The Ministry of Food (MINAL) is responsible for issuing import permits and licenses. MINAL supervises almost every aspect related to distribution and storage of food for human consumption.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE
BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S.
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: VE1124
Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards -
FAIRS Country Report
This report was prepared by the Office of Agricultural Affairs of the USDA/Foreign Agricultural
Service in Caracas for U.S. exporters of domestic food and agricultural products. While every
possible care was taken in the preparation of this report, information provided may not be
completely accurate either because policies have changed since its preparation, or because
clear and consistent information about these policies was not available. It is highly
recommended that U.S. exporters verify the full set of import requirements with their foreign
customers, who are normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities,
before any goods are shipped. FINAL IMPORT APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO
THE IMPORTING COUNTRY?S RULES AND REGULATIONS AS INTERPRETED BY BORDER
OFFICIALS AT THE TIME OF PRODUCT ENTRY.
Section I. Food Laws:
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela?s (BRV) legislation governing domestically produced and
imported processed food products, beverages, additives, and coloring agents for foods destined
for human consumption, are contained in the ?General Food Norm.? This general food safety
law describes all requirements, including labeling requirements, which processed food products
must fulfill in order to be offered to consumers. The norm also requires registration for locally
produced and imported processed food products. Complementary norms were established on
March 3, 1996 (Official gazette Nº 35,921). An online version of the Norm can be accessed at:
The Ministry of Health (MH), through its Health Food Comptroller and the Food Hygiene
Division, is responsible for implementation of the Norm. The MH enforces food recalls and
recommends to other ministries any bans of local and imported processed food products
thought to be harmful to human health.
The Ministry of Food (MINAL) is responsible for issuing import permits and licenses. MINAL
supervises almost every aspect related to distribution and storage of food for human
The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MAT), through its National Institute of Integral
Agricultural Health (INSAI), issues phytosanitary and sanitary health import permits for
imported products and sub products of plant or animal origin, and animals and plant breeding
material. INSAI is similar to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in the United
The Ministry of Commerce (MC) is part of an inter-ministerial commission, along with MINAL,
MAT, and the MH, that defines the criteria for allowing imports of agricultural and processed
food products. Commerce also supervises advertisements dealing with food, food quality,
labels and health-related issues through the Autonomous National Service for Standardization,
Quality, Metrology and Technical Regulations (Sencamer).
Section II. 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 Venezuelan Commission for Industrial Norms (COVENIN). Beverage alcohol
products must be registered with the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health oversees processed food labeling in Venezuela. Labeling is mandatory for
domestically produced and imported food products. The MH?s authorities may require the
elimination or modification of any paragraph or phrase concerning a particular product, as well
as recommending the addition of any paragraph or phrase they deem necessary. Post provides
an informal summary of the relevant information below. For greater detail, please refer to
Informal Summary of General Guidelines:
Language: All labels must be presented in Spanish. A Spanish translation of the original/foreign
label must be authorized by the MH. The approved label must be stamped, sealed or printed
with indelible ink. The approved label must be applied to the product prior to export because
goods must enter the country in their final presentation.
Information on Label: The label must include the following information:
-Descriptive name of the product
-Brand name or trademark
-Net weight or net content (only metric measurements are accepted)
-List of ingredients in decreasing order
-Manufactured by (name of company) in (name of city, state, country)
-Imported by (name of importer/importing company)
-Special handling and storage requirements to keep the product safe, if any
-Cooking and oven temperatures must be indicated both in Celsius and Fahrenheit
-Detailed instructions for preparation or use
-Expiration date and/ or Minimum shelf life, in a legible, visible and indelible form
-The MH Registration Number.
-The SNML registration number (metrology registration through SENCAMER.)
-Any other requirement stated by COVENIN norms, General Food Law or special requirements
ordered by MH.
Nutritional Labeling: Only foods for special dietary use are required to include nutrient
information on the label (according to the Official Gazette No. 31.106 dated 11-9-1976).
