As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Argentina signed the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), affirming its obligations relative to technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. The Argentine Standards Institute (Instituto Argentino de Normalización IRAM) has signed the WTO TBT Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards. Responsibilities under the TBT agreement include the establishment of a national inquiry point to serve as a central location for information on standards-related issues, including proposed mandatory regulations. The Argentine inquiry point is in the Secretariat of Industry (see Information Sources below). The U.S. inquiry point is the National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI), located at National Institute of Standards and Technology (see Information Sources below).
There are two private sector organizations that work under the National System for Standards, Quality and Certification. IRAM is the official national standards body for the Republic of Argentina. The Argentine Accreditation Organization is the accreditation body. These are the only organizations that carry out standardization and accreditation in Argentina. As of May 2013 there are Mutual Recognition Agreements between major foreign certification organizations and IRAM. However, it is recommended that exporters check the current status of these agreements prior to initiating new business arrangements or significant shipments of goods that require IRAM certification.
Labeling and Marking
Labeling requirements include safety information, voltage, fire safety, and child safety information. Canned and bottled food labeling requirements include ingredients, identification of manufacturer/importer, and manufacturing/expiration dates. Pharmaceuticals must indicate the name of the responsible technical director of the pharmaceutical laboratory, as well as the ingredients by weight/volume.
On October 14, 2015, a new regulation on food labeling was published in Argentina’s Official Bulletin under Resolucion No. 420/2015 of the Secretariat of Commerce. It provides for the creation of a Label Supervision System under the authority of the Ministry of Economy and Public Finance, and it relates to several products for human consumption and human handling, including imported food and beverage products (F&B), cosmetics, personal care products and household cleaning products which are sold in Argentina.
According to the new regulation, the products have to contain the following information:
- Product name;
- Format / Variety;
- Description and composition;
- Country of origin;
- Address of factory or warehouse;
- File number.
The use of food-contact materials is governed by the Argentine Food Code. Food-contact materials are approved and registered by one of three national sanitary authorities. These entities are as follows:
- The National Wine Institute: Responsible for materials used in wine packaging.
- The National Service of Agricultural Food Health and Quality: Responsible for food-contact materials that are used by food companies registered by SENASA. These registered companies include those that process certain vegetables and meat and seafood products.
- The National Food Institute: Responsible for imported food-contact materials and those food-contact materials used by food and beverage companies not registered with SENASA. INAL also has authority over packaging materials used by health supplement manufacturers.
In accord with MERCOSUR's approval and registration requirements, all food-contact materials that are imported into Argentina must be approved and/or registered by the appropriate government entity.
IRAM, Instituto Argentino de Normalización
Contact: Sr. Enrique Romero, Presidente
AMN, Asociación MERCOSUR de Normalización