Exporting guide to El Salvador


El Salvador, located between Honduras and Guatemala, is part of Central America. Despite being a small country, its population of over 6 million offers opportunities for UK exporters of goods and services.

Trade statistics

£34.0 million total UK exports to El Salvador for the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

157th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

less than 0.1% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

UK-Central America association agreement

El Salvador is part of the UK-Central America association agreement. View the full details on GOV.UK for more information on the status of this agreement and how it may benefit your business.

Government investment

The current government is committed to improving infrastructure. Its ambitious programme of infrastructure projects including ports, airports and rail should help stimulate economic growth.

There has been movement in the direction of expanding the range of renewable energy sources available. This should offering opportunities for UK companies to help expand this industry.

Top five UK goods exported to El Salvador, in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

Goods Value (£million)
Miscellaneous electrical goods (intermediate) 8.7
Other miscellaneous manufactures (intermediate) 1.5
Furniture (intermediate) 1.4
Plastics in primary forms 1.4
Plastics in non-primary forms 1.2

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: November 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for El Salvador.

El Salvador: at a glance

Economic growth


Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.4% (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

GDP per capita


Actual figure (IMF, 2020)
The UK is $41,127 (IMF, 2020, actual figure)


US dollar

Business language


You are likely to need a translator

Time zone

GMT -6

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Opportunities for exporters

El Salvador prioritises the modernisation of the country, the promotion of the economy and the generation of opportunities. To achieve this, the government has established a pipeline of opportunities in the following industries:

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in El Salvador

Preparing to export

El Salvador has established a legal framework that attracts and protects investment, giving different incentives to make El Salvador an attractive country for international trade.

It is also important to highlight that El Salvador is part of the UK Central America Association Agreement (UKCAAA).


El Salvador charges 13% of VAT over the final price of goods and services. Check out the different laws that regulate investment, as some products and services might have exemptions.

Import duties

The import duties applied on the price of products range from 0% to 40%. This is determined in accordance with the Central American Tariff System.

Operating in El Salvador

Intellectual property

El Salvador is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization and has local laws that regulate intellectual property.

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.