Importing to Chile from the USA either by sea or by air is an easy and hassle-free process. In ADS Group we give you useful tips so you can import from cars to household items.

The Latin American world has been bustling with international trade for decades, and Chile is no exception. While it provides excellent trade opportunities, importing to Chile should not be done without proper information about local trade and regulations, as well as exploring the best shipping options.

Numerous factors must be considered to facilitate trade from the US to Chile, and this post will explain all the details.

Importing to Chile from the USA

Chile has worked tirelessly to reduce trade barriers to imports in different sectors and industries. The country has managed to maintain a solid financial market with many investment opportunities and reliable economic institutions.

What products does Chile import from the United States?

Most popular imports from the United States to Chile are classified as follows:

  • Mineral fuel, including oil
  • Machinery, including computers
  • Vehicles
  • Machinery, electrical equipment
  • Plastics, plastic articles
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Meat
  • Iron, steel
  • Articles of iron or steel
  • Medical, technical, and optical devices

Documentation required to import from the United States to Chile

Business forms used are commercial invoices, origin certificates, bills of lading or similar documents (depending on the transport mode), freight insurance, and packing lists.

When a third party will carry out the procedure, an owner’s power of attorney or consignee of goods will be necessary for the clearance to be conducted.

Special permits, certificates, and approval documents, such as sanitary and phytosanitary certificates, are required for most agricultural products and, in exceptional cases, for industrial products.

Transportation Cost from Miami to Chile

When importing from the USA to Chile, transportation costs vary depending on certain parameters: air or sea cargo, transit time, and cargo size, among others..

But, at ADS Group you can always have the best rates and international air and sea freight services for all your imports.

Additional costs to consider when importing from the USA to Chile

When importing to Chile from the USA, once all fees are paid, including import duties and taxes, the container is released from the port and you can arrange for the container to be picked up.

It is important to say that containers are allowed to stay out of the port for five to seven days free of charge; after that time, will be subject to late charges.

Please note that once the vessel arrives at the discharge port in Chile, you have five to 10 days free; after that free time, your container will begin to add storage charges.

Taxes and Customs Duties by Product

For non-USA origin products (or other FTA), Chile charges a flat rate of 6 percent.

Certain imported “luxury items” are subject to a 15 percent tax upon entry into Chile. These include:

  • Beer, chicha, cider, wine, and champagne.
  • Gold, platinum, and white ivory items.
  • Natural or synthetic jewels, and precious stones.
  • Mobile home trailers.
  • Canned caviar and its derivatives.
  • Electric vehicles; and
  • Fine carpets and similar items.

Tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, and processed tobacco, are subject to additional taxes of 61%, 51%, and 57.9%, respectively.

In addition, all imports are subject to the same 19 percent value-added tax (VAT) which applies to domestic products.

Transit times (air and sea)

Air transit times are significantly shorter than ocean transit times. For example, airfreight taking 8 hours may take 20 days or more by sea, depending on the type of vessel.

Major Ports (air and sea)

Most important ports used are Valparaíso, San Antonio, Santiago, San Vicente, Coronel, Arica, Lirquén and Iquique. Valparaíso Port is Chile’s main seaport in the Pacific Ocean and main entry of any international cargo.

Santiago is the country’s capital with a dry port where containers are cleared through customs. It is also the location for most inbound international air shipments to Chile.

Free Trade Agreements

With the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States and Chile, all trade became tariff-free (i.e. zero tariffs).

In addition, Chile eliminated the luxury tax on USA-made cars as of January 2007.

Restrictions on importing from the United States to Chile

Chile has very few import restrictions. Chile’s regulations are adapted to a liberal import policy.

There are no restricted or prohibited imports, except for limitations on agricultural and processed food products, as well as hazardous materials for industrial use. In such cases, special certificates, permits, and approval documentation are required.

Do I need insurance to ship freight?

International cargo insurance is always worthwhile, and at ADS Group, our managers can advise you on choosing the international transport insurance that best suits your cargo.

Remember that ADS Group is a dependable company for shipping your cargo. We have ADS Courier, so you can safely, quickly, and easily make your online purchases in USA stores and get your order directly to your home or any address in Chile.

In addition, our customers in the USA can enjoy the benefits of NVOCC. If you want more details about rates and cargo insurance, you can contact us through