Includes the barriers (tariff and non-tariff) that U.S. companies face when exporting to this country.
Last Published: 7/12/2019

The Bolivian government generally does not apply specific restrictions, such as permits or import licenses, to trade in industrial and commercial goods.  However, in 2016 the government approved Supreme Decrees 2865, 2751, and 2752 according to which it is mandatory to submit a prior authorization to import certain products: soybean oil, sunflower oil, fruit juices, water, garments and clothing accessories, textiles, footwear, wooden furniture for offices, kitchens and bedrooms, washing machines and machines for washing, cleaning, draining, drying, ironing and pressing.

Since December 2008, Supreme Decree 28963 has gradually reduced the age of vehicles that may be imported.  Since December 2014, the maximum age of cars permitted for import is one model year old.  Additionally, Bolivia has prohibited the importation of diesel vehicles with engine displacement smaller than 4,000 cubic centimeters, all vehicles that use liquefied petroleum gas, and cars with right side steering.  The import prohibition on cars with right side steering has led to increased demand for U.S. vehicles, because right-side steering cars had often been imported and converted to left-side steering in the past.

Since October 2008, the importation of guns and ammunition for civilian use (Supreme Decree 29747) has been prohibited.  Bolivia officially banned all used clothing imports in April 2007.


Agricultural Products

In February 2008, Bolivia eliminated import tariffs for live bovine animals, fresh bovine meat, fresh, frozen and refrigerated chicken meat, wheat and wheat flour, corn, rice, and vegetable oil.  The decree prohibits the export of all above-mentioned products, excluding vegetable oils and oilseeds.  The relevant decree has been modified several times, resulting in the establishment of quotas and certificates that ensure internal supply and control prices.

In May 2009, the Andean Community of Nations (Comunidad Andiana de Naciones, CAN), of which Bolivia is a member, published a proposed regulation with the requirement that only live animals under 24 months of age would be allowed to be imported.  CAN's Administrative Resolution 1314 enacted in 2010 allows signatory countries to determine their own restrictions regarding imports of cattle from the United States.

In May 2015, the National Service for Agricultural Health and Food Safety (SENASAG) recognized the United States as a country of negligible risk for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and approved the import of live bovine animals from the United States.

In May 2016 the Bolivian Government issued Supreme Decree 2751 that orders the SENASAG to issue prior authorizations (instead of import permits) for the introduction of foods and beverages, and SENASAG has 30 days to determine if they approve them.  More than 50 products are affected by this determination including soy oil, sunflower oil, sugar (from cane), fruit juices, mineral water, other sorts of water with or without sugar and its derivatives.  This regulation in practice delays the import of some agricultural products up to a month.

In September 2016, SENASAG was recognized by law (Law 830) as the only Bolivian institution responsible for certifying food safety and animal and plant health at the national and international levels. 


Used Clothing

In January 2004, the Government of Bolivia banned the importation of certain types of used clothing, including old or damaged apparel articles; used bedding and intimate apparel; old shoes; and certain damaged textile articles, including rags, cords, string, and rope.  In June 2006, a new ruling renewed these prohibitions and banned all used clothing imports after April 20, 2007.  Though, in reality, the importation of used clothing widely persists.

The Bolivian government decided to protect the Bolivian clothing industry with regulations that in practice delay the import of some goods to Bolivia.  Supreme Decree 27652 issued on May 1, 2016 affects the import of almost 400 products by increasing to 60 days the time limit to process and authorize imports.  The products affected are mostly clothing and shoes and in practice delays the import of these products up to two months.


Used Cars

Since December 2008, Supreme Decree 28963 has gradually reduced the age of vehicles that may be imported.  Since January 2015, the maximum age of cars permitted for import is one model year old. 

Guns and Ammunition

On September 18, 2013 Bolivia passed a new law pertaining to the control of firearms, munitions, explosives, or other related materials.  The objective of the law is to establish norms, regulations, and control over the fabrication, import, export, commercialization, acquisition, and possession of those materials.

Article 13 of the law gives the Ministry of Government and the Ministry of Defense the responsibility of authorization, registration, financial oversight, import, export, commerce, transfer of ownership, donation, transport, transit, final destination, storage, armories, possession, manipulation, packaging, employment, or other activities related to firearms, ammunition, explosives, explosive material, fireworks or pyrotechnics.


Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

More Information

Bolivia Trade Barriers