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Research by Country/Region January 21, 2018  
ARGENTINA: CUSTOMS, TAXES and DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS for IT PRODUCTS and SERVICES IMPORTS

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A. Is this country a member of the Information Technology Agreement?

B. Customs documentation requirements for IT products

C. Software: duties and taxes, updates, licenses, electronically delivered

D. IT services: tax treatment and other regulations

E. Refurbished, used, or repaired computer equipment imports


A. IS THIS COUNTRY A MEMBER OF THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AGREEMENT?
NO
Signatories to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) have eliminated their import duties on a wide range of information technology products, including software and computer hardware. For more information on the ITA, and exact tariff elimination schedules of signatories, click here.
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B. CUSTOMS DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR IT PRODUCTS

What are the documentation requirements for the physical import of software? For other information technology products?
The documentation required is the normal documentation for any import/export transaction: commercial invoice, packing list, B/L, etc.

It is extremely important to detail in the packing list every single item included in the shipment. If a CD or floppy disk containing drivers, manuals or back-ups is included in the shipment without being listed on the packing list, Argentine customs considers it smuggling with corresponding fines/penalties.

Other import costs such as port charges and customs brokers fees are applied on the CIF value. Bank charges are applied on FOB value.
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C. SOFTWARE: DUTIES and TAXES, UPGRADES, LICENSES, ELECTRONICALLY DELIVERED

DUTIES AND TAXES ON SOFTWARE IMPORTS

Are duties assessed on the intellectual property of the software or on the medium on which is it presented?
There are two ways of introducing software into the Argentine market.

1) The first way is to note separately in the required commercial invoice the value of the software product (intellectual property) and the value of the physical medium/support (CD). In this case, the software/IP is introduced under HS code 8524.31.00.910Z (extra-zone import tariff/duty: 0 percent, statistical fee: 0.5%). The physical support (medium) is introduced under HS code 8524.30.00.920C (extra-zone import tariff/duty: 17.5%, statistical fee: 0.5%).

2) The other way is to not break down/discriminate between the value of the medium and the value of the IP in the commercial invoice. In this case, both software and physical support (medium) are imported under HS code 8524.30.00.930F (extra-zone import tariff/duty: 17.5%; statistical fee: 0.5%).

When importing software to Argentina, it is highly recommended that the price of the medium and the price of the software/IP be broken down separately. Although software media generally do not have commercial value, it is advisable to assign media with a “symbolic” value of US$5 for Argentine customs purposes.

When full sales price, including cost of updates, is shown on the original invoice, with no discrimination/break-down, a 17.5% tariff (duty) applies to that amount.

All physical media which represent products contained under HS 49.01 (printed material or graphic arts, for example, dictionaries or manuals), if sent separately or at a later stage, has to be introduced in country as follows:

1) - HS. 8524.31.00.111H: medium with discriminated value in commercial invoice (duty 17.5% plus statistics fee of 0.5%).
HS 8524.30.00.112K: intellectual property with discriminated value in commercial invoice (duty 0% plus statistics fee of 0.5%).
2) HS 8524.30.00.113M: medium with no discriminated value in commercial invoice (duty 17.5% plus statistical fee of 0.5%).

Taxes and other charges
Other import costs such as port charges and customs brokers fees are applied on the CIF value. Bank charges are applied on the FOB value. Import duty for software, plus a statistical fee of 0.5%, is applied on the CIF value. Other taxes applied to this subtotal are VAT (21%), additional VAT (10%), and advanced profits tax (3%).

Is customized software treated differently than packaged software?
There is no difference between customized software and packaged software.
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IMPORTS OF SOFTWARE UPDATES

What are the customs duties and tax implications for software sold with updates when the full sales price, including cost of updates, is shown on the original commercial invoice? Are duties and taxes paid on that amount? What happens when the updates are sent at a later date? Are duties/taxes applied again? If so, based on what value? How should information presented on the commercial invoice for the original and subsequent shipments to avoid paying duties/taxes more than once on a single sale?
If updates are sent at a later date, and the value was included in the original invoice, the updates will pay duties again. Updates sent separately receive the same treatment as any piece of software.
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SOFTWARE LICENSES: CUSTOMS CLASSIFICATION, IMPORT DUTIES, TAXES, OTHER

Are software licenses classified in Harmonized System 4907?
HS software codes for entering software licenses into the Argentine Republic are: 8524.31.00.121L; 8524.31.00.122N; 8524.31.00123Q.

Are import duties/taxes applied? If so, on what cost/price base are they levied?
Software licenses are contracts for the right to use intellectual property. Contracts are not subject to valuation and are not typified in the Argentine customs system.

Licenses in general fall under the GATT valuation agreement.
  • If the license agreement is printed (on paper), accompanying the software, it should not be declared in customs because the item ”licenses printed on paper” is not regulated or typified in Argentine customs law.
  • If the license agreement comes on CD or on any other digital/magnetic media, Argentine customs rules apply.
  • If the license enters Argentina as an import of services, the Argentine VAT (IVA) law applies (21% upon commercial invoice value, plus 3% gross income tax). In addition, if it is declared as a payment for import of service as a software license, the bank is obligated to withhold a percentage that ranges between 12.25% and 33%, as advanced profits tax according to Art. No. 93 of the Argentine profits tax law – profits for a foreign source (rentas a cabezas de fuente extranjera en concepto de ganacias generadas por exportaciones de servicios). A current Supreme Court case may result in this amount being revised.
If declared in customs, it is highly recommended to break down the cost of the software, the physical media and the value of the license. Ninety percent of importers do not declare the value of licenses in customs. However, those companies exposed to inspections from Argentina’s tax authority (DGI) or customs or software legal declare imports of software licenses as imports of services.

