Guatemala is famous for its rich agricultural resources and vast cultivation of traditional crops that include coffee, banana, sugar and cardamom. However in recent years, Guatemala farmers have switched to farming fruits and vegetables, and cut flower for exports. It is also interesting to note that snow peas have become one of Guatemala's most important non- traditional agricultural exports over the last 10 years. Nearly all Guatemala's snow peas are destined for the U.S. market, which imports the vast majority of snow peas consumed. Petroleum and textile products represent the other important products exported by Guatemala.
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Guatemala is the most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-third that of Brazil's.
Guatemala's top imports are refined petroleum, packaged medicaments, cars, broadcasting equipment and petroleum gas. The top import partners of Guatemala are the United States, Mexico, China, El Salvador and Colombia.
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Guatemala Customs Contact Information:
Telephone: +502 2412 0488
Address: 8Av. 10-43, Zona 1 Ciudad de Guatemala
Guatemala is located in Central America with Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Guatemala is a member of the Central American Common Market, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Chamber of Commerce, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and other international organizations.
Export and Import Procedures
Exporters to Guatemala enjoy an increasingly open trade regime. Imports are generally not subject to non-tariff trade barriers. The Government of Guatemala applies the Common External Tariff schedule of the Central American Common Market (CACM) to almost all agricultural and industrial goods.
Tariffs range from 0 to 15 %, with the majority of products in the 0% category being capital goods and industrial inputs not produced in the Central American region. The 12% value added tax, to which all locally produced and imported goods are subject, is also collected at the port of entry. While Guatemala has significantly liberalized its trade policies, it now imposes TRQ's for corn, rice, wheat and wheat flour, apples, poultry meat and poultry by-products (fresh, frozen, or refrigerated, with some exceptions), and fresh and frozen red meat.
Guatemala allows the entry of white corn by permit only. In addition, all agricultural products of animal and plant origin must obtain an authorization for import from the Ministry of Agriculture. Export Controls Guatemala operates a one-stop window for the granting of export permits. The average exporter is able to receive authorization within four to five hours.
All commercial invoices, bills of lading, certificates of free sale, sanitary and microbiological certificates and product-specific laboratory testing for pathogens of products exported to Guatemala must be legalized at the Guatemalan Embassy. All documents must be translated into Spanish.
Free Trade Zones/Warehouses
The "ZOLIC" free trade zone at Puerto Santo Tomas de Castilla, adjacent to Guatemala's principal port on the Atlantic coast; the Grupo Zeta Free Zone located in the town of Palin, near Guatemala City; and ZOFRACSA, in Zone 9 of Guatemala City, offers exemption from payment of all duties and taxes (except employer social security contributions).