Nutritional information must be expressed as a percentage of the recommended daily
requirement set by the National Nutrition Institute (INN). Recommended Daily Nutritional
Intake (RDIs) may be different from those in the United States. The complete list of RDIs is
available at the INN, and is not available on-line. The following additional information must
appear on labels for processed foods that are marketed for specific dietary use:
-Energy value, protein, digestible carbohydrate and fat contents (expressed in grams)
-Amounts of any nutrients claimed to have special nutritional value
-For vitamins A and D, nutrient content must be expressed in international units
-For all other vitamins and minerals nutrient content must be expressed in milligrams or
-Energy values must appear in calories
Labeling for baby foods: There is no special labeling requirement for baby foods. It is known
that the MH is very concerned about the use of modified food starches. Mentioning processes
used in modified food starches is strongly recommended at the moment of completing the food
Seasonings, Colorings and Flavorings: Locally produced and imported ingredients that could be
used in the formulation or further processing of food products must be registered with the MH.
The names of spices used as seasoning, colorings and flavorings of processed food products
must be specified in the label.
Health Claims: Information about health claims is subject to the MH?s consideration and
approval is given on a case-by-case basis.
Product that may cause allergies: If a product consists of or includes any of the following food
products or ingredients that may cause any allergic reaction, it must be included in the label,
with their specific names as follows:
-Processed food products containing grain gluten (wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt or any grain
hybrid or product)
-Crustacean and by-products
-Eggs and by-products
-Fish and fishery products
-Soybeans and their products
-Milk and dairy products, including lactose
-Nuts and derived products
Refund coupons or free offers: Promotions of domestically produced processed food products
(free offers and coupons) are allowed if previously notified and approved by the Consumer?s
Defense Institute, INDEPABIS. Information about general promotion conditions, valid dates and
INDEPABIS? approval number must be affixed to the food product. Foreign countries? free offers
or coupons are not valid in Venezuela. Therefore, this should be clearly specified on the Spanish
version label, or if the label is printed especially for export, it is necessary to include this
statement. Additional information about promotion requirements can be accessed through the
following link: http://www.indepabis.gob.ve/
Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations:
In general, packaging and container regulations are enforced by SENCAMER, based on
COVENIN, the compiling body for technical standards and norms, but also may follow Codex
Alimentarius guidelines. New manufacturing, storage and transportation practices for foods for
human consumption were established by the MH through official gazette Nº 38,739, dated
August 5, 2007 (which replaced the norms of official gazette Nº 36,081, dated November 7,
1996). Containers, vessels, canning, bottling and packing materials used to handle inputs or
finished products should meet the following general requirements:
-Manufactured with materials suitable for that kind of food such as glass, tin, plastic, paper,
cardboard, or another material approved by MH authorities
-Must not transmit substances to the food beyond the allowed limits under the standards in-
-Shall not have been previously used for any different purpose that might contaminate the food
Additional information about packaging and container requirements can be accessed
through the following link: http://www.sencamer.gob.ve/sencamer/action/normas-
Section IV. Food Additives Regulations:
General definitions concerning food additives and contaminants are contained in COVENIN norm
No. 910. U.S. exporters should note that some food additives authorized by the Food and Drug
Administration in the United States are not authorized in Venezuela, and vice versa. All
COVENIN standards can be accessed and downloaded through SENCAMER web page:
Some general guidelines concerning food additives are:
- Food additives and contaminant tolerance levels are specified in individual COVENIN food
- Food additives are approved during MH?s health registration, using COVENIN standards
- In the absence of a COVENIN standard for a specific food additive, guidelines from Codex
Alimentarius are used and are approved on a case-by-case basis by MH.
- For sausages, ham, meat and meat products in combination with other foods, the total level
of nitrite and nitrate must be indicated.
- ?Maximum Level of Chemical Residues? is based on Codex Alimentarius guidelines.
- When monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used, it would be useful for MH?s health registration
purposes to specify the level used.
Section V. Pesticides and Other Contaminants:
All domestically produced and imported pesticides should be registered with INSAI. Venezuela
does not have a national standard for pesticide Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). However,
regulations and guidelines concerning manufacturing, marketing and use of pesticides are
under the ?General Pesticide Regulations? (Reglamento General de Pesticidas) published in
1968. While there have been no updates to this norm, Codex Alimentarius ?Pesticide Residue
Tolerances Guidelines? are generally observed by INSAI. Information about approved pesticides
is available through INSAI?s offices.