Are withholding or other additional taxes applied on software licenses? If yes, how?
See above.

If a U.S. license agreement is included in the packaging or is part of the installation/registration of shrink-wrapped software imported from the United States, would that agreement be binding on consumers in your market? If so, would U.S. or local laws pertain?
In reference to a U.S. license agreement included in the software package as part of the installation/registration of shrink-wrapped software, the Argentine commercial code applies. Argentine law applies to any product/service that enters Argentine territory. However, depending on specifications of the terms and conditions of the license agreement, international private law may apply.
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SOFTWARE DELIVERED OVER THE INTERNET/ELECTRONICALLY DELIVERED SOFTWARE

Are taxes applied to software delivered to the end-user over the Internet? If so, on what value?
In reference to imports over the Internet, Argentina uses applicable resolutions of the Lisboa accord/agreement.
  • Software imported over the Internet for personal/home use is not taxed.
  • The Argentine Value Added Tax (IVA) law (21%) applies for software imported or downloaded over the Internet for commercial use or commercial purposes.
The level of declaration of software delivered over the Internet is unknown. Companies with high level of exposure declare such software imports. The illegal use or copying of software is a crime by law in Argentina (public law 25.036 was passed in December 1998, modifying section 1 of the intellectual property act covering software within its legal scope).

Would the situation be different if this software were instead delivered to a distributor who has a license to produce (replicate) and sell the software?
The Argentine Value Added Tax (IVA) law (21%) applies for software imported or downloaded over the Internet for commercial use or commercial purposes.

What are the documentation requirements for the electronically delivered import of digitized products (i.e. software, movie downloads) over the Internet or other networks?
If declared, electronically delivered imports over the Internet require a commercial invoice.

Must an electronically delivered software import be accompanied by a physical shipment of the same product?
Argentina does not require electronically delivered software to be accompanied by a physical shipment.
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D. IT SERVICES: TAX TREATMENT AND OTHER REGULATIONS

Are services (i.e. training, set-up, etc) relating to the sale of software taxed? If so, at what rate and based on what value?
Import of software-related services is taxed under the Argentine Value Added Tax (IVA) law (21% upon commercial invoice value, plus 3% gross income tax).

In most cases, services provided in relation to installation, unless it is a very large contract, are not declared as such because of the withholding system deriving from the profits law. Thus, if declared (upon payment with money transfer) the IVA law plus the advanced profits (Article 93), applies. Due to this circumstance, payment of services related may be frequently included in the invoice for the import of software as part of the intellectual property (IP) value.

Are U.S. IT solution providers permitted to send personnel into the country to set up hardware/software-related systems?
U.S. IT providers are permitted to send personnel into Argentina to install hardware- or software-related systems.

Are special visa, work permits, and/or professional certification by an accredited body required?
In general, personnel come into the country on tourist passports and do not need a visa if their stay does not exceed three months.
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E. REFURBISHED, USED, OR REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT IMPORTS

1. REFURBISHED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Is the import of refurbished computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
Yes. Used and refurbished computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) are permitted to be imported into the country.

If so, what are the documentation requirements?
The documentation required is much the same as for other import/export transactions. Some additional documents include:
1) PCS certificate of electric security (UL) (for CPU, monitor, and keyboards),
2) Certificate of refurbishing by original manufacturer, and
3) A contract with an official representative in country to guarantee after-sale services.

Is special labeling required?
No.

What value should be shown on the invoice?
The value of the sale.

How are duties and taxes assessed?
Duties: Keyboards have a 28% import duty. In general, other PC components and IT products, imported refurbished/used, are assessed a 3.5% import duty and 0.5% statistics fees on CIF.

Taxes: To this total, VAT 10.5%, additional VAT 10.5%, and 3% profit tax is applied. Toner cartridges are charged with 15.5%, 0.5% statistics fee, VAT 21%, additional VAT 10%, and a 3% profit tax.
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2. USED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Is the import of used computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
Yes. See answer above related to imports ot refurbished computer equipment, section E.1.
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3. REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Are duties and taxes assessed on the re-import of repaired computer equipment?How should the commercial invoice appear?
Re-imports of repaired computer equipment is characterized as a temporary export. Equipment sent for repair purposes abroad are charged with import duties and taxes that apply only to the value added or repaired part/work done on the equipment.
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RESPONSE INFORMATION
This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. Commercial Service in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 3, 2003. For further clarification, or for more information on the IT sector in Argentina, please contact:
Sylvia Yaber
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Embassy, Buenos Aires
sylvia.yaber@mail.doc.gov
tel: (54-11) 5777-4325
fax: (54-11) 5777-4203

Special Notes: The above information is intended to serve only as unofficial guidance. In seeking to obtain foreign government rulings in specific cases, it will often be necessary to refer to special laws, separate regulations and announcements, and case-by-case decisions by the government. Beyond the general guidelines shown above, legal counsel should be retained at an early stage of consummation of a major procurement contract, and before entering into any legal commitments.

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