International Affairs Division (IAD)

Venezuela


LABELING REQUIREMENTS

There are currently three sets of documents which serve as sources for labeling requirements in Venezuela.  These are the General Food Norm (Reglamento General de Alimentos), the Sanitary Defense Law, and COVENIN norms.   Processed product labels must include the following information in Spanish:

  • Brand name
  • Descriptive name of the product
  • Net content (in liters)
  • List of ingredients in decreasing order (if applicable)
  • “Manufactured by…” (manufacturer’s name) in (city, state, country)
  • “Imported by…” (Importer’s name/Import Company)
  • MINSALUD Registration Number

Beverage alcohol products must be registered with the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud - MINSALUD)

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REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Documents needed for customs clearance may include, but are not limited to:

  • Customs declaration of value
  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of origin
  • Import Pre-Inspection Certificate
  • Sanitary Certificate – this certificate is required for all wine, beer, and distilled spirits products imported into Venezuela
  • Import license (if required)

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LICENSING

While importers are not required to obtain an import license for beverage alcohol products, importers must fulfill other requirements, such as registering their imported products with the Ministry of Health (MINSALUD).  Please refer to the Import Procedures section below for further details.

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IMPORT PROCEDURES

Importers must register all of their products with MINSALUD’s Food Hygiene Division (División Higiene de Alimentos) prior to placing the product on the Venezuelan market.  Products that have not been previously registered in their country of origin may not be registered in Venezuela.  The registration for each product is valid for a period of five (5) years.
The following is a step-by-step outline of the procedures to be followed:

1. Fill out an application for Health Registration for Food (SIE-5-197).

2. The following documents that must accompany the application (all documents issued by foreign authorities must be presented for legalization at a Venezuelan consulate in the country of origin and translated into Spanish):

  • A certificate of free sale and consumption issued by competent authorities in the country of origin. The certificate must state that the food is for human consumption, or for processing, or for use as an input in food for human consumption in the country of origin, with a period of validity of 12 months from the date of application.
  • Certificate of chemical, physical and microbiological test conducted by an accredited lab in the country of origin.
  • A letter from the foreign manufacturer, or a power of attorney, authorizing the Venezuelan representative to apply for health registration of the product in Venezuela.
  • A letter of authorization from the Venezuelan representative, if a third party is requesting the health registration on his/her behalf.
  • A sample of the food or beverage product.
  • Three (3) copies of the original labels and packages used to market the product in the country of origin.
  • Three (3) copies of the Spanish-language draft label that will be used to market the product in Venezuela
  • A list of ingredients, including additives, colors and preservatives (if applicable).

3. Once all documents are submitted, MINSALUD will designate an accredited lab to conduct testing on the submitted samples.  MINSALUD will then evaluate the lab results and if considered satisfactory, will assign a health registration number.

4. Health registration numbers are subsequently published in the official governmental gazette.
Please note:

  • Imported brandy, cognac, whisky and rum must have been aged for at least three years. Wines aged and named “aged” or “extra aged” must show a proof that they have been aged two or three years respectively.
  • Only wines are allowed to be imported in barrels except for those products which will be processed by industrial establishments for other purposes. All alcoholic beverages must be registered and licensed for consumption by the Food Hygiene Division (División Higiene de Alimentos).
  • A customs agent of Venezuelan nationality must carry out customs procedures.  Where a legal entity acts as a customs agent, the staff should include a Venezuelan national.

Below is a list of procedures which must be completed to clear the products at the port of entry.

  • Incoming shipments must be inspected by an agent of the National Integrated Tax Administration Service (Servicio Nacional Integrado de Administracion Tributaria or SENIAT). SENIAT will compare the contents of the shipment to ensure that they conform to the invoices, packing lists, and other shipping documents.
  • The goods are inspected by MINSALUD.
  • A SENIAT appraiser compares the declared invoice price with international prices to monitor for evidence of dumping or tax evasion.
  • A customs agent assesses customs, port charges, and taxes and completes a liquidation form.
  • The liquidation form, accompanied by the required MINSALUD import permits, is stamped by SENIAT and port authorities.
  • The customs agency deposits the amount due in a SENIAT account in a local bank and presents the deposit slip to SENIAT and port authorities to obtain final clearance.
  • The merchandise is then released by customs.