Currently, no government agency has the responsibility or authority to monitor pesticide
residues in agricultural and processed food products. If an agricultural or processed food
product is suspected of being contaminated with pesticides or similar products, INSAI can
recommend its retention until further analysis proves the contrary. INSAI can recommend
specific lab analysis to confirm contamination. MAT, MINAL and MH are responsible for
enforcing retention. If lab results confirm pesticide contamination, products will be destroyed
and no indemnification will be granted.
Section VI. Other Regulations and Requirements:
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
? A Sanitary Certificate is required for all wine, beer, and distilled spirits products
imported into Venezuela
Animal Products and Unprocessed Plant Products
Imported products and sub products of plant or animal origin, and animals and plant breeding
material are subject to the issuance of a phytosanitary permit or sanitary health (SPS) permit
from INSAI. INSAI is authorized to restrict or prohibit the importation, marketing or use of
animal and plant products. For these cases, INSAI's ?Standing Technical Advisory Body? will
recommend the appropriate course of action on the basis of a risk analysis. The general
guidelines for importing animal and plant products are:
- The importer, exporter or producer should be registered with INSAI. The validity of this
registration is indefinite, but it can be cancelled due to non-compliance with dispositions stated
by pre-established laws and regulations.
- Prior to importing animal products and/or unprocessed plant products, importers should
request and obtain a phytosanitary or sanitary health (SPS) import permit from INSAI.
- Specific SPS statements (treatment and other conditions) for each type of product are
determined by INSAI on a case-by-case basis.
- Specific SPS statements are written on the import permit issued by INSAI.
- INSAI?s import permits have a non-renewable period of validity of between 60 and 90 days,
depending on the product:
? Sanitary health import permits are issued for animal products and livestock-farming
inputs (validity of 60 days)
? Phytosanitary import permits are issued for plant products (validity of 90 days)
- Import permits are only used for one shipment and one previously designated port of entry.
- Every shipment must be accompanied of an import permit issued by INSAI and its
corresponding APHIS or FSIS export certificate.
- The ?remarks? section of the APHIS or FSIS export certificate should include the specific SPS
statements, and should be written both in English and Spanish.
- No product should be loaded in a vessel before the import permit is received and the sanitary
statements required in it are written on the APHIS or FSIS export certificate.
Import Licenses for Basic Agricultural Products
Under its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, Venezuela is entitled to administer
tariff rate quotas for up to 62 HS code headings. The tariff rate quotas are administered
through an import license regime. MINAL is responsible for issuing import licenses, but approval
is subject to the concurrence of the ?Interministerial Commission,? which consists of the
following ministries: MINFINANZAS, MC, MAT, MINAL, and MH.
The validity of import licenses for a certain group of food products considered essential, defined
by the government, is valid for six-month to one-year periods. The products that will benefit
from an extended import license are milk and cream, cheese, sorghum, soybean oil, palm oil,
and coconut oil. Import licenses are valid for six months to a year, for certain products. The
basic guidelines are:
-Import licenses are valid for four, six or twelve month periods, and can only be renewed if, on
expiry, they have not been used for reasons outside the importer?s control.
-When applying for a license, local importers are required to submit a monthly list of imports
actually realized, indicating volume and value, together with the invoice of the most recent
import, also indicating the volume and value of the merchandise in question.
-The importer must indicate the amount of the allocated quota that remains unused.
-Local importers are required to obtain a ?certificate of non-domestically produced food
product? and a ?certificate of not-sufficient domestically produced food product? from the MC, in
order to obtain import licenses.
U.S. exporters must consider the long time frames between the process of obtaining an import
license, and the final shipment of the product. The process of obtaining an import license is
involved and takes a considerable amount of time and resources from the local importer. MINAL
has a special office, called the taquilla unica? to process import licenses as well as ?certificate of
non domestically produced food product.? For more information, please see GAIN reporting
from 2008 and 2009.
