Exporting guide to Peru

Peru has been the fastest growing economy in Latin America for most of the past decade. Key export sectors for the UK include health and life sciences, mining, sustainable infrastructure, and security. UK and Peru bilateral trade was £646 million in the 4 quarters to the end of Q3 in 2020 (ONS, 2020). The countries have a close and constructive trade and investment relationship.

An open economy that welcomes UK business

Peru is a like-minded and open economy. The UK is the largest foreign investor in Peru, mostly in the mining sector. The UK and Peru have a broad trading relationship, UK products and services are recognised for quality and innovation. The UK Andean Trade Agreement has governed UK trade with Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador from January 2021.

High demand for UK expertise

UK goods and services have a strong market profile and are increasingly in demand following the high profile success of the UK Peru government-to-government (G2G) agreement. This helped to deliver the Lima 2019 Pan American Games – the world’s third largest sporting event – with support from UK business. In 2020 the UK signed a new government-to-government agreement with Peru for a major reconstruction programme.

Peru’s economic recovery plan

In 2020 the Peruvian government announced an ambitious post-COVID economic recovery plan worth £18 billion, opening new partnership opportunities for British business to support Peru’s green recovery.

Mining

Ease of doing business

76th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Sol

Business language

Spanish

GDP per capita

$6,732

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

2.2%

(IMF, 2019)

Time zone

GMT -5

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Opportunities for exporters

Peru is the fifth largest economy in Latin America, in terms of purchasing power parity (Ernst & Young 2020). There are significant opportunities for UK companies across a wide range of sectors including mining, infrastructure, life sciences and healthcare, food and drink, automotive, security and clean energy.

Doing business in Peru

Preparing to export

The Superintendent of Tax Administration (SUNAT) is responsible for the administration of tax and customs.


VAT

The VAT rate in Peru is 18%.

If your company is not operating in Peru, you can recover the VAT. Options to qualify include having invested at least £3 million and being at least 2 years at preoperative stage.

Holders of mine concessions and oil and gas agreements can apply for special agreements regarding this benefit.

Import Duties

Peru applies a 4 level tariff regime: 4%, 7%, 12% and 20%. The non-weighted average customs duty is 10.2%, whereas it was more than 60% in the mid-1990's.

Peru is party of more than 70 bilateral commercial agreements, including a free trade agreement with the European Union.

Regulations

You must have a certificate from the Department of Medicine, Supplies and Drugs (website in Spanish) before exporting pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, biochemical preparations and medical equipment, devices and materials.

It can take up to a year to get the certificate.

The Environmental Health Department (website in Spanish) regulates imports of toys, food products, alcoholic beverages and insecticides.

Every product in Peru must have a label that includes:

  • product name and country of origin
  • expiry date and conditions for preservation (in Spanish)
  • net content in units or mass of volume
  • lot code number
  • name, address and tax specification number of manufacturer, importer, packager or distributor in Peru (in Spanish)
  • warning of any risk or danger in the product and care instructions (in Spanish)

Legal considerations

The political constitution and the legal system guarantee:

  • private property rights
  • the fulfilment of contracts
  • free capital transfer and remittance of earnings
  • unrestricted access to internal and external credit
  • unrestricted access to most economic sectors

There are restrictions which apply for security and air/maritime transport.

Trade barries

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Peru.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Peru

Intellectual property

Companies that own a protected right can register with the Customs Administration Agency (SUNAT) to request the suspension of imports presumed to be fake, very similar trademarks or pirated goods violating copyright.

Payment terms

While doing business with the Peruvian government, you will be asked to issue a bank guarantee prior to delivering the service. The details on the guarantee are set in the tender bases. Peruvian government does not usually make payments in advance, and payments are made upon delivery of the service.

Setting up a business

The options for doing business in Peru include:

  • setting up a foreign owned company
  • setting up a subsidiary office in Peru
  • establishing a joint venture with an established company in Peru
  • finding an agent or distributor

Property ownership

If you are doing business in Peru, you have the same rights as Peruvians, except within 50 km from the national borders. Real estate ownership is generally absolute. You need a real estate agent. Registering a property takes 33 days. Transfer of real property must be made by public deed.

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.