Do You Need Help With Product Registration in Bolivia?

Map and location of Bolivia in Latin America. You may wish to undertake product registration in Bolivia.
A map of Bolivia and some key cities

If you are planning to register a company in Bolivia and intend to import or distribute a product, you will need to go through the formal product registration process. Because without undertaking proper product registration in Bolivia, your business could face legal issues and financial penalties for non-compliance, ultimately diminishing your good standing in the eyes of local authorities and potentially damaging your brand.

Bolivia has made good economic progress in recent years, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth hitting a high of 6.8% and never dropping below 3.4% between 2008 and 2018. That has positioned the country as an increasingly attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), with the agriculture, mining, and hydrocarbon sectors offering lucrative opportunities.

The Andean country maintains strong trade relationships with neighbors Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru, while the country is in the process of joining the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), a regional economic integration that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The country’s prime exports are oil, gas, and, zinc, and the biggest recipients of those goods include Argentina, Brazil, India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

If you are thinking about importing into or launching goods onto the market of this Andean nation, read on to learn about product registration in Bolivia. Or go ahead and contact us now to discuss your business options.

What is product registration in Bolivia?

Product registration in Bolivia includes a comprehensive evaluation of the product you want to commercialize in the country, with the goal of verifying if it complies with the local trade regulations and, where applicable, if it is safe for human consumption.

Note that the procedures to import and register a product in Bolivia will vary according to the type of product you are dealing with. In addition, before marketing a product in Bolivia you must register your company with the Registry of Commerce and the National Customs of Bolivia to obtain the Importer Registration Certificate.

The permits that you must obtain in order to import a product into Bolivia must be issued by different public entities, depending on the nature of your product.

Snapshot of the market in Bolivia. You might want to undertake product registration in Bolivia.
A snapshot of the market in Bolivia

Product registration in Bolivia: regulatory agencies

The public entities in charge of supervising product registration in Bolivia include:

  • State Agency for Medicines and Health Technologies (AGEMED): AGEMED is in charge of regulating, registering, and authorizing the importation of medicines, vaccines, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices. For the importation of this type of product, a customs clearance certificate issued by the entity must be obtained five days before the arrival of the import to Bolivia.
  • National Service of Agricultural Health and Food Safety (SENASAG): SENASAG guarantees food safety and checks the good condition of products such as milk, coffee, cookies, noodles, sugar, rice, oats, food for animals, wines, and other alcoholic beverages. Please note that the labels of these products must include the ingredients translated into Spanish.
  • Telecommunications and Transportation Regulation and Supervision Authority (ATT): ATT oversees the registration of technological devices such as cell phones, antennas, Internet modems, or other devices that use WiFi networks and Bluetooth technology.

Importing to Bolivia: main requirements

View over the city of La Paz. A good place to do product registration in Bolivia.
La Paz, one of Bolivia’s capitals

In accordance with product registration regulations in Bolivia, your company must have the following documentation in order to import and market a product in the country:

•Authorization to transport products by sea or air
•Numbered list of all products transported to Bolivia
•Declaration where the value of the products is included
•Health certifications, if required
•Document where the origin of the merchandise is reflected for the application of different tariff agreements
•Customs tax estimate
•Calculation of the value-added tax

How to register a patent in Bolivia

By patenting a product in Bolivia, you will be granted the exclusive right to market that product in the country. According to product registration regulations in Bolivia, to register a patent you must carry out the following two step process:

1. Submit a patent application to the National Intellectual Property Service (SENAPI)

The first step is to submit a patent application to Bolivia’s National Intellectual Property Service. This covers literary, artistic, or scientific works, with the application submitted by the author of that work or anyone who has acquired the rights to it. Or it can also be an industrial patents, which can cover the inventing process itself, the use of the product, or its design.

2. Request a formal evaluation of the patent application and pay the corresponding fee

Once you have submitted the patent application, and assuming it receives no initial objections from SENAPI, you will have to request a formal evaluation of the product to check that it is suitable for the stated purpose provided, as well as safe for human consumption where applicable.

As part of the process, you will be required to present the following documentation:

  • Full details of the applicant (name and address)
  • Full details of the inventor (name and address)
  • Title of patent
  • Copy of the description, claims, and abstract of the patent
  • Copy of the drawings
  • Details of priority (date, number, and country)
  • A statement declaring whether the invention has been made available to the public prior to the filing date
  • Legalized power of attorney

Note that if no objections are raised by SENAPI throughout the process, the average time taken from application to granting the patent is approximately five years.

Biz Latin Hub can help you with the product registration in Bolivia

At Biz Latin Hub, our multilingual team of legal specialists has broad experience helping business executives with product registration in Bolivia, as well as with accounting, company formation, tax advisory, and commercial representation services. With our complete portfolio of market entry and back-office services, we can be your single point of contact to develop commercial operations in Bolivia, or in any of the other 15 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean where we have a presence.

Reach out to us now to start your commercial expansion.

Or learn more about our team of expert authors.

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Our services offered at Biz Latin Hub

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Legal Team Bolivia

Legal Team Bolivia

Legal Team Bolivia is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Bolivia The Team writes on the news, doing business, law, and changing regulations. The team are experts in corporate law, Administrative law, Employment law, Immigration law and legal advisory services. Read more about them here. You can contact Legal Team Bolivia via our "contact us page".

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