Exporting to Argentina

Argentina is one of the largest economies in Latin America. It’s a member of the G20 and the Mercosur trading bloc. Argentina has vast natural resources in energy and agriculture, and has great potential for renewable energy. Its people have a high level of professional and English language skills and have a European-style business culture.

Growing market potential

Despite high inflation and a devalued peso raising the cost of imports, there are large scale investment plans in place for production and export of natural resources (Argentine Investment Agency, 2019). In the year to March 2019, UK goods exports to Argentina increased by 3.3% (ONS, 2019).

UK government support

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has a £1 billion export credit facility to help UK businesses trade with Argentina (IMF, 2018). A dialogue forum has been held between the two governments annually since 2017, with the aim to promote bilateral trade.

Sophisticated urban culture

Argentina has a population of 45 million, of which 92% is urban (World Bank, 2019). It‘s a sophisticated market with European tastes and business culture. It’s people have a high level of professional skill and the highest English proficiency index score in Latin America (English Proficiency Index, 2019).

Ease of doing business

126th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2018)

Currency

Peso

Business languages

Spanish

GDP per capita

$11,658

UK is $41,030 (IMF, 2019)

Economic growth

-2.5%

(IMF, 2019)

Time zone

GMT -3

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Argentina have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Argentina

Preparing to Export

Double taxation agreement

The UK and Argentina have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

VAT

VAT will be between 0% and 35% percent on most goods, with the average rate being 14%.

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Argentina provided certain conditions are met.

Regulations

There are few restrictions on setting up companies although bureaucracy and the variety of taxes and regulations can make it complex. Obtaining professional help is strongly advised especially as this will reduce the risk of long and possibly expensive wrangling at a later date.

Operating in Argentina

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

You should patent your inventions and register trademarks in Argentina. Applications can be made through an agent in either the UK or Argentina. The registration of all agreements relating to the use of patents and trademarks is compulsory.

Payment terms

Letters of Credit are recommended when starting operations and for most Argentine companies these are usually a requirement. Letters of Credit are expensive in Argentina and local customers may prefer other payment forms such as advance payments.

Challenges

Argentina has some challenges for businesses including high inflation, high labour costs, currency exchange rate restrictions and instability. There are complex standards, certification, registration and public procurement issues. You should contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) Argentina for more information and advice.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.