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Research by Country/Region January 22, 2018  
VENEZUELA: 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?
Import documents required are the airway bill or bill of lading, the invoice stating total cost and price per unit, cost of freight and insurance listed separately and the customs tariff number under which the product is to be imported. The requirements are the same for hardware and components.
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C. SOFTWARE: DUTIES and TAXES, UPDATES, 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?
Duties are assessed on the full value of the software. The import duty on software recorded on CDs is 10% ad valorem on the landed cost of the shipment (cost plus insurance plus freight).

Are taxes assessed on the intellectual property of the software or on the medium on which is it presented?
Taxes are assessed on the full value of the software. There is a 16% value-added tax (VAT) and 1% customs handling fee.

Is customized software treated differently than packaged software?
No.
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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 included in the sales price, this would be part of the invoice and would be included in the duties as well as the taxes. If updates arrive later as separate shipments and on new CD’s, these would be handled by customs as newly arriving merchandise and taxed accordingly. Thus, it is not possible to invoice the original software together with updates if these updates are shipped at a later date.
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SOFTWARE LICENSES: CUSTOMS CLASSIFICATION, IMPORT DUTIES, TAXES, OTHER

Are software licenses classified in Harmonized System 4907?
Software licenses are not classified under any customs tariff number as separate products. They are considered a fee and are part of the sale of the original software and part of the total bill. If a sales outlet sells licenses seperately, it has to declare them as a sale and collect the value added tax of 16%.

Are import duties/taxes applied? If so, on what cost/price base are they levied?
See above.

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?
License agreements are binding to customers but Venezuelan laws specify that this is true only if these agreements are written in the Spanish language and the costs spelled out in local currency. In the case of new computers sold with software installed, the details of the license are sometimes part of the bill of sale.
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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?
No tax is applied to any product or service sold via the Internet and there does not appear to exist a mechanism to enforce this.

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?

What are the documentation requirements for the electronically delivered import of digitized products (i.e. software, movie downloads) over the Internet or other networks?
We have heard of no imports of digitized products delivered via the Internet and we feel that such imports are not covered by any government agency.

Must an electronically delivered software import be accompanied by a physical shipment of the same product?
Cross-border electronically delivered software is not an issue since the government does not appear to be interested in such transactions because it does not consider them imports.
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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?
Service fees are taxable (16% VAT) if these fees are subject to a separate bill. If these fees are included in the sales price of the software, they are automatically and most likely reported as part of the original sale and thus taxed.

Are U.S. IT solution providers permitted to send personnel into the country to set up hardware/software-related systems?
IT solution providers, hardware installers, or maintenance technicians are allowed to enter the country but must have a visa.

Are special visa, work permits, and/or professional certification by an accredited body required?
For short-term visits, the 30-day tourist card is normally accepted but an extension can be requested. If a longer stay is anticipated, a different visa must be requested from a Venezuelan consulate and this type of visa is normally valid for one year. With this type of visa, however, the visitor is required to pay income tax on his salary while in the country. Professional certification is not required.
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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?
The import of refurbished hardware, peripherals, components, spare parts, etc. is permitted.

If so, what are the documentation requirements?
Document requirements are the same as for new equipment and there is no customs duties discount for used equipment. Venezuelan customs treats used equipment as new.

Is special labeling required?
No special labeling is required.

What value should be shown on the invoice?
The value of the refurbished product. However, customs will require proof of usage or bills of refurbishment if the value indicated on the invoice is far lower than that of new equipment.

How are duties and taxes assessed?
Taxes and duties are levied on the value shown on the invoice.
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2. USED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
Is the import of used computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
Same as for refurbised equipment. See answers above.
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3. REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
Are duties and taxes assessed on the re-import of repaired computer equipment?
The re-import of repaired equipment is allowed an duty-free but customs will require proof of the earlier import with proof that duties were paid plus a customs document showing that the export was effected for repair purposes and that the product will be re-imported.

How should the commercial invoice appear?
The invoice should show a detailed statement describing the work performed.
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RESPONSE INFORMATION

This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service in Caracas, Venezuela, in June 2003. For further clarification please contact:
JoAnna McInerney
Commercial Officer
U.S. Embassy, Caracas
Tel: 58 212 975 9495 / 975 9541
Fax: 58 212 975 9643
joanna.mcinerney@mail.doc.gov

Special Notes: The above information is intended to serve only as unofficial guidance. In seeking to obtain 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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