top of page



Bolivia, International Trade context

The Plurinational State of Bolivia is located in the western center of South America, its borderland has more than 3400 kilometers, which borders with Chile, Perú, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, is a landlocked country and relies on an international inland waterway in Puerto Quijarro (by the Tamengo channel, which connects with Paraguay river and subsequently with the Atlantic). Based on International treaties, there is free transit in the ports of Chile in the Pacific, specifically Arica, Mejillones and Antofagasta, likewise with the peruvian ports such as Mollendo and Ilo.

Bolivian Doctrinal Basis on Customs System

Bolivia developed doctrinal customs law, as a subsidiary branch of the national tax system, for which underpins the majority of the tax legislation principles and rules.


Kyoto Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures

The Bolivian customs legislation, finds its fundamental doctrinal regulation of the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures subscribe in 1973, although the country is not a subscribing party, this instrument, was adopted by the Andean Community in order for the country member to incorporate it into their legislation (CAN Decision 618).




Andean Community

Bolivia is part of the Andean Community, a regional organization initially constituted by Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia, from which Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela withdrew in 2006. This organization achieves an objective to pursue full development more autonomous and independent by the South American and Latin American, Andean integration. The Andean integration process began with the signing the Cartagena Agreement on May 26, 1969.

As a community body, it issues mandatory regulation to the country members, most of which relate to intra-community trade and common external treatment on imported goods from a third country.

In effect it highlights the rules on customs valuation (Decision 571), tariff classification (Decision 821) and customs procedures (Decision 671).


Latin American Integration Association (know in English as LAIA), is a regional international organization, constituted in august 12 of 1980 under the Montevideo Treaty in 1980, a trade agreement that establishes most of the Bolivian trade agreements which consists on tariff preferences, it's mainly important with in regards  to the rules of origin.

World Trade Organization


As a country member of the World Trade Organization, Bolivia recognizes the general principles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This institutional framework is of great significance in relation to the customs valuation methodology and for the Intellectual Property Rights on trade.

World Customs Organization

The Customs Cooperation Council was established in 1952, named in 1994 as the World Customs Organization which created and promoted a series of customs conventions  in order to achieve its objectives, within that framework, the exchange of information is promoted and cooperation in the fight against fraud.



General Customs Law

The customs procedures and customs tax liabilities are governed under 1990 Act,  July 28 of 1999.

Tax Code

The 2492 Act of august 2 of 2003, rules national tax system to customs, the General Customs Act governs tax liability and the Bolivian Tax Code incorporates customs infringements.

Regulation to the General Customs Act and Tax Code

25870 and 27311 Supreme Decrees, as statutory provisions issued by the executive branch, are dynamic (burdened by several specific modifications)

Specific Provisions

certain types of goods such as vehicles or used worn clothing) or an operative free zones treatment, imports of alcoholic beverages guarantee scheme, among others addressed according to the field of study.

Relevant Issues


Tax Administration Organizational Structure

The tax and customs administrations, is exerted under the National Customs, an independent and autarkic body. Likewise with the National Tax Service, it reports to the Ministry of Finance as the head of the area, without constituting  dependence for carrying out its responsibilities.

National Customs constituted under 1990 Act and its highest executive authority is the Chairmen of the Board (current position by Marlene Ardaya). The board is composed by five members nominated by the President of the State three of which are sent to the congress. Currently, five members (including the president) are assigned internally (without congress participation).

An executive level is functionality by a General Management and a Specialized National Management (management on, Ruling, Legal, Audit and Systems), and there are six (6) regional management offices (La Paz, Oruro, Potosí, Santa Cruz, Tarija and Cochabamba), those of which customs office depend on.

Applied Tariff Nomenclature

Common Nomenclature NANDINA, based on Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System) Council for Customs Cooperation.

Management office on Computerized System

Bolivia applies SIDUNEA++ as a computer system, which is a Spanish version of ASYCUDA (Automated SYstem for CUstoms DAta), developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Applied Valuation Methodology

As foreseen by the General Customs Act in article 27, in customs matter, the tax base is the transaction value and the valuation methodology is governed by the World Trade Organization assessment criteria.


The supranational regulation referred to in Decision 571 of the Andean Community and the Secretariat Resolution 1648, applies to Bolivia and requires submitting a sworn declaration of customs value starting from 5000 USD; it applies a standard format approved by the CAN (Andean Customs Valuation Declaration)

Rules of Origin

As a general rule, the rules of origin are based accordingly under ALADI (Resolution 252) and Andean Community (Decision 416 and 417), nevertheless, each agreement could set out rules and specific formalities for the application of tariffs preferences.

Agreements in which Bolivia is part of

Relevant bilateral agreements for the import of goods to Bolivia are:


CAN: Subregional Agreement (Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Bolivia) envisages tax rebate for all produced merchandise in the subregion with total customs tariff cut to 0%.


Venezuela: Applies 0% duty to all tariffs universe.

Bilateral Agreement with Chile (ACE 22): Chile eliminates tariffs fees on Bolivia's export universe of products, except wheat, wheat flour and sugar. Bolivia frees a Levy Tariff to Chilean products near to a list of 350 items.


Economic Partnership Agreement with MERCOSUR (ACE 36), “In accordance to the tariff elimination schedule which began on 28/02/1997, a 100% tariff elimination right for the products tariff universe on a reciprocity basis , Bolivia will conclude on 2014 the tariff elimination, becoming a free trade zone”.

Bilateral agreement with Cuba (ACE 47): “Bolivia and Cuba’s universe products are exempt from paying tariffs, 100% tariff preference is granted”.


Bilateral agreement with Mexico (ACE 66): Bolivia and Mexico’s products tariff universe is exempt from paying tariffs, however there is a list of products for both parties that govern exceptions.

Added to what was pointed out previously there is a tariff exemption to import seeds under  the Economic Partnership Agreement (ACE 2) which covers twelve (12) countries under ALADI  subscription and in which Mexico did not participate.

A Banking network authorized to raise revenues

"Banco Union" is currently authorized to raise tax and customs revenues (it is mainly government involvement).

Custom Duties:

Customs duties applicable to Bolivian imports are:

Tariff Charge

Chargeable Event: Final importation of goods

Tax base: Customs Value (A Transaction Value established by the WTO valuation criteria).

Aliquot: As per the product rate ranging is between 0% and 20%.


VAT Imports:


Chargeable Event: Final importation of goods


Tax base: Customs Value (A Transaction Value established by the WTO valuation criteria) added to that a payable amount of the tariff charge and unbilled disbursements.

Aliquot: 14.94%.

Other Tax Revenues by National Customs

There are other tax revenues by national customs when importing, such is the case with Specific Domestic Consumption Tax (known in Spanish as ICE) levy on automotive with a rate in accordance to specific characteristics, likewise a levy on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages imports. Similarly, a special duty to the beer import (pro-milk) and a Special Exercise on Hydrocarbons and its Derivatives (known in Spanish as IEH-D), it is a duty with a specific charge and not an ad valorem:

bottom of page