Customs regulations and required documents
Personal effects import regulations
Some export controls are seldom used. Some mineral resources may be controlled when exported. Re-export of equipment goods is normally not allowed except if the import is temporary.
Import licenses are rarely obligatory, but some products are subject to an import license: firearms and explosives require an import license from the Ministry of the Interior.
Import certificates are required for certain products subject to special control. All foodstuffs and agricultural imports are subject to obtaining health and phytosanitary certificates to be allowed to be exported.
Medicines, food products and cosmetics need to be registered with the Ministry of Health.
If alcohol products are imported, a label has to be fixed around the corking system of the bottle. Imported cigarettes must also undergo this procedure.
For further information, visit the website of the Commission for Currency Administration.
Venezuelan Customs requires that all documents are in Spanish. The invoice must be the typewritten original, not a photocopy. The manifest of importation and declaration of value (bill of lading) must be in quadruplicate.
The following documents are required: commercial invoice; bill of lading or airway bill; packing list; certificate of origin; and special certificates or permits when required (e.g., phytosanitary or quality standards certificates). Exporters should consult with the Venezuelan importer regarding what documentation is required in addition to the invoice.
Exporters should quote CIF and Free on Board (FOB) prices for Venezuela. Insurance and freight must be listed separately on the invoice. The invoice must be in duplicate and list both the value per unit and the total value of the shipment. The description of the merchandise must include the appropriate tariff number, which the importer can supply. To simplify the import process for a large amount of cargo for one project, there should be a single declaration for all items, and each item then listed separately with its respective tariff number.
Some Venezuelan importers engage in over-invoicing to acquire foreign currency at the official exchange rate. This is illegal under Venezuelan law.
Exporters are encouraged to follow the instructions of the importer and, for products requiring registration (food, pharmaceuticals, perfume), to ensure that the steps have been taken prior to shipment. Overall, the procedures are rather slow and the Venezuelan importer has to provide a number of documents by cooperating with the exporter.
For more information, please visit the Venezuelan Customs website.
Samples may not exceed 30 centimeters. Pure chemical products and alcoholic sweets cannot be considered as samples. Samples are exempted from customs duty.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports : 12%
Import taxes Customs duties are contained between 5 and 20% (there are certain exceptions like private vehicles: 35%). On average: 12%. The tax on wholesale transactions is 16.5% (on CIF price + import duty + Customs charges). In the free zone of Margarita, this duty is applied only to services. The duty on luxury products ranges from 10 to 20% , depending on the product. This duty is calculated on the result of the wholesale tax mentioned above. There is a specific tax for oil products and their derivatives. The import of private second-hand or new vehicles, but not pertaining to the current year, is prohibited except for a private person within the framework of his changing residence, and it is the same for second-hand clothes or used tires. The import of pork meat and its derivatives is prohibited. Within the framework of the WTO, compensatory duties are established on basic agrifood products: milk, certain cheeses, cereals… Dumping duties are applicable to some products such as jeans originating from China.
Prohibited: flowers, fruits, meat and meat products, live plants and until further notice, birds, bird products or bird by-products from Chile.
Import license and permit issued by the Ministry of Defense are required.
The import of certain endangered species of plant, live animals and their products is prohibited or restricted under CITES.
For further details please refer to CITES: www.cites.org
Import: Dogs and cats require certificates of good health and rabies vaccination. Dogs also require proof of vaccination against canine distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirosis. Certificates must be issued no less than 15 days prior to arrival and sealed by an approved government veterinarian. It is recommended to obtain an export permit from the Ministry of Agriculture’s office at the airport of embarkation, where available.
Birds require a good health certificate issued and sealed by an approved government veterinarian.
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Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, kidnapping, arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, and COVID-19.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Venezuela due to COVID-19 and a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Venezuela due to Health Infrastructure Breakdown.
Visit the Venezuela Affairs Unit’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Venezuela.
Country Summary: On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Department of State announced the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from U.S. Embassy Caracas. All consular services, routine and emergency, are suspended until further notice. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela. U.S. citizens in Venezuela who require consular services should try to leave the country as soon as safely possible and contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in a neighboring country.
Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common. Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and rubber bullets against participants and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism. The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Fact-Finding Mission reported that the regime has engaged in thousands of extrajudicial killings.
There are shortages of food, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies throughout much of Venezuela. The CDC issued a Level 3 ‘Avoid Nonessential Travel’ notice on May 15, 2018 due to inadequate healthcare and the breakdown of the medical infrastructure in Venezuela.
Consular access to detained U.S. citizens is severely restricted and the U.S. government is highly unlikely to be granted access. Security forces have arbitrarily detained U.S. citizens for long periods. Venezuelan authorities may not notify the U.S. government of the detention of a U.S. citize