International Trade Regulation Database

Users are reminded that international trade regulations and standards change with speed and frequency and that information from one source sometimes contradicts information from other sources. This database attempts to compile data from numerous sources. Users should be aware that because different sources are used, there could be errors or omissions. The user accepts that the information is only intended to be an initial reference. The user understands that there is no assurance that this reference material is error free, and that no one involved in compiling or distributing this reference material shall be liable for any damages arising out of its use. Commercially important information should be rechecked and verified with knowledgeable parties in the country of interest prior to sale or shipment.

 

  

Tariff Summary Comparative Contaminant Chart

What's New

 

There have been no major recent developments relevant to the confectionery industry.

 

Proposed and Pending Requirements

 

There currently is no information available.

 

Standards of Identity

 

The National Administration of Medicine, Food, and Medical Technology (Administration Nacional de Medicamentos, Alimentos y Technicos Médica, ANMAT) of the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) is the regulatory authority for food standards.  The Argentine Food Code (Código Alimentario Argentino) provides definitions and standards for confectionery products under Chapter 10 and cocoa and chocolate products under Chapter 15.  These standards include product definitions and descriptions, sales denominations, required properties, permitted additives, labeling information, and prohibited substances.  More detailed information, in English, is available in the attached document.

Confectionery Products

Standards of identity are included in Chapter 10 for the following products:

  • Bonbons of various types
  • Candies, including hard, soft, and chewable types
  • Lollipops
  • Chewing gum/bubble gum
  • Fondant
  • Baños de repostería (coatings for candies and other products)
  • Alfeñiques
  • Peanut candy (peanut brittle)
  • Candied chestnuts
  • Fudge
  • American mint (peppermints)
  • Nougat / Nougatines
  • Coconut rolls or tablets
  • Panforte
  • Praline
  • Caramelized yolks
  • Garapiñadas
  • Comfits and Dragées
  • Pastilles of various types
  • Marzipan
  • Pepipán
  • Turróns of various types

Cocoa and Chocolate Products

Standards of identity are included in Chapter 15 for the following products:

  • Cocoa beans
  • Roasted and husked cocoa
  • Cocoa paste, cocoa mass or cocoa liquor
  • Alkalized/alkaline cocoa paste, mass or liquor
  • Cocoa cake
  • Alkalized/alkaline cocoa cake
  • Defatted cocoa cake
  • Alkalized defatted cocoa cake
  • Cocoa powder
  • Solubilized cocoa powder or alkalized/alkaline cocoa powder
  • Defatted cocoa powder
  • Alkalized/alkaline defatted cocoa powder
  • Sweet cocoa powder
  • Foods with cocoa to prepare drinks
  • Cocoa fat or cocoa butter
  • Cocoa butter equivalent
  • Chocolate or sweet chocolate
  • Hot chocolate
  • Milk chocolate or sweet milk chocolate
  • Skim milk chocolate
  • Chocolate with cream
  • White chocolate
  • Couverture chocolate or sweet couverture chocolate
  • Couverture milk chocolate or sweet couverture milk chocolate
  • Couverture white chocolate
  • Products obtained by mixing chocolate with products such as nuts, cereals, candied fruit, or honey
  • Filled chocolate
  • Cocoa husks
 

Ingredient Allowances

 

Food Additives

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries jointly regulate food safety in Argentina under the Argentina Food Code (Código Alimentario Argentino). General food additive regulations can be found in Chapter 18, while food additive regulations specific to candies, chocolate, and chewing gum can be found in Chapter 10. The Code is amended periodically throughout the year; current proposals can be found on this page.

For imports, Argentina may also accept products that comply with Codex Alimentarius standards, or products from countries with food control levels comparable to Argentina’s, at the discretion of the National Health Authority.

The National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT), under the Ministry of Health, can provide further information on food safety regulation in Argentina.

MERCOSUR’s regulations, upon which many Argentinian food safety regulations are based, can be referenced on this site.

