Argentina's Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) tax bureau has lowered the cap from US$ 3,000 to US$ 1,000 on door-to-door online purchases effective Sept. 23, in a move to curb foreign currency expenditures that drain the Central Bank's reserves.
As per the new rules, shipments entering through the Import Regime by Postal Service Providers PSP/Courier, for human or legal persons paid by credit card, Paypal, or Western Union, for personal use may not exceed US$1000, insurance and freight costs included. They must also weigh up to 50 kilos, and up to three units of the same item may be purchased.
This measure is adopted for reasons of opportunity, merit and convenience in terms of economic policy, AFIP said in a statement signed by Carlos Daniel Castagneto.
As a consequence of the strengthening of control and inspection actions carried out in the different import regimes, among them the Import Regime by Postal Service Providers PSP/Courier, irregularities were detected which resulted in infringement and/or criminal complaints, as the case may be, a circumstance that evidences the need to adopt measures tending to the due protection of the fiscal income, the document added.
It also explained that within the current economic scenario and in order to avoid the denaturalization of the regime in question, it is necessary to update the FOB values in force. Hence, the measure comes as the Government seeks to reduce the outflow of dollars for tourist expenses and purchases abroad.
Superminister Sergio Massa's team is monitoring the deficit of the tourist balance, which reached US$ 750 million per month as of July and is expected to increase for the football World Cup and summer vacations.
Measures likely to be taken shortly are the increase in taxes charged on expenditures in foreign currency made through credit cards, which currently stands at 45 %.
Door-to-door purchases have gone up in recent years with the increase in e-commerce. Argentine residents may only make five such purchases per year, including beverages, clothing, toys, technological products, and decoration items, among others. The goods must be for personal and non-commercial use, weigh no more than 50 kilos and the total value of the operation may not exceed US$ 1,000.
In order to pay for these purchases abroad, buyers must have specifically authorized means of payment in addition to an AFIP level 3 clearance, or better.
In mid-May, AFIP already corseted the entrance of goods into Argentina by air, to restrict the possibility of fraudulent maneuvers.
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