant during the sixty (60) months prior to the cut-off date established in Article 11 of these Regulations.
c) Quantities requested by the applicants.
d) Quantities available for traditional importers and new importers, by type of product.
Is the size of the quota determined: on yearly, six-monthly or quarterly basis? Are there cases where the size of quota is determined on a yearly basis but licences are issued for imports on a six-monthly or quarterly basis? In the latter case, is it necessary for importers to apply for a fresh licence on a six-monthly or quarterly basis?
The quotas for products under the technical rectification are determined on an annual basis. The authorized volume corresponds to the requested volume.
Are licences allocated for certain goods partly or only to domestic producers of like goods? What steps are taken to ensure that licences allocated are actually used for imports? Are unused allocations added to quotas for a succeeding period? Are names of importers to whom licences have been allocated made known to governments and export promotion bodies of exporting countries upon request? If not, for what reason? (Indicate products to which replies relate)
Import authorizations are granted to interested parties regardless of whether they are producers of like goods. With regard to powdered milk from the European Union, authorizations are granted to importers in possession of export licence certificates issued by the European Union.
Unused allocations are not added to quotas for the following year.
With the aim of guaranteeing that the quotas allocated are used, the beneficiary must provide written notice of the total or partial non-use of the allocated quota by 31 August of each year, at the latest. Beneficiaries not using their allocation and not providing prior notice of this shall be penalized by the non-allocation of a quota for the product in question for the subsequent calendar year. The Commission for Agricultural Imports shall reassign the quotas returned under the same allocation method.
The names of importers are made known to governments and export promotion bodies of other countries upon request, unless the information is confidential.
From the time of announcing the opening of quotas, as indicated in I above, what is the period of time allowed for the submission of applications for licences?
There are prescribed time limits.
The Commission for Agricultural Imports must publish a call for applications for the allocation of TRQ on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, by 1 October of each year at the latest. The period for submitting applications for WTO TRQ shall expire 15 working days after the date indicated upon publication of the convening notice. Prior registration in the Registry of Agricultural Importers is needed to apply for these TRQ (G/LIC/N/2/DOM/1) and to submit an application for the quantities of TRQ to the Department of Import Licensing for Agricultural Products of the Ministry of Agriculture, with the duly completed WTO application form for TRQ. The Regulations provide for a period of one year, from the time of publication, for the user to apply for the allocation of shares of TRQ, even if the applicant is not registered in the Registry of Agricultural Importers.
What are the minimum and maximum lengths of time for processing applications?
Applications for import authorizations are processed in two to three days.
How much time remains, at a minimum, between the granting of licences and the date of opening of the period of importation?
Import authorizations are valid for forty five (45) days.
Is consideration of licence applications effected by a single administrative organ? Or must the application be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval? If so, which? Does the importer have to approach more than one administrative organ?
The competent body for the allocation and administration of TRQ is the Commission for Agricultural Imports. The Ministry of Agriculture is the institution responsible for implementing the Regulations.
If the demand for licences cannot be fully satisfied, on what basis is the allocation to applicants made? First come, first served? Past performance? Is there a maximum amount to be allocated per applicant and if so, on what basis is it determined? What provision is made for new importers? Are applications examined simultaneously or on receipt?
The demand for import authorizations can be fully satisfied, except in the case of powdered milk from the European Union.
Authorizations are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Traditional imports made in previous years are taken into account in determining the quantity to be allocated to each applicant. Smaller quotas are allocated to new importers.
In the case of bilateral quotas or export restraint arrangements where export permits are issued by exporting countries, are import licences also required? If so, are licences issued automatically?
Import authorizations are issued automatically.
In cases where imports are allocated on the basis of export permits only, how is the importing country informed of the effect given by the exporting countries to the understanding between the two countries?
The importer submits to the administrative body (the Ministry of Agriculture) the authorization received from the exporting country (export licence certificate issued by the European Union) to import the product (in the case of powdered milk).
Are there products for which licences are issued on condition that goods should be exported and not sold in the domestic market?
Enterprises established in agro export free zones are licensed to import certain products subject to their being exported.