Customs regulations for your trip to Uruguay

Last modified: July 24, 2023
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Customs regulations

Non Tariff Barriers

Uruguay has a liberal import policy. There is no quota system. License is required for the import of products such as medical equipment, chemicals, cattle, sugar, cereals, meat and flour. All importers should nevertheless be registered with the Central Bank and declare all their imports by filling an import declaration. Recording Certificates are valid for 180 days. A deadline for customs clearance of the goods is fixed.

Import Procedures

Only commercial firms, industrial firms, or individuals listed in the registry of importers may legally import products into Uruguay. A pro-forma invoice is required to start the import procedures, and importers must use an agent to handle their customs entries.  Required documents are: commercial invoice, transportation document, and certificate of origin.  However, the country may require other certificates depending on the type of product (HS Code).

The Mercosur common external tariff applies to ad valorem CIF value of imported goods. This customs policy may be subject to exceptions based on the type of goods. It is also important to mention that re-exporting within a Mercosur member country does not give rise to an exemption from custom duties: For instance, if you export a product to Uruguay, and sell it to Brazil later, you would have to pay Uruguayan customs fees, and later Brazilian customs fees. To avoid such a situation, it is highly recommended to use free zones.

Importing Samples

The import of sample is tax free if  the value of goods in customs doesn’t exceed USD 100 for each delivery.

Import Requirements and Documentation

Only commercial firms, industrial firms, or individuals listed in the registry of importers may legally import products into Uruguay.  A pro-forma invoice is required to start import procedures, and importers must use an agent to handle their customs entries.  The agent is in charge of issuing a customs import declaration and sending it electronically to the National Customs Directorate, before the cargo arrives to Uruguay.  Required documents by the National Customs Directorate are:  commercial invoice, transportation document, and certificate of origin.  The importer also commonly requests a packing list, identifying where different units are located within the shipment.  The country may require other certificates depending on the type of product (HS Code).

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Packing list copy in French or in German
  • Bill of lading (express release) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Certificate de Franchise en Douane
  • T-Form for transit within the European Union (EU) (new furniture and goods)
  • Original purchase invoice of new furniture and goods
  • Consumption declaration (COM 4) for new furniture and goods
  • Customs declaration in French or German
  • Inventory list numbered in French or English and without any blanks (5 copies)
  • Declaration 136 F
  • Attestation from employer / “Fiche de Renseignements”
  • Inventory list in French or English (3 original, completed, and signed on every page by the owner of the goods)

Specific Information

  • Based on these documents, we will set-up the Customs declaration in French, that the owner of the goods will have to sign in original (as well as the passport copy, the packing list, and an attestation that the belongings are used).
  • If the owner of the goods cannot provide the certificate “de franchise en douane” because the owner of the goods does not have a permanent residence permit, then the owner of the goods must provide:
    • Attestation from employer telling that the employee was residing outside the European territory for these last 12 months
    • Copy of rental contract in Luxembourg
  • If the employer cannot provide the attestation from employer, then the employer needs to provide utility bills covering the last 12 months before arriving in Luxembourg.
  • If an owner of the goods cannot provide some of the documents, a deposit for temporary import formalities is available.
  • All new furniture and goods are subject to taxes duties.
  • Diplomat removals are duty-free entry IF a 136 F declaration can be provided by the diplomatic organization / Embassy in Luxembourg.
  • Removals within the EU territory are not subject to taxes duties.
  • Duty-free entry for used furniture and goods must meet the following criteria:
    • The objects have been owned and used abroad by the owner of the goods.
    • The goods will clearly show signs of use.
    • The articles were not obtained for the purpose of a duty-free import.
  • For used furniture and goods, a provisional exemption of duties will be granted by Customs pending the presentation of documents and the authorization, against a deposit of the following:
    • The import charges (approximately 3.5% of the declared value of the goods),
    • The value added tax (VAT) of 15% (based on 10% plus the declared value)
    • A sum of €200.00 to secure a correct settlement of the Customs documents.
  • The certificate of residence must be issued by the local authorities (Commune) of the new domicile in Luxembourg, showing the nationality, previous residence abroad for at least 12 months, and the date of registration of the domicile in Luxembourg, and state that the applicant has not resided previously in Luxembourg (nationals not previously living in Luxembourg).
  • For citizens residing abroad for at least 12 months with a declaration of change of domicile, a certificate of residence issued by the local authorities (Commune) of the new domicile in Luxembourg, showing the nationality, the previous residence abroad, the date of the previous de-registration of domicile on leaving Luxembourg and the date of the re-registration of domicile in Luxembourg or two certificates are required:
    • One issued by the local authorities (Commune) in the city of residence in Luxembourg, bearing the date of emigration, and the commune abroad to which the owner of the goods relocated.
    • One issued by the local authorities (Commune) in the city of the new residence.
  • For nationals or non – citizens registering for a change of residence within the previous year  or no change of residence, proof must be furnished that:
    • The stay is not the consequence of a temporary situation (travel, mission, studies) of limited duration.
    • The owner of the goods had no residence in Luxembourg throughout the entire duration of stay abroad.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

