Argentina's already strict requirements for importing used or refurbished capital goods have been further tightened by Decree 2646/2012, which entered into force in early January 2013.

While the decree maintains the list of used capital goods which cannot be imported, it also establishes three different import duty rates applicable to used capital goods:

  • 28% for goods subject to the general regime, including any spare parts that were duly refurbished by the original manufacturer;
  • 14% for capital goods that are not manufactured by local industry; and
  • 6% for capital goods corresponding to the aeronautics sector.

Under the decree, only direct users may import used capital goods (in the past, intermediaries were also able to do so).

The refurbishment process may now be carried out only by the original manufacturer of the goods. Furthermore, such refurbishment must be certified by the original manufacturer (abolishing the possibility of evidencing the process through an expert witness report). If the refurbishment is carried out locally (ie, in Argentina), the process must be evaluated by the National Institute for Industrial Technology, except for goods corresponding to the aeronautics sector, which must be evaluated by the corresponding authorities.

Before importing goods, and irrespective of the place at which the refurbishment is performed, an import certificate must be issued by the secretary of foreign trade and the Ministry of Industry. This certificate must be filed with Customs as a condition precedent for clearing the goods. The procedure for the issuance of such certificates is detailed in the recently issued Resolution 25/2013.

Once imported, the importer must hold the goods for four years (instead of two years, as under the previous regulations).

If any of the above obligations are breached, the goods must be re-exported.

While these changes do not alter the substance of the restrictions already in place, they make the import of used or refurbished capital goods even more difficult and onerous. IT companies that rely on refurbished parts for their warranty service obligations may therefore face significant obstacles in trying to comply with these new obligations, especially in relation to the four-year holding period.

For further information on this topic please contact Esteban P Rópolo at Baker & McKenzie SC by telephone (+54 11 4310 2200), fax (+54 11 4310 2299) or email (esteban.ropolo@bakermckenzie.com).

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