Cheese and curd

Member: 

Basic information

1

Outline of the system

In conformity with its commitments under the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture,
El Salvador has established tariff quotas for certain agricultural commodities. These quotas are allocated through an import licensing system, which takes the form of a public auction held by the El Salvador Commodity and Service Exchange (BOLPROS). Quota allocation certificates are delivered and subsequently presented by the bearer to the Ministry of the Economy upon application for a licence to import under the preferential tariff quota, in accordance with the Regulations on the Opening and Administration of Quotas.

2

Product coverage

The administrative provisions under which licensing is maintained in El Salvador are the
Regulations on the Opening and Administration of Quotas of 28 October 1999, enacted by
Executive Decree No. 46, published in Official Journal No. 203, Vol. No. 345, of 29 October 1999.
Amendments to the Regulations were made by Decree No. 16 of 15 March 2000, published in
Official Journal No. 73, Vol. No. 347, of 12 April 2000; Decree No. 97 of 16 November 2000,
published in Official Journal No. 223, Vol. No. 349, of 28 November 2000; Decree No. 15
of 29 January 2004, published in Official Journal No. 22, Vol. No. 362, of 3 February 2004;
and Decree No. 23 of 21 April 2005, published in Official Journal No. 83, Vol. No. 367,
of 4 May 2005. These Regulations govern the allocation and administration of the volumes of
imports under the tariff quotas granted by El Salvador in accordance with its multilateral
commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The products eligible for quotas accorded by El Salvador in the WTO framework are detailed
in Schedule LXXXV – El Salvador (Part I – Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff, Section I – Agricultural
Products, Section I-B – Tariff Quotas). However, the only products for which quotas have been
established from the year 2000 to date are:
CHEESE AND CURD 0406
- Other 0406.90
- - Cheddar type, in blocks or slabs 0406.90.20

Nature of licensing

Automatic

3

If Automatic, administrative purpose

Non-Automatic

4

If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime

Administration of quotas

5

Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

Non-automatic licences are not intended to restrict the quantity or value of imports, rather
to administer the products under World Trade Organization (WTO) minimum access commitments.

The purpose of the mechanism for the administration of import quotas is to ensure strict
compliance with El Salvador's international obligations as well as full enjoyment of the rights
secured as a result of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. This is done by
establishing clear and efficient rules to ensure that maximum use is made of the quotas, on the basis of the principles of transparency and non-discrimination.

6

Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

See answers 6.1-6.11

7

The system applies to products originating from which country?

The preferential tariffs applied to import quotas in the WTO framework are accorded to
products originating in any WTO Member.

8

Expected duration of licensing procedure

The relevant authority issues the licence within not more than 10 days after receipt of all the required information from the applicant.

Eligibility of applicants

12

Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?

13

What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?

The system of import tariff quotas is open to all parties interested in participating that fulfil
the relevant prerequisites under the Regulations.

14

Is there a registration fee?

15

Is there a published list of authorized importers?

Contact point for information on eligibility

16

Ministry/Authority

Ministerio de Economía de El Salvador (Ministry of the Economy of El Salvador)

17

Address

Alameda Juan Pablo II y calle Guadalupe, Edificio C1 - C2, Centro de Gobierno, San Salvador, El Salvador

18

Telephone

(+503) 2590-5788

19

Fax

(+503) 2590-5789

20

E-mail address

22

Contact officer

Mrs Margarita Ortez Quintanar

Submission of an application

23

Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application

Ministerio de Economía, Dirección de Administración de Tratados Comerciales,
DATCO (Ministry of the Economy, Directorate of Trade Treaty Administration)
Address: Alameda Juan Pablo II y calle Guadalupe, Edificio C2, tercer nivel,
Centro de Gobierno, San Salvador, El Salvador
Telephone: (+503) 2590-5788
Fax: (+503) 2590-5789
Email address: datco@minec.gob.sv
Website: www.minec.gob.sv
Contact officer: Mrs Margarita Ortez Quintanar

Documentation requirements

24

What information is required in applications?

A sample application form is available for consultation on the website of the Ministry of the
Economy. The importer is required to supply the following information with the application:
(a) name, address and tax identification number of the importer;
(b) description and tariff classification of the product;
(c) tentative import date and authorized in-quota import volume.

25

What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?

The quota allocation certificate, issued by the El Salvador Agricultural Commodity Exchange, must be supplied with the application.
The relevant documentation is available on the Ministry of the Economy website, at:
http://www.minec.gob.sv/descargas/formato de solicitud de licencia contingentes/?wpdmdl=1730&refresh=5efe6b530efce1593731923

Window of submission of an application

26

How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?

Not applicable, given that the Regulations in question apply only to WTO quotas.

27

Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain

Not applicable, given that the Regulations in question apply only to WTO quotas.

Issuing the license

28

Can a licence be granted immediately on request?

Not applicable, given that the Regulations in question apply only to WTO quotas.

