Argentine Government Imposes New Import Taxes

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog25-07-2023

Amid tough negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and a sharp drop in international reserves, the Argentine government has imposed new taxes on imports of goods and services as of Monday. It also granted a higher exchange rate on some agricultural exports, with the exception of soybeans.

The measures were published in the official gazette on Monday morning.

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Starting Monday, importers must pay:

· Services: 25% additional tax. Anyone contracting services from outside Argentina will have to pay an additional 25% tax on top of the official exchange rate. On Friday, the official exchange rate was 249.50 Argentine pesos per dollar. Starting Monday, importers of services must pay an additional 25 percent, with the rate rising to 311.87 Argentine pesos. Some services are exempt, including freight transportation (taxed at 7.5%), health and education (exempt) and performances by international artists (already taxed at 30%).

· Goods: 7.5% additional tax. Companies importing goods must add a 7.5% tax to the official rate. On Friday, the official rate was 249.50 Argentine pesos per dollar. Starting Monday, importers must pay an additional 7.5 percent, with the rate rising to 268.21 Argentine pesos. Some goods are duty-free, including fuel and lubricants and products from the basic food basket. The tax does not apply to importers who pay with their own dollars, rather than obtaining them from the central bank.

The 7.5% tax does not apply to goods imported for use in the production chain and then exported as finished products. For example, soybeans are imported for the production of oil and car batteries. In order to receive the benefit, companies must first pay for imports using their own dollars or financing from suppliers, and then collect the revenue from exports.

For exports, the government will issue new agricultural dollars between Monday, July 24, and Aug. 31, for regional economic products and grains, including corn, but not soybeans. The new rate will be $340, which is 36 percent higher (up to 35 percent of the value of exports) than the current rate for each product before tax deductions.

Argentina's regional economy includes producers of traditional local products such as mate tea, wine, citrus, rice, tea and wood.

Officials estimate that these measures could mean $2 billion in export liquidation and about A$1.3 billion in tax revenues.

This is the fifth time the government has implemented an agricultural dollar exchange rate. The first three included soybeans and the fourth excluded them.

The government also increased the value of the dollar for Argentine hard currency savers.

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These measures have several goals:

-They sought to improve the terms of trade by raising the price of imports to avoid overstocking, while stimulating exports through exchange rate improvements

-Facilitate international reserve accumulation

-Avoid a generalized devaluation by raising the cost of acquiring dollars

-Use scarce international reserves for production and curb dollar savings

On Sunday, the International Monetary Fund said on social media that it had agreed on "the core objectives and parameters underpinning the Staff Level Agreement.

The IMF said, "It is expected to be finalized in the next few days, followed by a review of Argentina's plan."

Official sources told the Herald that they expected the delayed agreement to be announced by the middle of the week.

In an interview with news channel C5N, Economy Minister Sergio Massa said he expected the IMF board to approve the agreement in August. He said that the agreement involves the early payment of the program, which will allow the country to pay the amounts owed to the financial institution.

Massa also said that the next discussion with the IMF would take place in November, which would avoid having to negotiate during the election period.

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