Uruguay oversees a business-friendly trade policy characterized by a generally open approach to product importation and the non-application of quotas or non-tariff restrictions. But if you are considering company formation in Uruguay or entering the market with a new product in some other manner, you will need to understand product registration in Uruguay.
Product registration in Uruguay: which products are forbidden?
Uruguay has an open attitude to international trade, however certain products are forbidden, while others require advance authorization to enter the country.
Absolute prohibitions are enforced on importing several products in order to protect the environment or guarantee the safety of people, for example:
- Products containing banned or highly restricted chemicals
- Weapons and ammunition not for the exclusive use of the military
- Paints containing excess lead
- Organochlorine insecticides
- Potassium bromate, an antioxidant commonly used in the US food industry
Meanwhile, certain products can only be imported by designated organizations. For example, many petroleum-based products (except asphalt and its derivatives) can only be imported by state energy company ANCAP.
Which products require special authorization?
- Plants flowers, and other related products
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, including seeds
- Animals, products, and by-products
- Certain dairy products
- Certain animals, including birds, exotic species, and bees
- Animal feed and biological or veterinary products
- Medicines or pharmaceutical products
- Glasses and contact lenses
- Electronic devices, including cell phones
Product registration in Uruguay: obtaining authorization
There is no centralized entity managing the authorization of product registration in Uruguay. The authority that provides that authorization will depend on the type of product that you want to register and the department (state) where you are operating.
A special division of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries handles the authorization of animal products and products for animal use, vegetables, fruits, or plants. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health manages the approval of medicines, drugs, and other goods for therapeutic human use. In the case of electronic goods, authorization is overseen by the Communications Services Regulatory Unit (URSEC), a decentralized body within the Ministry of Industry.
Because there is no centralized body for product registration in Uruguay, there is also no standardized procedure to follow. However, in general, that process involves:
- Company incorporation in Uruguay
One of the simplest ways of obtaining your product registration is by incorporating a company in the country, which will place you in a prime position to obtain the authorization to import and commercialize your product.
2. Application / State examination
The state entity in charge of studying the registration of your product will ask you to complete paperwork detailing your company and personal information, as well as information regarding your product. You may be asked to describe its components or provide further information about the product, especially if it is for human consumption.
Those agencies will evaluate the information provided, study the product, and — if they agree all requirements are met and there is no risk in introducing the product to the country — authorize the registration of the product in Uruguay.
In general, such an authorization will be valid for 10 years.
3. Import your product
Once you have completed product registration in Uruguay and are free to bring the product to market, you may start the import procedure. For all imports, you will need the assistance of a customs broker, as their participation is mandatory for every import and export procedure in Uruguay.
Register your product in Uruguay with expert support
With no centralized entity for product registration in Uruguay, it pays to seek out a locally-based partner who understands the process and can offer expert advice to guarantee a rapid market entry.
If you are interested in registering your product in Uruguay or need tailored business services to enable your operations, engage with our multilingual team of legal experts at Biz Latin Hub. Reach out to our team today to see how we can support you.
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