International Trade Regulation Database
Users are reminded that international trade regulations and standards change with speed and frequency and that information from one source sometimes contradicts information from other sources. This database attempts to compile data from numerous sources. Users should be aware that because different sources are used, there could be errors or omissions. The user accepts that the information is only intended to be an initial reference. The user understands that there is no assurance that this reference material is error free, and that no one involved in compiling or distributing this reference material shall be liable for any damages arising out of its use. Commercially important information should be rechecked and verified with knowledgeable parties in the country of interest prior to sale or shipment.
Entry into Force Dates for Argentina’s Front of Pack Warning Labels
August 2022: All businesses other than Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) must comply with Stage One requirements for Front-of-Pack Warning Labels (FOPWL) in Argentina from August 20, 2022 and with Stage Two requirements from May 20, 2023. SMEs must comply with Stage One requirements from February 20, 2023 and Stage Two requirements from November 20, 2023.
Proposed and Pending Requirements
There currently is no information available.
Standards of Identity
The National Administration of Medicine, Food, and Medical Technology (Administration Nacional de Medicamentos, Alimentos y Technicos Médica, ANMAT) of the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) is the regulatory authority for food standards. The Argentine Food Code (Código Alimentario Argentino) provides definitions and standards for confectionery products under Chapter 10 and cocoa and chocolate products under Chapter 15. These standards include product definitions and descriptions, sales denominations, required properties, permitted additives, labeling information, and prohibited substances. More detailed information, in English, is available in the attached document.
Standards of identity are included in Chapter 10 for the following products:
Cocoa and Chocolate Products
Standards of identity are included in Chapter 15 for the following products:
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries jointly regulate food safety in Argentina under the Argentina Food Code (Código Alimentario Argentino). General food additive regulations can be found in Chapter 18, while food additive regulations specific to candies, chocolate, and chewing gum can be found in Chapter 10. The Code is amended periodically throughout the year; current proposals can be found on this page.
Packaging and Labeling Requirements
Food packaging regulations in Mercosur countries are largely harmonized. Any change in applicable regulations requires discussion and consensus by member states. Each Mercosur member transposes supranational regulations into national law via its domestic legal process.
Mercosur uses as references packaging and food contact material regulations of the European Union, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the German Institute of Risk Assessment (BfR), among others.
Food Contact Materials
Packaging regulations for food contact materials (FCMs) are established in GMC No. 03/92 General Provisions for Materials in Contact with Food (in Spanish) and GMC No. 31/99 General Criteria for Updating the Positive Lists of Packaging and Equipment in Contact with Food (in Spanish)
Mercosur maintains specific positive lists for several types of FCMs, meaning that all substances utilized as an FCM must be explicitly approved in the relevant regulations.
A list of regulations applicable to plastic FCM is presented below. Documents are available in Spanish.
A list of regulations applicable to miscellaneous FCM is presented below, including metal, glass, ceramic, and cellulose material. Documents are available in Spanish.
Solid Wood Packaging Requirements
Argentina implemented the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) for solid wood packaging material (SWPM) in 2005. SWPM entering Argentina must bear the international certification mark and have been treated with heat or methyl bromide fumigation.
Retail labeling requirements for prepackaged food sold in the Mercosur market are established in Resolution No. 26/03 Mercosur Technical Regulation for Labeling of Packaged Foods (in Spanish).
The following information must be included on food labels:
Mandatory information must be presented clearly and accurately in a way that does not mislead consumer. The size of the letters and numbers for the mandatory labeling, except for the indication of the net contents, shall not be less than 1 mm.
The mandatory information must be written in the official language of the country of consumption (Spanish or Portuguese). Other languages may also be included in addition to the mandatory information in Spanish or Portuguese.
Complementary labeling may be affixed at origin or destination to meet mandatory language requirements.
Nutritional labeling requirements are established in Resolution No. 46/03 Mercosur Technical Regulation on the Nutritional Labeling of Packaged Foods (in Spanish).