Contaminant Restrictions

The Argentinean Food Code maintains contaminant tolerances for the following confectionery products:

 

 

Chocolate

Cocoa and Cocoa Products

Cocoa Butter

Caramel

All or All Other Confectionery Products

In (mg/kg)

Arsenic (As)

1.0

1.0

0.1

1.0

Solid

1.0

Liquid

0.1

Copper (Cu)

30.0

30.0

0.4

10

10

Iron (Fe)

-

-

0.5

-

-

Lead (Pb)

1.0

2.0

0.1

2.0

2.0

Tin (Tn)

-

-

-

-

250

Zinc (Zn)

-

-

-

-

100

 

Proposed Contaminant Standards

Under the proposed standards of identity for cocoa and chocolate-based products to be incorporated into the Argentinean Food Code under WTO Notification G/TBT/N/ARG/230, selective cocoa and chocolate products will maintain the following contaminant maximum tolerances:

 

 

Cocoa Mass, Paste and Liquor

Chocolate

Cocoa Butter

In (mg/kg)

Arsenic (As)

1.0

1.0

0.1

Copper (Cu)

30.0

30.0

0.4

Lead (Pb)

1.0

1.0

0.1

Iron (Fe)

-

-

0.5

A date of implementation for these standards has yet to be announced, and further information on implementation will be provided once available. 

(Sources:The National Food CommissionArgentinian Food Code, National Food Institute)

 

Packaging and Labeling Requirements

 

Packaging and Container Regulations

The Argentine Food Code contains detailed packaging regulations under Chapter Four.  In general, food packaging must be manufactured with authorized materials that correspond to stated specifications, have closures that prevent involuntary opening under reasonable conditions, and may not transfer undesirable, toxic, or polluting substances to food (outside specified tolerance levels), or modify the compositional or sensory characteristics of the food.

Chapter Five of the Argentine Food Code specifies that the capacity of a food product’s packaging must be related to the actual volume of the product, and should not be more than 10% larger than the food it contains (for opaque, hermetically sealed containers), or 5% larger (for transparent food containers).

(Source: Argentine Food Code)

Labeling Requirements

Labels for processed food products are regulated under the Argentine Food Code (Código Alimentario Argentino), particularly under Chapter Five (“Rules for Food Labeling and Advertising”), though individual food standards throughout the Code also include product-specific labeling stipulations.

In general, packaged foods should not be labeled with any false, insufficient, confusing, or misleading information (whether verbal, pictorial, or otherwise); may not attribute any medicinal, therapeutic, or other health-related properties to the food; and may not highlight the presence or absence of ingredients that are intrinsic to or characteristic of the food.

Labeling from the country of origin is generally permitted, but a corresponding Spanish label must be affixed when the original is in another language.  This Spanish-language sticker can be added at the place of origin, or, after an application is filed with the Ministry of Health, at the destination.  It should include the following information, in text of at least 1 mm in size:

  • Sales denomination of the food (when a particular denomination has been established in a food standard, this denomination must be used), and the brand name, along with any additional words or phrases that are necessary to avoid misleading the consumer.
  • List of ingredients, preceded by the expression ingredientes: or ingr.:, listed in order of decreasing initial weight.
    • Food additives must be declared, stating their full name and/or INS number, along with their primary function in the food.  They should be declared at the end of list of ingredients, and may be grouped by function.  For flavorings, only the function and, optionally, the classification must be declared.
    • Compound ingredients that comprise at least 25% of the food must be followed by a list of their own ingredients, in parentheses.
    • For foods intended to be reconstituted before consumption, ingredients may be listed in order of their proportions in the reconstituted food.
  • Net contents, which may be indicated in text smaller than 1 mm.
  • Identification of the origin, including the name of the manufacturer, producer, or owner of the trademark; the company’s address; and the registration number or identification code (RNE).  One of the following expressions should be used to identify the origin:
    • fabricado en…
    • producto…
    • industria…
  • Name and address of the importer, for imported food.
  • Lot identification: An indication in code or clear language printed, engraved, or marked on the product, which identifies the batch to which it belongs.  The batch is determined by the manufacturer/producer, and can be either a key code preceded by the letter “L”, or the date of preparation/packaging/minimum duration, in the order of day/month or month/year.
  • Expiration date, consisting of the day and month (for products with a duration up to 3 months), or month and year (for products with a duration greater than 3 months; if the month is December, only the year must be stated, establishing: fin de (year).  The date must be declared with one of the following expressions:
    • consumir antes de…
    • válido hasta…
    • validez …
    • val …
    • vence…
    • vencimiento …
    • vto.…
    • venc…
    • consumir preferentemente antes de …

For foods which require special precautions for their preservation (e.g., frozen foods), these precautions should be indicated; for instance, a different expiration date may be given for different storage temperatures. Expiration date markings are not required for confectionery products consisting of flavored and/or colored sugars, such as candies and pastilles, or chewing gum. 

