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Customs Reforms Allow for Tax-Free Imports of a Wider Range of Products via Air Travel

Published on September 19, 2023

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New regulation adds new products to import list and loosens penalties for bringing in undeclared products.

The National Customs Service (Senae) of Ecuador has recently implemented significant changes to its regulations governing the importation of products via air travel. These changes are outlined in a new resolution issued on September 15, 2023, which amends the previous resolution, SENAE-SENAE-2017-0345-RE, dating back to 2017. The revisions are aimed at providing travelers with more flexibility in bringing goods into the country while ensuring compliance with tax-related requirements.

One of the notable alterations introduced by the new resolution is an increase in the quantity of certain items that can be brought into Ecuador without incurring foreign trade taxes. Additionally, the resolution establishes penalties for individuals attempting to import goods beyond the allowable limits without declaring them for taxation. These fines are set at half of a unified basic salary, equivalent to $250 in 2023, but passengers will be exempt from such fines if the value of the goods is less than $1,000. The previous protocol necessitated payment of the applicable taxes on the excess merchandise.

Previously, when the value of imported goods exceeded $2,000, Customs had the authority to initiate legal proceedings against the importer, a provision that remains unchanged under the new regulations.

Expanded List of Non-Taxable Products

The revised regulations provide clarity on which products can be brought into Ecuador without incurring foreign trade taxes. These products include:

  • Food: The previous requirement specifying that food had to be processed has been removed. Now, travelers can bring any type of properly sealed or vacuum-packed food.
  • Food Supplements: The maximum allowable amount of food supplements has been doubled from 4 kg to 8 kg.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Travelers can now bring up to five liters of alcoholic beverages, up from the previous limit of three liters.
  • Perfumes: The maximum limit for perfumes in new containers for individual travelers has increased from 300 ml to 500 ml. For family groups, the limit has risen from 600 ml to 1,000 ml.
  • Cosmetic Products: The maximum authorized quantity of creams, body lotions, splashes, and similar products in new containers has increased from 1,250 ml to 2,500 ml.

Technology Articles

The previous resolution outlined the electronic and technology products passengers could bring, both new and used. The list included cell phones, photographic cameras, video recorders, digital multimedia receivers, satellite phones, electronic diaries, portable GPS equipment, laptops, video game consoles, electronic calculators, and more.

The new resolution introduces additional items to this list, such as smartwatches and wireless headphones, allowing travelers to bring these gadgets without taxation.

Bigger TVs and Drones

Customs has also updated the dimensions and allowances for certain technology items:

  • Televisions: The size limit for televisions has increased significantly, allowing travelers to bring televisions up to 60 inches, up from the previous limit of 32 inches.
  • Computer Monitors: The size limit for computer monitors has increased from 24 inches to 32 inches.
  • Drones: Travelers can now bring drones as personal items without taxation, provided the drone’s price does not exceed $1,000. This marks a significant increase from the previous limit of $500.

These reforms by the National Customs Service of Ecuador provide travelers with more freedom in bringing a wider range of products into the country via air travel. The changes aim to streamline the importation process and align with the evolving preferences and needs of travelers in the modern era, while still ensuring that tax obligations are met where applicable.

1 Comment

  1. im thinking of bringing a desktop AND 27 inch computer monitor in the same trip. Is this OK or is the computer monitor not considered a computer peripheral and considered separate?


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