The following mandatory nutritional information must be presented in numerical and tabular form in a contrasting color with the background:
Annex A of Resolution No. 46/03 provides the Daily Nutrient Reference Values and Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) values needed to calculate the daily value percentage provided by each nutrient in the food portion. The following expression should be added as part of the nutritional information: "Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs."
Details and examples regarding the presentation of nutritional labeling are provided in Annex B of Resolution No. 46/03.
Resolution No. 01/12 Mercosur Technical Regulation on Supplementary Nutritional Information (in Spanish) establishes specific criteria regarding declarations of nutritional properties.
Chapter 4 lists the authorized qualitative terms and Chapter 5 lists the related nutrient conditions regarding declarations.
The list of ingredients must be preceded by the term "Ingredients" and presented in descending order of weight.
Resolution No. 06/94 Declaration of Ingredients in Packaged Food Labeling (in Spanish) lists the generic names that may be used in the ingredient list for specified classes of ingredients.
Food Additive Labeling
Food additives must be declared as part of the list of ingredients.
The declaration should state the full name or International Numbering System (INS) designation and the main function of the additive in the food.
There is no mandatory allergen declaration included in Resolution No. 26/03 as no consensus has been reached so far on proposed modifications to the Mercosur Technical Regulation. However, some members have implemented national allergen labeling requirements.
Every product label must be clearly and indelibly marked with a code of term which allows specific traceability to the origin of the batch.
This may be presented as a code preceded by the letter "L". The date of manufacture, packing, or minimum duration is also a sufficient lot identification provided it meets the date marking presentation requirements.
Products must include the following information regarding the duration of the food:
The day, month and year must be declared in uncoded numerical order, with the exception that the month may be indicated in letters in countries where this use does not mislead the consumer.
The date must be preceded by an appropriate expression such as
Argentina's National Service of Agricultural Food Health and Quality (SENASA) and Ministry of Health enforce labeling regulations via the Argentine Food Code (Código Alimentario Argentino - CAA).
Chapter Five of the CAA incorporates Mercosur regulations applicable to food product labeling into national legislation.
The following additional requirements have been established by Argentina for products marketed in the country:
Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labeling
Argentina’s Law of Promotion of Healthy Foods and implementing Decree 151/2022 require octagon-style Front-of-Pack Warning Labels (FOPWL) on certain food. The requirements are being implemented in two stages:
Stage 1 (August 20, 2022):
Argentine National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) Provision 6294/2022 (in Spanish), which entered into force in August 2022, establishes rules for the advertisement of foods that must be labeled with at least one FOPWL.
Stage 2 (May 20, 2023):
Additional resources regarding the FOPWL requirements are provided by Argentina's Ministry of Health.
Joint Resolution No. 11-E/2017 (in Spanish) amends Argentina's CAA by establishing mandatory allergen labeling requirements.
The following substances known to cause hypersensitivity must be declared in bold immediately after or below the list of ingredients:
The declaration must be preceded by the appropriate word or phrase (i.e., "Contains..." or "May contain...").
Labeling of Vegetarian and Vegan Foods
Argentina’s Ministry of Health and the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Joint Resolution No. 5 - July 28, 2022(in Spanish), adds a new Article 229 to the Argentine Food Code on labeling provisions for vegan and vegetarian foods. Foods can only be labeled vegetarian or vegan when compliance with Article 229 is certified by the competent Health Authority. The resolution entered into force on August 3, 2022.
Specific Labeling Requirements for Confectionery, Chocolate, and Cocoa Products
Small food packages, whose main labeling surface is less than 10 cm2, are exempted from these labeling requirements, but must include at least the denomination and brand name of the product. The container holding the small units must present all of the mandatory labeling information.
For food containing non-nutritive sweeteners, tartrazine, benzoic acid or its calcium, potassium or sodium salts, or sulfur dioxide or its derivatives, the label must declare their presence by means of a legend stating CONTIENE........ (indicating the full name of the additive), as long as the specific name of the mentioned additives is not indicated in the list of ingredients on the label. With reference to aspartame, the presence of phenylalanine should be indicated for phenylketonurics and, for all non-nutritive sweeteners, their concentration should be indicated.