  • Preparation instructions for use of the food, when appropriate, such as reconstitution, thawing, or treatment instructions.
  • Nutrition information, in a table declaring the following nutritional properties, per serving:
    • Caloric value
    • Carbohydrate content
    • Protein content
    • Total fat, as well as saturated and trans fat content
    • Dietary fiber content
    • Sodium content

The content of other nutrients may also be stated; for instance, vitamins and minerals may be listed so long as they are present in an amount at least 5% of their Recommended Daily Intake.

Small food packages, whose main labeling surface is less than 10 cm2, are exempted from these labeling requirements, but must include at least the denomination and brand name of the product. The container holding the small units must present all of the mandatory labeling information.

For products labeled with nutritional declarations such as “Light”, “Low”, “Reduced”, “High”, “Source of”, and similar, Chapter Five of the Argentine Food Code specifies detailed nutritional parameters that must be met.

Allergens and other substances capable of producing adverse reactions in susceptible individuals must be declared following the ingredient list on the label.  These substances include:

  • Wheat, rye, barley, oats, or their hybrid strains, and derived products (except wheat- or barley-based glucose syrups, maltodextrins based on wheat, and cereals used to make alcoholic distillates)
  • Crustaceans and derived products
  • Eggs and egg products
  • Fish and fish products (except fish gelatin for certain uses)
  • Peanuts and peanut products
  • Soybeans and soy products (except fully refined soybean oil/fat, and tocopherols and phytosterols derived from soy)
  • Milk and dairy products (except lactitol, and whey used to make alcoholic distillates)
  • Dry fruits and derived products (except those used to make distillates or ethyl alcohol for alcoholic beverages)
  • Sulfur dioxide and sulfites present in concentrations of 10 ppm or greater

These ingredients must be stated on the label (in bold, capital letters of at least 2 mm), within one of the following phrases:

  • Contiene...
  • Contiene derivado/s de…
  • Contiene... y derivado/s de…

In cases where one of these substances is not an ingredient in the food, but there is a possibility of accidental contamination during the manufacturing process, the manufacturer should submit an affidavit to Ministry of Health stating “that even after applying GMP, there is a possibility of accidental contamination during the manufacturing process due to…” a stated justification.  The Ministry of Health may then approve the use of one of the following warning phrases for inclusion on the label:

  • Puede contener...
  • Puede contener derivado/s de…
  • Puede contener... y derivado/s de…

For food containing non-nutritive sweeteners, tartrazine, benzoic acid or its calcium, potassium or sodium salts, or sulfur dioxide or its derivatives, the label must declare their presence by means of a legend stating CONTIENE........ (indicating the full name of the additive), as long as the specific name of the mentioned additives is not indicated in the list of ingredients on the label.  With reference to aspartame, the presence of phenylalanine should be indicated for phenylketonurics and, for all non-nutritive sweeteners, their concentration should be indicated.

Additional product-specific labelling requirements are stated in the identity standards under Chapter 10 (confectionery products) and Chapter 15 (chocolate/cocoa products) of the Argentine Food Code.  More detailed information can be found in the attached document.

GMO Labeling Requirements

According to the Library of Congress, Argentina does not currently require food containing GMO ingredients to be labeled as such, but is considering enacting such regulation in the future.

(Source: Argentine Food Code)

 

Documentation Requirements

 

Import License

In 2015, Argentina’s Federal Administration of Public Revenues published General Resolution 3823 (in Spanish) in the country’s official bulletin. The resolution, which entered into force on December 23, 2015, was designed to facilitate foreign trade by establishing a new import management system.

Specifically, Resolution 3823 implements the ‘Comprehensive Import Monitoring System’ (known as SIMI) as a replacement to Argentina’s previous ‘Import Affidavit System' (known as DJAI). In 2015, a World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) found Argentina’s DJAI procedures to be incompliant with certain articles of their WTO agreement. Ultimately, Argentina agreed to implement appropriate changes to its DJAI procedures by December 31, 2015. A summary of the case, which was originally initiated by the United States, can be found here.

The implementation of SIMI, which is characterized by Argentinian officials as an expedited import approval system, has been welcomed by foreign exporters targeting the Argentinian market.  Under the new system, imports of [cherries/table grapes/confectionery products/potato products] are eligible for Automatic Import Licenses (AIL), which require information on the importer, country of origin, HS code, product description, state of the merchandise, number of units, and the value of the shipment in U.S. dollars FOB.  Approvals for AIL applications are normally expected within ten days.

