Is your company looking at importing from or exporting to Ecuador for the first time? If you’re not familiar with how logistics work there, or you’re just looking for a new Cargo company for shipping to Ecuador, then you’re right where you should be! The first consideration when shipping to/from a different country is an appreciation for their business landscape and the different ways the Freight Forwarding Industry is run. This, combined with local Corporate Culture, make for a big surprise if you’re living it for the first time. Not only are logistics laws much different from North America, but communication methods and business etiquette among business people might not be what you’re accustomed to.
The second consideration is deciding to face all these challenges yourself, to deal with a freight forwarder that only does what they’re told, or instead to choose a true Logistics Partner. A reputable organization that has been down that road before. You want a team that’s already familiar with the Ecuadorian culture, and has a proven track record of success. LAC is that company.
For shipping to Ecuador always choose LAC as your partner!
For those attempting to transact here for the first time, guidance and support will surely be needed, as they need to know where they are headed when shipping to Ecuador. As regards Freight Forwarding and Shipping of any kind, there are guidelines, prohibitions and restrictions to consider when sending merchandise to/from Ecuador. Prohibited commodities include used clothing, used tires, used shoes, used vehicles, certain pesticides, certain epoxies and esters, reptile hides, worked ivory, and ivory articles. Ecuador has imposed a broad range of tariff and non-tariff restrictions on trade in goods and services. This trend began several years ago, but accelerated significantly in 2014 and 2015. As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ecuador limits most of its tariff rates to 30% or less. Its average applied Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rate was 7.6% for industrial products and 19.6% for agricultural products. However, Ecuador has implemented trade restrictions since its most recent Trade Practice Review (TPR) in 2011, and accordingly the actual average applied MFN tariff rates may be higher. As a member of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), Ecuador grants and receives exemptions from tariffs, IE. reduced ad valorem tariffs and no application of the Andean Price Band System, for products from the other CAN countries: Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru. Currently, these countries have an Andean Free Trade Zone and apply common external tariffs (CET), as described in CAN Decision 370. In addition to duties, all imports are subject to a 12% value-added tax and an additional 0.5% tax for the Children’s Development Fund applied to the CIF value of the merchandise. (As part of a tax package passed after the April 2016 earthquake, Ecuador has temporarily raised the VAT to 14% for one year. The increased VAT is scheduled to expire on May 31, 2017.) Important to know when shipping to Ecuador.
It is important to provide a detailed packing list (in Spanish) of the merchandise in your shipment. To avoid delays or hassles when shipping to Ecuador, these lists must be as specific as possible. Vague wording like “miscellaneous” attracts negative attention and further inspections. Ecuador requires prior authorization from various government agencies, such as the Ministry of Agriculture (MAGAP)’s Agrocalidad, Livestock Undersecretariat, or Commercialization Undersecretariat, for imports of 80 types of agricultural items. The Ministry of Health must also grant prior authorization (sanitary registration or notification) for imports of processed foods, food ingredients, beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, reagents, natural products, and pesticides. The Ecuadorian Standards Institute (INEN) sets all labeling requirements. Labeling must be in Spanish and must include Name of the company, Address, Phone number, Tax registration number, Country of origin, Unit, Net weight, and Sanitary registration number, if required. INEN follows U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards and requirements for labeling and marking, when shipping to Ecuador.