Table 1. List of products that are subject to import licenses
Yellow corn Sorghum
Soya beans Palm nuts and kernels
Soya bean oil Other oils
Palm oil Sunflower seed oil
Coconut oil Other vegetable fats and oils
Soya bean cake Animal and vegetable fats
Degras, yellow grease Milk and cream, not concentrated
Milk in powder, not exceeding 1.5 percent fat Whole milk 26 percent
Cheese Sugar Cane
Source: Official Government Gazettes, various issues and FAS/Caracas
For those products where the licensing system has not yet been implemented (45 products)
such as beef, pork and poultry, the BRV restricts the issuance of SPS permits. Additional
information can be found in Post?s FAIRS Export Certificate Report.
Import permits for seeds are issued by INSAI, after evaluating pest risk analysis results from
their studies. Requirements for pest risk analysis are provided by INSAI on a case-by-case
basis. Both locally produced and imported seeds must be registered through the National Seed
Guidelines for registering seeds can be accessed through the following web page:
Processed Animal Products
An FSIS certificate must accompany each shipment of meat and poultry and/or products.
Venezuela accepts imports from all FSIS approved plants. All federally inspected meat and
poultry plants are eligible to export to Venezuela. As noted above for unprocessed plant
products, importers are required to have an import permit before importing meat and poultry
products. Certificate requirements of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are currently
included in the FSIS export certificate library:
Processed Food Products Health Registration
All domestically produced and imported processed food products must be registered with the
MH, through its Health Food Comptroller and the Food Hygiene Division, before they can be
sold to Venezuelan consumers. Although Venezuelan law does not prohibit a foreign exporter
from registering food products, a local consultant or agent may prove to be the best resource
in order to complete the food registration process. The general guidelines for registering
processed food products are:
- All consumer-ready food products under the following Venezuelan Harmonized Schedule
headings (HS codes) are subject to registration: 03,04,05,16,19,20,21, and 22.
- Prior to importing consumer-ready food products, importers should obtain a registration
number from the MH.
- Processed foods not registered in the country of origin cannot be registered in Venezuela.
- All new-to-market local or foreign processed food products must be submitted for registration
before being imported. This new product will be subject to approval for registration by the MH
after several lab tests as well as to prove that it is apt for human consumption.
- The foreign exporter/seller is the owner of the product registration, although authorized
importers can proceed with the registration process.
- The processed food product health registration is valid for five years. Renewals are permitted.
- The MH would consider exceptions to the registration process for food imported by
- If an imported product does not meet the minimum quality standards or does not have a
health registration number, it could be confiscated and/or destroyed by MH authorities.
- Inspection at the point of sale is done by MH and INDEPABIS authorities on a regular basis to
determine if imported products are fit for human consumption, have sufficient shelf life, or are
thought to have been adulterated.
Obtaining a Health Registration Number for Processed Foods- Step by Step
In general, registering processed food products (food registration) through MH takes 30 to 60
working days. However, it may take longer because of the high number of applications. The
following is a guideline of the step-by-step process:
? Fill out an application for Health Registration for Food (SIE-5-197).
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
? A letter of authorization from the Venezuelan representative, if a third party is
requesting the health registration on his/her behalf
? One sample of the food product
? Three copies of the original labels and packages used to market the product in
the country of origin
? Three copies of the draft label that will be used in Venezuela, in Spanish
? In the case of food products that require special storage conditions, these should
be clearly indicated
? Any other requirement listed by COVENIN standards, the General food Norms, or
specifications of MH
? List of ingredients, including additives, colors and preservatives
Once all documents are submitted, the MH gives authorization to conduct the corresponding
laboratory testing for each of the food products to be registered. For meat, poultry, and dairy
products lab tests must be conducted in the BRV?s main lab ?Instituto Nacional de Higiene
Rafael Rangel.? For all other processed food products, the MH designates (on a case-by-case
basis) an accredited private lab to conduct food testing. Lab results are submitted directly to
MH. If the lab results are considered satisfactory, the MH will assign a health registration
number. Health registration numbers are published in the official gazette.
