Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.
Last Published: 9/12/2019
In most cases, Salvadoran Customs does not require import licenses and requires only a commercial invoice and bill of lading.

In December 2008, the Customs Authority added a section to its website, entitled “Tariff Online Query,” where companies can learn the import tariff, whether import permits are required, if there are import restrictions for a product, and which specific government agency is responsible for permit issuance.  The Tariff Online Query

All imports of fresh food, agricultural commodities, and live animals must have a sanitary certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Public Health.  Basic grains must have import licenses from the Ministry of Agriculture, while dairy products require import licenses from the Ministry of Public Health.  Pharmaceutical products need to be registered at the National Directorate of Medicines (Direccion Nacional de Medicamentos–DNM).  Food products require a Certificate of Free Sale showing approval by U.S. health authorities for public sale.  At present, there is no standard regulation allowing entry of U.S.-approved products.  Some U.S. processed foods which were approved in the United States were rejected after analysis in El Salvador, thereby barring their sale.  USDA/FAS San Salvador has been able to obtain access for U.S. products rejected by the Ministry of Public Health on a case-by-case basis.  In addition, USDA/FAS San Salvador was able to negotiate exemption of the Certificate of Free Sale for U.S. meat and meat products and, instead, have local sanitary authorities from Ministries of Health and of Agriculture accept the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) 9060-5 Export Certificate.  Additional information can be found on USDA’s website under El Salvador’s Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards, and Export Certificate Attaché reports.  Import permits from the Ministry of Agriculture can be requested by the importer at the Ministry of Agriculture.

In 2011, the Government created a one-stop service for import applications in the Import and Export Transaction Center (CIEX) located at the Central Reserve Bank (BCR).  All agencies and ministries involved in an import procedure are represented at CIEX. In January 2019, CIEX launched the importation single window for food and beverage products and is currently working in the incorporation of other products to the electronic platform.

Read more about customs regulations and rules of origin certification under CAFTA-DR

 

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 http://export.gov/usoffices.



El Salvador Market Access Trade Development and Promotion