It is important to note that a pre-shipment inspection in the country of origin may be requested before the product is shipped.  An international certification company appointed by the Argentinian government must perform this inspection to compare the merchandise being shipped with the price paid for the exported product in order to avoid under-invoicing, counter unfair competition, and prevent tax evasion.

(Source: Argentina FAIRS Country Report 4JAN2018, Argentina GAIN Report 7JAN2016)

Import Documentation Requirements

All imports entering Argentina by ship require the following documents:

  • Commercial invoice (the original and three copies)
  • Bill of lading (a minimum of one negotiable copy for customs purposes)
  • Packing list (this is not required for bulk commodities or identical articles)
  • Insurance certificate (if the exporter has purchased insurance coverage)

All imports entering Argentina by air require the following documents:

  • Commercial invoice (the original and three copies)
  • Airway bill (the number of copies depends on the importer’s and airline’s requirements)
  • Packing list

Detailed information on the documentation requirements listed above can be found in Export.gov’s Argentina Country Commercial Guide.

Certificate of Free Circulation

Once processed food shipments enter Argentina, a Certificate of Free Circulation must be obtained before further movement can occur. The Certificate of Free Circulation can be obtained from the National Food Institute (Instituto Nacional de Alimentos – INAL, a subsidiary agency of ANMAT). The requirements for the certificate are as follows:

  • A letter to the INAL requesting a Certificate of Free Circulation for the product
  • A document with the shipment information
  • A copy of the invoice
  • The bill of lading
  • A copy of the importer's National Register of Establishments (Registro Nacional de Alimentos - RNE)
  • A copy of the importer's National Register of Food Products (Registro Nacional De Productos Alimenticios - RNPA)
  • The manufacturing date and shelf-life of the product.
  • A certificate that states that the product is "Fit for Human Consumption" issued by the sanitary authority of the country of origin.

Note: Importers are only required to apply once for an RNPA. However, a Certificate of Free Circulation is required every time a product is imported.

(Source: Argentina FAIRS Country Report 4JAN2018)

 

Trademark Laws

 

All brands and trademarks must be registered in Argentina to ensure brand ownership. The National Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial - INPI) is the Argentinian trademark authority and the Trademark Law No. 22.362 (Ley de Marcas 22.362) provides the regulatory framework for trademark registration.  This law was most recently amended on January 11, 2018.

To apply for trademark, an application must be filed with INPI, and must include the following information:

  • Applicant’s name
  • Applicant’s address and the special address constituted within the Federal Capital
  • A description of the trademark
  • An indication of the products or services to be distinguished

After an application is filed, INPI performs a first formal examination to determine whether the preliminary requirements have been fulfilled. If the INPI has no objections, a notice of the registration will be published in the Bulletin of Trademarks (Boletin de Marcas).

Within 30 days after the application has been filed, INPI searches for records of the requested trademark and decides whether it can be registered.  During this period, any third party potentially affected by registration of the requested trademark can file an opposition to the registration.  If the terms expire with no opposition and with INPI approval, the trademark is granted.  If anyone files an opposition or finds any record regarding the trademark, the applicant will have three months after INPI notification to obtain withdrawal of any opposition and to provide the information requested by the INPI.

Argentina’s trademark fees were raised as of October 2017, and are listed in the Annex to Resolución 311-E/2017.  These include the following (denominated in Argentine pesos):

Trademark application fee (plus additional fees for graphic trademarks larger than 6 cm2)

$1,700

Trademark renewal application fee

$2,100

Phonetic trademark search for each class of products or services

$150

Phonetic trademark search for all classes of products

$1,250

Background search by owner, for each holder in all classes of products/services

$700

Request for report of classification of products/services in INPI offices

$150

Request for report of classification of products/services in foreign offices

$430

Trademarks are valid for ten years and may be renewed indefinitely for subsequent ten-year periods, so long as the trademark was used commercially within five years prior to each expiration.

Argentina is included on the U.S. Trade Representative's Priority Watch List for intellectual property protections.  Identified deficiencies include a lack of effective enforcement and a thriving trade in counterfeit and pirated goods in Buenos Aires.  However, in 2016 and 2017, Argentina introduced several legislative measures intended to improve IP protections and enforcement.