Uruguay applies the Harmonized Customs System (SH)

Uruguay applies the harmonized Customs System, based on the World Customs Organization‘s system. Customs duties are calculated Ad valorem on the CIF value of the goods. However, Uruguay applies some minimum price for textile and clothing imports. Importers have to pay the difference between the amount of the invoice and the minimum price. The custom duties are payable on that minimal price. Uruguay is not part of the WTO.

Uruguay is a member of the MERCOSUR (Mercado Comun del Sur, gathering Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay and Uruguay), aimed at creating a free trade zone, a common external tariff and a free circulation zone for goods, services, capitals and persons. Customs duties between member countries were theoretically abolished in 1994, with nevertheless a lot of exceptions, according to the “adaptation regime” (Regimen de adecuacion).

The common external tariff (CET) does ot concern all products, currently: only 75% of the tariff lines benefit from a single tariff. The goods still outside the system, for the 4 countries are: equipment goods, IT, telecommunications, cars and sugar sectors.

Uruguay’s tariff structure comprises 19 rates that range from 0% to 35%.  The World Trade Organization reports that Uruguay has defined tariff rates, allowing 1,674 items to enter at a zero percent tariff rate, and applies a mean (simple average) tariff of 11 percent to the rest.  The products subject to a tariff of more than 20% are: sunflower and cardamom oil; soybean oil, margarine, and other fixed vegetable fats and oils; milk and cream; mozzarella; cane or beet sugar; fruit and nuts; rubber-soled footwear; and motor vehicles for the transport of passengers and goods.  Most of these products are on Uruguay’s national list of exceptions to the CET or are products for which the CET has been temporarily modified.  Uruguay’s tariff structure is available at its Ministry of Economy webpage: Here.  Uruguay applies preferential tariffs on some imports, such as equipment for agriculture and hotels, capital goods, and on goods for projects that have been declared of national interest.  These goods are also eligible for tax exemptions.

  • Dangerous objects (an authorization from the Ministry of Justice is required prior to import)
  • Tobacco
  • Spirits and wine (a detailed list showing the number, the size and degree of alcohol of the bottles as follows:
    • If < 13° = 12% VAT on the declared value + taxes of € 13.1 per hectoliter
    • If > 13° = 15% VAT on the declared value + taxes of € 13.1 per hectoliter

Prohibited Items

Occasionally, the government bans imports of certain food articles and pet food containing prohibited ingredients, or which originate from areas prohibited by the World Health Organization.

Uruguay completely prohibits certain products, such as:  paint with excess lead, organic chlorine-based insecticides, potassium bromate for food, used cars, asbestos or products containing asbestos, certain insecticides-herbicides.

The government eliminated import quotas in the mid-1970s and substantially reduced non-tariff barriers, including reference and minimum import prices, in the 1990s.  It eliminated reference prices and a few remaining minimum export prices in 1994 and 2002, respectively.

Uruguay applies non-automatic import licensing to certain products, such as motor vehicles, sugar, acetic acid, textiles, shoes, and steel for structural uses.  Importers should request licenses prior to the product’s arrival in Uruguay to avoid demurrage costs at points of entry.  I license is valid for 60 days (90 days for motor vehicles) after approval.

  • Ammunition
  • Ivory
  • Medicines
  • Narcotics and drugs

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Original title
  • Customs declaration in French, signed by the owner of the goods
  • Original bill of lading / air waybill
  • Original purchase invoice
  • Proof of insurance covering the previous 6 months
  • Certificate of residence
  • Proof of invoice or another document as evidence of the ownership abroad
  • Letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs verifying diplomatic status or employment
  • T-Form for transit within the European Union (EU)

Specific Information

  • Vehicles are permitted duty-free if in the owner of the goods’ possession and use for at least 6 months, had more than 6000 km when registering with the local authorities (Commune), and note that the owner of the goods is transferring to a residence to Luxembourg.
  • The car will not be sold or transferred before 12 months after the move.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate

Specific Information

  • Medical examination may be required on arrival
  • As regulations are often changing, contact the destination agent or Consulate for specific information.

Wedding Trousseau / Gifts

  • Form 136
  • Inventory certificate from the local authorities abroad, giving evidence that the applicant has resided together with his parents before marriage (residence is compulsory for one person of the couple) (duty-free import – 5 copies)
  • Certificate document showing place and date of the marriage (duty-free import)

Document showing that at the time of the marriage one spouse was residing in the country and the other abroad (duty-free import)

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