29

Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence

Not applicable, given that the Regulations in question apply only to WTO quotas.

30

Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?

Not applicable, given that the Regulations in question apply only to WTO quotas.

31

Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?

Not applicable, given that the Regulations in question apply only to WTO quotas.

32

Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?

There are no other conditions attached to the issue of import licences.

Fees and other administrative charges

33

Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?

No licensing fees or administrative charges are levied by the government.

34

What is the amount of the fee or charge?

35

Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?

There is no deposit or advance payment requirement associated with the issue of licences.

36

Amount or rate?

37

Is it refundable?

38

What is the period of retention?

39

What is the purpose of this requirement?

Refusal of an application

40

Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?

An application for a licence may be refused if it is incomplete, is submitted in an untimely
fashion or contains serious errors such as those laid out in the Regulations, namely:
- failure to identify the applicant or to describe the economic activity involved;
- failure to provide a detailed description of the import quota in which the applicant wishes
to participate;
- failure to describe the product or to state the corresponding tariff heading;
- failure to indicate the import volume being requested for each tariff heading.

41

Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?

Applicants are informed in writing of the reasons for any refusal

42

Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?

The applicants have the right of appeal.

43

If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?

The applicants have the right of appeal before the authority that refused to issue a licence, in accordance with internal administrative procedures.

Importation

44

Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?

Not applicable, given that the Regulations in question apply only to WTO quotas.

45

What documents are required upon actual importation?

Upon actual importation, the importer must present the approved import licence to the
relevant customs authority during the clearance of the product, along with the standard import documents required at customs under Salvadoran customs legislation.

46

Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?

There are no prior administrative formalities apart from the import licensing procedure
described in the above replies and any sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.

Conditions of licensing

47

What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?

Each licence is valid for three months from the date of issue. The quota volumes are
available for that period only and may not be extended.

48

Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?

There is no penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence.

49

Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?

Licences are personal in nature and may not be endorsed, assigned or transferred in any
other way between importers.

Foreign Exchange

50

Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?

Not applicable. The currency in circulation in El Salvador is the United States dollar.

51

Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?

52

Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?

53

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)

6.1

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?

Import quotas established in accordance with WTO commitments are allocated and
distributed in accordance with the Regulations on the Opening and Administration of Quotas.
The Ministry of the Economy publishes information concerning the quotas and the formalities for filing licence applications in the Official Journal and submits a copy of the decision to
the El Salvador Commodity and Service Exchange (BOLPROS). Once the Exchange receives
a copy of the corresponding decision, it sets the date on which it will open trading for
interested parties, which must be within 30 days of the date of publication of the decision. It
is required to make this information public no less than 10 working days prior to the date in
question.
The only conditions acceptable for the award of licences are those prescribed in the
Regulations.
There are no exceptions to, or derogations from, the regulatory procedure.

6.2

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?

Quotas are determined on an annual basis.
The total quota volume is allocated by means of import licences that are valid for
ninety (90) days as of their date of issue. Licence validity may be extended at the request of
the importer, provided that it does not go beyond the annual import quota period. Importers
may submit a licence application on any working day of the year, provided that the annual quota has been made available to interested parties pursuant to the corresponding executive
decision. As a general rule, importers submit licence applications in accordance with their
import schedules.

6.3

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)

The system of import tariff quotas is open to all parties interested in participating that fulfil
the relevant prerequisites under the Regulations. There is no preference whatsoever in
respect of any type of product for domestic producers of like goods. Tariff quota portions
that remain unused following the expiry of the period of validity of the licences initially
issued in connection with that tariff quota are reallocated in time to enable importation
before the end of the year concerned.
Quota allocations that are unused by importers may not be accumulated for use in a
succeeding year. The products are those indicated in paragraph 2.

6.4

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?

Licence applications may be submitted immediately as of the date on which the Exchange
announces the opening of quotas. Importers may apply for licences on any working day of
the year, provided that the annual quota has been made available to interested parties
pursuant to the corresponding executive decision and the Exchange has consequently
announced the opening of the quota.

6.5

What are the minimum and maximum lengths of time for processing applications?

Licence applications are processed within 10 working days following the date of receipt of
the application.

6.6

How much time remains, at a minimum, between the granting of licences and the date of opening of the period of importation?

Import licences are valid for a period of three (3) months, during which the imports must be
made.

6.7

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 consideration of licence applications is effected by a single administrative organ.

6.8

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?

Licences are issued on a first-come, first-served basis; there is a maximum amount to be
allocated per applicant; new importers may participate provided that they meet the
established statutory requirements; and finally, applications are examined on receipt.

6.9

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?

In the case of bilateral quotas, the implementation procedure is contingent upon the special
conditions negotiated in the various trade agreements.

6.10

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?

No export permits are required.

6.11

Are there products for which licences are issued on condition that goods should be exported and not sold in the domestic market?

Licences are not issued on the condition that the goods should be exported and not sold on the
domestic market.