Basic information


Outline of the system

As a rule, Guatemala requires licences to import products described in this notification, such as products subject to import quotas, as notified in Table MA.2 and document G/AG/2; wild flora and fauna; arms and ammunition; narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances that may cause dependence, solvents and precursors for processing; pesticides; plants and animals; refrigerants, hydrocarbons, radioisotopes; and restricted items. The import licensing regimes in force seek to maintain control over the flow of products in order to guarantee compliance with Guatemala's WTO obligations, and to exercise control over products that are considered hazardous; that may have implications for national security; or that must be shown not to endanger human and animal life and health or the environment.


Product coverage

Pesticides. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare to regulate the importation of pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, germicides, acaricides, avicides, bactericides, ovicides, rodenticides, repellents, attractants and any other product having a similar action, or any product or mixture of products intended to combat pests.

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

No. Import licensing is not intended to restrict either the quantity or the value of imports, except for goods whose importation is prohibited by law, such as military firearms, their components and ammunition, automatic weapons, radioactive material and endangered species of wild fauna and flora (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)).


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

Only for the importation of goods subject to active tariff quotas that are reported to the Secretariat for use in accordance with Table MA.2: See Answers 6.1-6.11.


The system applies to products originating from which country?

The licensing system applies to all the above-mentioned goods, regardless of the countries they originate in or come from.


Expected duration of licensing procedure

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?


Is there a registration fee?


Is there a published list of authorized importers?

Contact point for information on eligibility










E-mail address




Contact officer

Submission of an application


Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application

Documentation requirements


What information is required in applications?

It depends on the goods and the corresponding rules governing their importation.


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

It depends on the goods and the corresponding rules governing their importation.

Window of submission of an application


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

In all cases, applications for licences must be submitted prior to importation to the institutions listed in paragraphs 2 and 5, on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the requirements of the institutions themselves and the specific legal provisions.


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?

Not covered by the applicable legal provisions.


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?

In each case and depending on the goods to be imported, the requestor must submit their application to the relevant office specified in the corresponding regulations. Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare


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?

Yes, in some cases, such as for the import of wild flora and fauna and of arms and ammunition.

Fees and other administrative charges


Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?

The applicable rules described above do not establish administrative charges for the granting of licences by domestic authorities. However, each institution establishes such conditions on the basis of its internal rules and procedures.


What is the amount of the fee or charge?


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

No. However, each institution establishes the conditions under which such licences are granted on the basis of its internal rules and procedures.


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?

Besides failure to meet the ordinary criteria, there are no other grounds on which a licence may be refused.


Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?

Moreover, the reasons for any refusal are brought to the attention of the person concerned


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

The person concerned has access to all administrative and legal remedies, including judicial remedies, available under domestic law.


If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?

The person concerned has access to all administrative and legal remedies, including judicial remedies, available under domestic law.



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



What documents are required upon actual importation?

It depends on the goods and the corresponding rules governing their importation.


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 depends on the goods and the rules governing their importation, as described in paragraph 5, as well as the internal rules and procedures.


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?


Foreign Exchange


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

The foreign exchange market in Guatemala operates freely and there are no limitations on access to foreign exchange for the payment of 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?

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 overall amount allocated in the given calendar year is announced in the Official Journal and on the website of the Ministry of the Economy,, before its entry into force.


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?

It is determined on an annual basis.


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 allocation of licences, their use and other conditions for the use of such tariff quotas are established in the relevant regulations, which can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Economy,


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?

Applications may be received from the first working calendar day of the given calendar year.


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

Applications are processed within three working days.


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

The provisions of each quota state the period of the licence, which may be extended for a further period, provided that it does not go beyond 31 December 2021.


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?

This process is administered by the Ministry of the Economy.


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?

It is carried out on a first-come, first-served basis.


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 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?

Not applicable.


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