Import procedures

There are step by step procedures that need to be finished with El Salvador government authority for importation to El Salvador.

For starting an import export business you should enlist as a taxpayer with El Salvador Tax Authority. A registered trade with concerned license as per the business is must for exporting and importing of commercial products from and into El Salvador. Appropriate authorization from concerned agencies and institution are need to be obtained if requires.

El Salvador Customs is the official authority that is responsible for Collection of Duties and taxes, Protection of Society, Trade Facilitation, and Provision of Trade Data.

The documents required for import to El Salvador to take delivery of import cargo may based on the product importing, multilateral, bilateral or unilateral trade agreements, and other trade policies of El Salvador government.  The efficiency of the Customs Clearance process is depend on having the valid documents, the accuracy of the information provided in the documents as well as the promptness in submitting the documents and filing the necessary applications for the Customs Clearance.

For the most part in all nations there are three phases of process for import. One time enrollment method to acquire import permit, documentation required for importation and Import customs clearance procedures.


The entry of goods to our country is known as the Import Process. This can be for personal purposes or for commerce.

When the entry of goods from abroad is for definitive use or consumption in the customs territory, it is known as definitive importation in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Legislation. The definitive import regime will be subject to the payment of duties and taxes, when applicable, and to the fulfillment of non-tax customs obligations such as obtaining and presenting permits, visas and authorizations issued by the institutions that exercise control over the entry of goods considered restricted for importation such as weapons, chemicals, medicines, vegetables, etc.

In the Customs procedure, there are two ways in which the declaration can be made to import the goods or pay the taxes that correspond to them: one is the Declaration of Office and another is the Declaration Self-determined or transmitted.

The clearance process is understood as the steps that have to be completed for the goods to be released from customs control.

Before starting the import process, you should know what the previous acts are and what you can do to start your process.

The first step consists in the presentation to Customs of the means of transport in which the cargo or goods are moved, and CAUCA indicates in Article 61 that all means of transport that cross the border will be received by the competent Customs Authority .

Therefore, when arriving at land borders or points of entry such as Maritime or Air Customs, the first thing to do is to notify the Customs Authority.


The customs administration or delegation physically receives the means of transport to unload and receive the packages that have been manifested, as the case may be, and proceed according to the corresponding Customs.

The goods will be received from the cargo manifest and will be sent to the wineries of the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA)

The goods are inspected, as well as the data and state of the means of transport, proceeding to the entrance of the means to the customs premises. In the case of merchandise destined for a Temporary Deposit or General Warehouse of Deposit (AGD), the Border Land Customs will ask you to present the Letter of Acceptance issued by the Deposit or Storage. For its part, the Border Customs Office will send the merchandise in transit.

These are considered as Gathering or Internal Customs, in which the data and state of the means of transport are physically inspected in conjunction with the Transit Declaration, if everything is in accordance, the transit in the Customs Information System is finalized and the authorization is authorized. entrance of the means of transport to the enclosure.

If it comes from a Land, Maritime or Air Customs, the data and state of the means of transport are physically inspected in conjunction with the Transit Declaration, if everything is in accordance, the transit in the Customs Information System is finalized and the entry of the means of transport to the enclosure.


After receiving the means of transport, we proceed to the reception of the goods that it transports; If the result of the receipt of the merchandise is missing / surplus of merchandise, it will proceed in accordance with the following:

The designated official shall record their actions and records in the computer system (electronic manifest) or in the document of receipt of the cargo or unloading (Cargo Manifesto or Transit Declaration), especially with regard to identification, quantities of transport units, goods or packages discharged, their marching numbers, seal or seal, the differences received in relation to the cargo manifest, as well as the time and date.

The Customs or Customs Delegation will notify the Carrier by means of a written document (Receipt of Receipt), the remaining or missing found, granting a maximum period of fifteen working days counted from the day following the completion of the discharge, either in the port of arrival or in another place enabled for the reception of the cargo or of the notification of the document of reception of the same, in which the detected difference will be recorded. All of the above as established in article 261 of RECAUCA.

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