Samples for Registration Process
As part of the health registration process, the U.S. exporter or Venezuelan importer must
submit samples (generally no more than three) of each product/model for which a registration
is being sought to MH?s previously designated and accredited Venezuelan laboratory. Samples
without commercial value should meet the following requirements in order to obtain exemption
from the payment of import duties and value-added tax:
-Sender needs to be the producer of the product, its representative, or the authorized exporter
- The addressee shall be a company or an importer with experience in this activity
- All documentation (commercial invoices, transportation invoices or others) shall contain
annotations demonstrating that the products are samples without commercial value
-Samples should be identified as having no commercial value. It is advisable to mark the
package with the following wording ?Muestras sin valor commercial para su registro en el
Ministerio de Salud? (Samples without commercial value for registration with the MH).
Section VII. Other Specific Standards:
Exchange Rate Policy
Since early 2003, strict control policies govern and limit foreign exchange transactions.
Currency trading is illegal and all import transactions must be approved by the government?s
foreign exchange administration commission (CADIVI). Importers must register with CADIVI
for formal applications for foreign currency transactions. When approved, the transactions are
then liquidated through the Central Bank and finally through commercial banks. A complete
list of imported agricultural products that can be imported at the official foreign exchange rate
can be found at: http://www.cadivi.gob.ve. The list should be checked periodically as products
are added or removed by CADIVI without previous notice. Currently, there are two different
exchange rates set at Bs. 2.15/US$ and Bs. 4.30/US$ depending on the product.
For more information about food products included in CADIVI?s priority list, visit:
Since January 2003, the BRV imposed a price control policy on basic food and processed food
products. The MAT, MINAL, MC, and MINFINANZAS are responsible for recommending changes
to the controlled-price list. Changes to the list of food products under price controls include: a)
adding or removing products from the list, and b) increasing or lowering prices of certain food
products. It is important for exporters to check the list of products under price controls and
their current prices, as it changes periodically. For the current list of products subject to price
controls, refer to Appendix B.
Import Tax exoneration for Basic Products
As of February 21, 2008, the import tax exoneration for certain agricultural and processed food
products is permanent. Products of ?first necessity,? to Venezuela?s consumers (normally part
of the basic staple basket of food products, per Official Gazette Nº 38,875, dated 02/21/08)
are so classified. The import tax exoneration was implemented for the first time in January 28,
2003. It has been renewed every six months and products on the original list have changed
since then. Currently, MINAL and MINFINANZAS are responsible for reviewing and updating the
list of products, with the recommendations of the ?Interministerial Commission.?
Table 2. List of Products Exempted from Import Tax
Live bovine animals Meat of bovine animals, Powdered milk, infant formula
fresh, chilled, frozen, and soy-based infant formula
Durum wheat and other wheat Potato seeds Sugar cane seed for sowing
Oilseeds (soybean, sunflower, White and yellow corn seed Vegetables, for sowing: onion,
cottonseed and palm nuts and for sowing broccoli, carrot, lettuce, and
kernels) for sowing tomato
Dry beans, peas and lentils, for Dry beans, peas and lentils Protein concentrates and
sowing textured protein substances
Source: Official Government Gazettes, various issues, and FAS/Caracas
Value Added Tax
The BRV through the National Integrated Tax Administration Service (SENIAT) applies a flat 12
percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on sales of domestically produced and imported food products.
The IVA applied to imports is based on the total customs value. Recently the Government
announced that VAT will be increased in the near future.
Table 3. List of Products Exempted from VAT
Rice Coffee, beans or grounded Milk, soy-bases
All flours, of vegetable origin Tuna, canned, natural Cheese, white, hard
Bread and pasta Sardines, canned Margarine and butter
Eggs Milk, crude or pasteurized Poultry, fresh or frozen
Salt Milk, powdered Certified seeds
Sugar Milk, infant formulas Vegetables
Source: Official Government Gazettes, various issues and FAS/Caracas
Genetically Modified Organisms
Venezuela follows Andean Community Decisions Nº 391 and 345, which establishes a common
regime for access to genetic resources. Venezuela published in the Official Gazette Nº 5,468
of May 24, 2000 its Biodiversity Law (Ley de Biodiversidad Biologica), which creates a national
office for biodiversity. The Ministry of Environment has the authority to oversee all genetically
modified organisms. However, there are no specific guidelines for registering genetically
modified foods or food products.