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MARKETING SAMPLES

The Customs Law and its regulations allow the import of merchandise on a temporary basis for exhibitions and demonstrations. The importer must request permission for temporary entry, providing an exact description of the merchandise, its number and/or volume, its value and its expected date of re-export. Temporary entry forms may be requested from the SENIAT. A bond covering the full value of the duty payable in case the products stay in the country must be obtained and will be returned once the products have left the country. Temporary entry permits are usually granted for a maximum of six months.

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INDUSTRIAL ALCOHOL

Importers are not required to obtain import licenses in order to import industrial alcohol products into Venezuela; however, products which fall under Harmonized System (HS) codes 220710 or 220720 are required to be accompanied by a Sanitary Certificate issued by the country of origin.  Certain biodiesel products falling under HS code 382490 may require a Sanitary Certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (Ministerio de Agricultura y Tierras) or a Permit from the Ministry for Ecosocialism and Water (Ministerio del Poder Publico para Ecosocialismo y Aguas).

When applying for a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), importers should include a description of the production process for their goods, a physiochemical description of the product to be imported, a description of the purpose of the goods, a listing of any waste generated by the process of production, and the steps taken to dispose of such waste.  MARN will complete a technical inspection of the product/goods, and if approved, the importer shall receive an authorization to import the product which should be presented to Customs officials for clearance.

U.S. exporters may obtain sanitary certificates from TTB’s National Revenue Center, at 1-877-882-3277.
The tariff rate for industrial alcohol products varies depending on its HS classification, ranging between 5% and 10% ad valorem for biodiesel products falling under 382490, and 15% ad valorem for denatured and undenatured alcohol products falling under HS codes 220710 or 220720.

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TOBACCO PRODUCTS

Tobacco products, such as cigars, cigarettes, and little cigars imported into Venezuela are required to be accompanied by a Sanitary Certificate issued by the country of origin.  Importers of leaf tobacco are required to obtain both a Sanitary Certificate issued by the country of origin as well as a Sanitary Permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (Ministerio de Agricultura y Tierras).
U.S. exporters may obtain sanitary certificates from TTB’s National Revenue Center, at 1-877-882-3277.

There is a tariff rate of 10% ad valorem on leaf tobacco and a tariff rate of 35% ad valorem on cigars, cigarettes, and little cigars.

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TAXES/TARIFFS

For the most current tariffs and taxes applied to imported products for this country, please visit export.gov.  Please ensure you have a 10-digit HS classification code in order to obtain tariff information.  Also see the Census Bureau’s Schedule B search function ( https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/schedules/b/index.html), which allows you to classify your product according to United States export codes. Simply click "Search" and enter the keyword (i.e. beer) that best describes your product.

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CONTACTS

Embassy of the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela in the United States
1099 30th St., N.W.,
Washington, DC 20007
Tel: (202) 331-1313
Fax: (202) 333-0817
Web: http://eeuu.embajada.gob.ve/

Office of the Agricultural Counselor (USDA), U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela
Calle F con Calle Suapure
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba
Caracas, 1070, Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 907-8333
Fax: (58-212) 907-8542
Email: AgCaracas@usda.gov

Ministerio de Agricultura y Tierras (MAT)
Av.Urdaneta, Edificio “MAT”
Antiguo edificio de Fondocomun
Esquina de Platanal a Candilito
La Candelaria, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 509-0405/0406/0407
Web: http://www.agriculturaproductiva.gob.ve/

Ministerio de Alimentación (MINAL)
Av. Andrés Bello
Edificio “Las Fundaciones”
Municipio Libertador, Caracas, Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 577-0257
Fax: (57-212) 578-2647
Web: http://www.minpal.gob.ve/


Servicio Nacional Integrado de Administración Aduanera y Tributaria (SENIAT)
Av. Blandín, C.C. Mata de Coco, Torre SENIAT
La Castellana, Caracas, Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 274-4000/274-4026
Web: http://www.seniat.gob.ve/

Ministerio de Salud (MINSALUD) – División Higiene de Alimentos
Av. Baralt, Centro Simón Bolívar
Edificio Sur, piso 3
El Silencio, Caracas, Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 408-1533/484-3066
Fax: (58-212) 483-1533
Web: http://www.mpps.gob.ve/

Ministerio del Poder P├║blico para Ecosocialismo y Aguas
Centro Simon Bolivar, Torre Sur Plaza Caracas
Tel: (58212) 408-11-11
Web: http://www.minea.gob.ve  

 

The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports.  Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.

TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.

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Page last reviewed: April 4, 2014
Page last updated: March 24, 2017
Maintained by: International Affairs Division

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