Chile is a very open market. All natural persons or legal entities are authorized to carry out import transactions. In spite of the liberal import regime, licenses are required for goods whose value is over 3,500 USD. In principle, they are granted automatically by the Central Bank of Chile. The importer must present an "Informe de Importacion", a document which must go through the commercial bank. This license is used above all for statistical purposes.
The commercial forms used by both importers and exporters are commercial invoices, certificates of origin, bills of lading, freight insurance and packing lists. Special permission, certificates, and approval documents, such as sanitary and phytosanitary certificates, are required for most agricultural products and in special cases for industrial products. Chile only approves the import of processed food products on a case-by-case basis.To bring in a product, the importer must obtain the permission of the Health Service Officer at the port of entry. For more information about online declaration, please consult the website of the Chilean Tax Service
Unlike US, courier services in Chile are decentralized. There are many small and medium players in the market, offering last mile delivery services. The vast majority of these companies are too small to develop their own software infrastructure, or to invest in technology all together. Considering that in eCommerce the price difference between retailers is not usually a decisive factor, organizations are now looking more at alternatives way to differentiate themselves from the competition. As online commerce has grown at a rate of 25% constantly, which drove the industry to look at last mile deliveries among other solutions. The Chilean client is looking at low cost deliveries, but starts to demand on-time and transparent delivery and communication.
Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into Chile whether by a private individual or a commercial entity. The valuation method is CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight), which means that the import duty and taxes payable are calculated on the complete shipping value, which includes the cost of the imported goods, the cost of freight, and the cost of insurance. In addition to duty, imports are subject to sales tax, and some goods are also charged luxury tax or beverage tax. The average duty rate in Chile is 6%. VAT is levied on imports at a standard rate of 19% calculated on the sum of the CIF value and duty. Imports with a FOB value (i.e. product value excluding shipping and insurance cost) up to US$30 are exempt from duty and from Classification Charge. VAT applies regardless of the value. Classification charge is applicable at 1% of the CIF value, when the FOB value is greater than US$30. Luxury tax is applicable on the sum of the CIF value and applicable duty at a rate of 15% on products like jewellery, and at a rate of 50% on products like fireworks. Beverage tax is applicable on the sum of the CIF value and applicable duty at rates of 13%, 15% and 27% on alcoholic beverages.