Outline of the system
The licence applies to all food entering the country intended for human consumption.
All food and food products intended for human consumption are subject to a control system for importation into Chile.
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 control system aims to verify compliance with Chilean health regulations to ensure the safety of food and food products intended for human consumption.
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 any third country from which food or food products intended for human consumption are imported.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
Laws and decrees under which the licensing is maintained:
Law No. 18.164/82 of the Ministry of Finance
Health Code (Decree Law No. 725/67 of the Ministry of Health)
Food Health Regulations (Supreme Decree No. 977/96 of the Ministry of Health)
Manual for imports of food intended for human consumption (Exempt Resolution No. 322/2015, Ministry of Health)
The control system is statutorily required for all food and food products imported into Chile.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
Regulatory change is subject to legislative amendment.
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 natural and legal persons are eligible to apply for licences.
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?
It is necessary to submit an application for a customs destination certificate and a use and disposal certificate, which identify the importer, legal representative, product code, trade name, nature of the product, brand, type of product, product, format, quantity and country of manufacture.
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?
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.
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
Yes, in accordance with the epidemiological risk classification for products, described in Ministry of Health Exempt Resolution No. 322/2015.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Once the product enters customs processing, the National Customs Service indicates that food and food products intended for human consumption require authorization granted by the Ministry of Health through its regional ministerial secretariats.
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
All products are subject to control by the Chilean National Customs Service.
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Food and food products intended for human consumption, depending on their nature, require authorization from other services besides the Ministry of Health. Products of agricultural and livestock origin require authorization from the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG), while products of hydrobiological origin require authorization from the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (SERNAPESCA), besides authorization granted by the Ministry of Health.
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
In accordance with the epidemiological risk classification for products, described in Ministry of Health Exempt Resolution No. 322/2015.
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
Ministry of Health service tariffs vary according to the volumes included in each import (point 3.2.1. of Exempt Resolution No. 473/97).
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
There is an associated payment, as described in the previous point.
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
It is not refundable under any circumstances.
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
The aim is to cover the costs related to the activities of the health authority.
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Yes, import refusals are on the basis of a reasoned decision.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
There is a possibility of appeal pursuant to Book X of the Health Code.
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?
There are no limitations.
What documents are required upon actual importation?
The following documents are required upon actual importation:
1. Customs destination certificate.
2. Proof of payment of the Ministry of Health service tariff (Exempt Resolution No. 473/97, updated in 2020).
3. Bovine products must be accompanied by health certificates issued by the competent authorities in the country of origin, as established in Ministry of Health Supreme Decree No. 20 of 2009 and the amendment thereto (Requirements for the importation of bovine products for human use or consumption, according to their official bovine spongiform encephalopathy classification).
The health authority, in application of its legal powers, and considering the international free trade treaties in force and signed on the matter, may request, where appropriate, further background information, such as health certificates, results of analyses carried out in the country of origin, or technical data sheets issued by the product manufacturer. If this additional background information is not available from the importer, the relevant laboratory analyses must be carried out by the Chilean health authority.
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?
The authorization is valid for a single import, due to the control system applied by Chile.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
No, authorizations are for each import as a one time event.
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?