Section VIII. Copyright and/or Trademark Laws:
The Intellectual Property Registration Institute (SAPI) is responsible for intellectual property
rights administration in Venezuela. While Venezuela is a member of the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO) and remains signatory to various international intellectual
property agreements, until recently it applied Andean Community regulations. Through Andean
Community Decision 486, Venezuela ratified the provisions of the WTO Agreement on Trade-
Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Brand Name and Trademark Registration Process
All brand names and trademarks of local and imported processed food products to be sold in
Venezuela must be registered with SAPI. Usually, brand name and trademark registrations are
among the services provided by specialized law firms in Venezuela. The basic guidelines for
registration of brand names and trademarks are:
- Prior to registering, a name search should be conducted
- Approval or rejection of a brand name is based on phonetics and spelling matches with brands
for similar products
- Approved and registered brand names are published in quarterly SAPI bulletins
- All the documents relating to patents, designs, trademarks, etc. are published in the
Industrial Property Bulletin
- The process takes from three to six months to be completed
Section IX. Import Procedures:
The BRV has implemented the United Nations Custom Computerized System (SIDUNEA) in the
majority of Venezuelan ports of entry. With this system, clearing customs takes approximately
five to eight working days. By law, only nationals and private custom agencies with Venezuelan
local staff are entitled to conduct customs procedures. A custom agent assesses customs, port
charges, and taxes as well as fills out paperwork forms. Generally, the custom agent?s fee is
one percent of the CIF value, plus any other charges accrued during offloading.
All imported goods presented at the ports of entry must be officially declared to SENIAT
authorities within five days of arrival. Fines may be levied and applied to any shipment when
the customs entry is made later than five days after the date of arrival. When an importer
either delays or refuses to claim a product arriving in Venezuelan ports, SENIAT will impound
the goods not claimed, and, if steep fines and storage fees are not promptly paid, sell the
goods at auction.
All shipments must be made on a direct consignment basis. Customs regulations stipulate that
the consignee is the owner of the shipment and is responsible for all customs payments.
Importers must register all of their products with the MH?s Health Food Comptroller Division
prior to placing the product on the Venezuelan market.
Import duties are calculated using the WTO Harmonized Scheduled Tariff classification system
on the CIF value of the products (using the commercial invoice as basis). Import duties are
assessed, due and payable at time of arrival. Import duties and fees are assessed in local
currency; despite the currency listed on the commercial invoice. The IVA rate of twelve percent
is calculated on the basis of the CIF value.
SENIAT charges one percent of the CIF value for processing shipments and for the use of the
port of entry. In some cases an additional stamp fee is added to offset the cost of processing
these imports. Both the SENIAT Customs & Port Fee and Customs Stamp Fee are calculated on
Products are inspected by MH and/or INSAI officers, as applicable, according to the type of
product being imported. MH inspects processed products, while INSAI inspects animal and
plant origin products. Regardless of the type of agricultural and processed food products, all
imports are subject to inspection by SENIAT, the National Guard (Guardia Nacional), and the
Anti-Drug Command (Comando Antidroga). There are no inspection fees.
Control of products at Port of Entry levels
The General Food Law authorizes MH, INSAI, the National Guard, and SENIAT authorities with
the power to reject, confiscate, or destroy imported food and agricultural products if:
- Documentation is incomplete
- permits are invalid
- the product is determined to be unfit for human consumption
- the product has insufficient shelf life
- the product is thought to have been adulterated
If the cargo is rejected, it can be temporarily stored at the port of entry at the importer?s
expense until the appeals procedures have been completed. In cases where imports are
confiscated or destroyed because they have been judged by competent authorities to be unfit
for consumption, importers are not eligible for compensation.
Below is a list of procedures which must be completed to clear the products at the port of
? Incoming shipments must be inspected by an agent of the National Integrated Tax
Administration Service. 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 the MH.
? 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
? The liquidation form, accompanied by the required MH 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.
