Outline of the system
As a general rule, the importation of products does not require import licences; however, there are some products that require permits, authorizations, certificates and/or approval for importation, for reasons of public safety, animal or plant health, or environmental protection.
El Salvador has the Import and Export Processing Centre (CIEX El Salvador) of the Central Reserve Bank, Import Section, which is the body responsible for centralizing, streamlining and simplifying import and export procedures.
Interested parties can contact the Centre by email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or telephone: (+503) 2281 8000. Some import procedures are available online at: https://www.ciexelsalvador.gob.sv/ciexelsalvador/.
A process to improve governance is under way to reduce response times for products requiring import authorization, provided the required documentation is complete and submitted in advance of importation.
Imports of chemical and chemical-biological products for agricultural, livestock or veterinary use require an import authorization or permit. Pesticides, fertilizers, raw materials, chemicals and biological material for agricultural use, which are marketed in the country, must also be registered.
Chemical and chemical-biological products for agricultural, livestock or veterinary use
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The purpose of these licences is not to restrict imports but to regulate the production, marketing, distribution, importation, exportation and use of: pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, improvers, defoliants and other chemical and chemical-biological products for agricultural, livestock or veterinary use, and their raw materials.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The system applies to products originating from which country?
It applies to all countries, irrespective of the origin of the products.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
This type of product is governed by the Law on the Control of Pesticides, Fertilizers and Products for Agricultural Use. Annex VIII (a).Anexo 8 (a) Ley sobre Control de Pesticidas, Fertilizantes y Productos para Uso Agropecuario.pdf
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?
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
All persons/importers have the right to apply for import authorizations, whether natural and legal persons.
Is there a registration fee?
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
What information is required in applications?
(a) Registered or Unregistered Products Import Application, as the case may be;
(b) Photocopy of the purchase invoice for the product;
(c) Product Data Sheet (for unregistered products);
(d) Letter explaining the purpose of the importation and the intended use of the product (for unregistered products).
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
Prior to importation, so that when the product enters the country, it already has the import licence (permit).
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
There are no limitations on the date of submission of an application.
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
Generally speaking, import permits are granted promptly, provided all documentation is complete.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Import licences (permits) are generally issued in an expeditious and timely manner. Work is currently under way on a government improvement process to reduce response times, provided that the required documentation is completed prior to importation.
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
For this product, the import authorization is only processed by a single administrative organ.
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?
No, these products are not subject to quantitative restrictions.
There are no other conditions.
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
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?
Authorization is refused only when the established legal requirements are not met.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
Applicants are informed in writing.
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
Appeals for review may be filed before the same institution from which the import licence or permit was requested.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
In El Salvador, the Law on Administrative Procedures regulates the administrative review procedure for settling disputes when authorization is refused.
Once administrative remedies have been exhausted, there is also the option of filing a claim before the administrative tribunals, which have jurisdiction to verify the legality of and settle any administrative disputes that might arise between the public administration and individuals.
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
Authorizations and permits are subject to the payment of a fee of USD 6.78 for agricultural products. In addition, a levy equivalent to 0.6% of the c.i.f. value of the imported products will be charged.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
It is generally 30 days. (Phytosanitary, animal health and food certificates) It varies depending on the type of product. The validity of licences cannot be extended, they must be requested again. Consideration will be given to special cases where the goods are in transit and there has been some delay.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
No penalty is imposed for the non-utilization of import licences or permits.
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Import licences or permits are non-transferable, as they specify the particulars of the importer and the specific product/quantities to be imported.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?
Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?
What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?