Customs regulations for your trip to Venezuela

Last modified: July 24, 2023
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Customs regulations

Non Tariff Barriers

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.

Import Procedures

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.

Importing Samples

Samples may not exceed 30 centimeters. Pure chemical products and alcoholic sweets cannot be considered as samples. Samples are exempted from customs duty.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

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 Items

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

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.

Wild Fauna and Flora:

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:

  • Acids
  • Advertisements (Wine)
  • Clocks/watches
  • Cosmetics
  • Drugs, Prescription and Non-Prescription
  • Eggs of animals
  • Foodstuffs
  • Ice, blue
  • Inflammable chemical products, fungicides, fertilizers, etc.
  • Medicines (Tylenol)
  • Personal effects
  • Playing Cards
  • Pork from most countries
  • Pornographic Materials
  • Seeds
  • Shipments with a customs value over US$2,000
  • Tobacco and Tobacco Leaves
  • Toys or Video Games that involve guns, violence acts and/or wars
  • Used autos, used clothing and used tires
  • Viagra

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)


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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