According to Venezuelan customs regulations, all imports should be warehoused at the port of
entry while customs clearance is being completed. All shippers are urged to provide all
documents tendered for customs purposes in Spanish to avoid processing delays. The
documents needed for customs clearance include:
- Customs declaration of value
- Commercial invoice (no photocopies accepted)
- Insurance and Freight must be listed separately on the commercial invoice
- Bill of lading
- Certificate of origin
- Shipment manifest
- Phytosanitary or sanitary certificate, if required
- Import license, if required
Appendix I. Government Regulatory Agency Contacts:
Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Salud (Ministry of Health)
Av. Baralt, Centro Simón Bolívar, Edificio Sur
El Silencio, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 408-0000
División Higiene de los Alimentos
Av. Baralt, Centro Simón Bolívar,
Edificio Sur, piso 3
El Silencio, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 408-1533/ 484-3066
Fax: (58-212) 483-1533
Instituto Nacional de Nutrición-INN
Av. Baralt, Esquina El Carmen
El Silencio, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 482-6473
Instituto Nacional de Higiene "Rafael Rangel"
Ciudad Universitaria, Detrás Hospital Clínico
Universidad Central de Venezuela
Los Chaguaramos, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 693-1229/662-5074
Fax: (58-212) 693-4967
Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Alimentación (Ministry of Food)
Av. Andrés Bello - Edificio ?Las Fundaciones?
Municipio Libertador, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 577-0257
Fax: (58-212) 578-2647
Email address of Public Relations: email@example.com
Ministerio de Agricultura y Tierras (Ministry of Agriculture)
Av.Urdaneta, Edificio ?MAT?
Esquina de Platanal a Candilito
La Candelaria, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 509-0347/ 0348/ 0359/ 0360/ 0361
Instituto Nacional de Salud Agrícola Integral-INSAI
Av. Francisco Solano López cruce con calle Pascual Navarro
Edificio Torre Banvenez, pisos12, 13 y 14
Sabana Grande - Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 705-3416
Servicio Nacional de Semillas-SENASEM
Av. Universidad, Via El Limón, Edificio INIA
Maracay, Edo. Aragua.
Tel: (243) 240-4962/ 240-4911.
Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Comercio (Ministry of Commerce)
Av. Lecuna, Torre Oeste de Parque Central
Entrada Nivel Lecuna
Servicio Autónomo Nacional de Normalización, Calidad, Metrología y Reglamentos Técnicos-
Av. Libertador, C.C. Los Cedros, Planta Baja
La Florida, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 761-6474
Servicio Autónomo de la Propiedad Industrial-SAPI
Centro Simón Bolívar, Edificio Norte, Piso 4
El Silencio, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 481-6478
Fax (58-212) 483-1391
Instituto para la Defensa de las Personas en el Acceso a los Bienes y Servicios-INDEPABIS
Av. Libertador, C.C. Los Cedros, Planta Baja
La Florida, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 0-800-INDECU
Servicio Nacional Integrado de Administración Aduanera y Tributaria-SENIAT
Av. Blandín, C.C. Mata de Coco, Torre SENIAT
La Castellana, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 274-4000/ 274-4026
Comisión de Administración de Divisas-CADIVI
Av. Leonardo Da Vinci, Edificio PDVSA, Piso 3
Los Chaguaramos, Caracas
Tel: (58-212) 606-3939
Appendix II. Other Import Specialist Contacts:
Venezuelan-American Chamber of Industry and
2da.Av. de Campo Alegre, Torre Credival, Piso 10, Ofic.A, Caracas 1060, Venezuela
Telf: (58-212) 263-0833/267-20-76/64-81
Fax: (58-212) 263-20-60
ANSA (Asociación Nacional de Supermercados y Autoservicios)
National Supermarket Association
Ave. Principal de los Ruices
Centro Empresarial Los Ruices
Piso 1, Ofic. 116
Caracas 1071, Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 234-4490 / 235-7558
Fax: (58-212) 238-0308
CAVIDEA (Cámara Venezolana de la Industria de Alimentos)
Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber
Ave. Principal de los Ruices
Centro Empresarial Los Ruices
Piso 5, Ofic. 510
Caracas 1071, Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 237-6183
Fax: (58-212) 237-9918
USDA/ FAS CARACAS OFFICE CONTACT INFORMATION
Office of the Agricultural Counselor
Calle F c/c Suapure
Colinas de Valle Arriba
Caracas, 1070, Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 907-8333
Fax: (58-212) 907-8542
Web page: http://caracas.usembassy.gov/
Unit 3140 Box 240