(Sources: Argentina FAIRS Country Report 4JAN2018, The National Institute of Industrial Property, USTR 2017 Special 301 Report, Ley de Marcas 22.362, Resolución 311-E/2017)

 

Other Import Requirements

 

Importer Registration Requirements

Before importing a food product into Argentina, importers must register their product under the National Register of Establishments (Registron Nacional De Establecimientos - RNE). To register, the following items must be submitted:

  • A letter addressed to the Minister of Public Health (Ministerio de Salud y Ambiente de la Nacion - MSAN)
  • A completed RNE registration form 
  • A completed Customs registration form
  • A completed Tax Office (AFIP) registration form
  • A municipal authorization for the warehouse requesting cold chambers for frozen products, if applicable.
  • An approval of the company's partnership with the importer
  • Payment for the registration fee.

The RNE is valid for five years.

(Source: Argentina FAIRS Country Report 4JAN2018)

Product Registration Requirements

After obtaining the RNE, the importer must then register the product by obtaining a National Register of Food Products (RNPA) number. The application must include:

  • A letter addressed to the Minister of Public Health requesting an RNPA
  • A completed application form.  This form can be obtained from the National Food Institute (Instituto Nacional de Alimentos - INAL).
  • A flow chart and monograph of the product’s manufacturing process, shelf-life, specifications, shipping and storage requirements, quality controls, and packaging type.
  • A list of ingredients and additives.
  • The original label and three copies.
  • A supplemental label with the following information (U.S. products may be sold in their original packaging, but a sticker must be affixed to all retail packages with this data in Spanish):
  • Name (approved by INAL) and the brand of the product.
  • Identification of the origin.
  • Ingredients listed in decreasing order by weight, followed by a list of additives.
  • Net weight or measure.
  • Lot number.
  • Expiration date.
  • Manufacturer’s name and address.
  • Importer’s name and address.
  • Importer’s RNE number.
  • RNPA number (not required, but recommended for marketing purposes).
  • Instructions for storage, preparation, and usage, when required.
  • Nutritional information.
  • A Certificate of Free Sale and Apt for Human Consumption Certificate issued by the sanitary authority of the country/state of origin, or guaranteed by the State Chamber of Commerce.
  • Payment for the registration fee.

One an RNPA is obtained for a particular product, it is not necessary to obtain a new one for each additional import of that product.  However, a new Certificate of Free Circulation is required for each shipment.

(Source: Argentina FAIRS Country Report 4JAN2018)

Solid Wood Packing Material

Argentina adheres to the FAO’s International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures #15 (ISPM 15) on solid wood packing material (SWPM).  All SWPM that arrives in and transits through Argentina must be free of insects and signs of biological activity, debarked, treated, and certified by the corresponding mark.

More information on ISPM 15 can be found here.  Argentina’s latest resolution adopting the standard can be found here.

 

In-Country Resources

 

Standards

National Administration of Medicine, Food, and Medical Technology (Administration Nacional de Medicamentos, Alimentos y Technicos Médica)

Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud)

Av. De Mayo 869 (C1084AAD)

Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tel: (54-11) 4340 0800

Web: www.anmat.gov.ar

Food Regulation and Content Authority

National Food Institute (Instituto Nacional de Alimentos - INAL)

Ministry of Health (Ministerio De Salud)

Estados Unidos 25

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tel: (54-11) 4342-5674

Web: www.anmat.gov.ar

Tariffs and Excise Duty

Argentina Customs (Aduana Argentina)

Azopardo 350 1er piso (ala derecha)

Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tel: (54-11) 4338-6400

E-mail: info@afip.gov.ar

Web: www.afip.gov.ar

Trademarks

National Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial - INPI)

Paseo Colón 717

C.P. 1063 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tel: (54-11) 4344-4902

Fax: (54-11) 4344-5286

E-mail: infomarcas@inpi.gob.ar

Web: www.inpi.gob.ar

US Agricultural Representative

M. Melinda Meador (Counselor)

American Embassy, OAA, Buenos Aires

Av. Colombia 4300

C1425GMN Buenos Aires

Mailing Address:

Office of Agricultural Affairs

American Embassy Buenos Aires

Unit 3130

APO AA 34034-0001

Tel: (011-54-11) 5777-4627

Fax: (011-54-11) 5777-4216

E-mail: agbuenosaires@fas.usda.gov

Web: https://ar.usembassy.gov/embassy/buenos-aires/sections-offices/fas/

US Business Representatives

Argentina-American Chamber of Commerce

Viamonte 1133, Piso 8

C1053ABW Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tel: (54-11) 4371-4500

E-mail: amcham@amchamar.com.ar

Web: www.amchamar.com.ar