In 2015, Argentina’s Federal Administration of Public Revenues published General Resolution 3823 (in Spanish) in the country’s official bulletin. The resolution, which entered into force on December 23, 2015, was designed to facilitate foreign trade by establishing a new import management system.
Specifically, Resolution 3823 implements the ‘Comprehensive Import Monitoring System’ (known as SIMI) as a replacement to Argentina’s previous ‘Import Affidavit System' (known as DJAI). In 2015, a World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) found Argentina’s DJAI procedures to be incompliant with certain articles of their WTO agreement. Ultimately, Argentina agreed to implement appropriate changes to its DJAI procedures by December 31, 2015. A summary of the case, which was originally initiated by the United States, can be found here.
The implementation of SIMI, which is characterized by Argentinian officials as an expedited import approval system, has been welcomed by foreign exporters targeting the Argentinian market. Under the new system, imports of [cherries/table grapes/confectionery products/potato products] are eligible for Automatic Import Licenses (AIL), which require information on the importer, country of origin, HS code, product description, state of the merchandise, number of units, and the value of the shipment in U.S. dollars FOB. Approvals for AIL applications are normally expected within ten days.
It is important to note that a pre-shipment inspection in the country of origin may be requested before the product is shipped. An international certification company appointed by the Argentinian government must perform this inspection to compare the merchandise being shipped with the price paid for the exported product in order to avoid under-invoicing, counter unfair competition, and prevent tax evasion.
Import Documentation Requirements
All imports entering Argentina by ship require the following documents:
All imports entering Argentina by air require the following documents:
Detailed information on the documentation requirements listed above can be found in Export.gov’s Argentina Country Commercial Guide.
Certificate of Free Circulation
Once processed food shipments enter Argentina, a Certificate of Free Circulation must be obtained before further movement can occur. The Certificate of Free Circulation can be obtained from the National Food Institute (Instituto Nacional de Alimentos – INAL, a subsidiary agency of ANMAT). The requirements for the certificate are as follows:
Note: Importers are only required to apply once for an RNPA. However, a Certificate of Free Circulation is required every time a product is imported.
All brands and trademarks must be registered in Argentina to ensure brand ownership. The National Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial - INPI) is the Argentinian trademark authority and the Trademark Law No. 22.362 (Ley de Marcas 22.362) provides the regulatory framework for trademark registration. This law was most recently amended on January 11, 2018.
To apply for trademark, an application must be filed with INPI, and must include the following information:
After an application is filed, INPI performs a first formal examination to determine whether the preliminary requirements have been fulfilled. If the INPI has no objections, a notice of the registration will be published in the Bulletin of Trademarks (Boletin de Marcas).
Within 30 days after the application has been filed, INPI searches for records of the requested trademark and decides whether it can be registered. During this period, any third party potentially affected by registration of the requested trademark can file an opposition to the registration. If the terms expire with no opposition and with INPI approval, the trademark is granted. If anyone files an opposition or finds any record regarding the trademark, the applicant will have three months after INPI notification to obtain withdrawal of any opposition and to provide the information requested by the INPI.
Argentina’s trademark fees were raised as of October 2017, and are listed in the Annex to Resolución 311-E/2017. These include the following (denominated in Argentine pesos):
Trademarks are valid for ten years and may be renewed indefinitely for subsequent ten-year periods, so long as the trademark was used commercially within five years prior to each expiration.
Argentina is included on the U.S. Trade Representative's Priority Watch List for intellectual property protections. Identified deficiencies include a lack of effective enforcement and a thriving trade in counterfeit and pirated goods in Buenos Aires. However, in 2016 and 2017, Argentina introduced several legislative measures intended to improve IP protections and enforcement.
Other Import Requirements
Importer Registration Requirements
Before importing a food product into Argentina, importers must register their product under the National Register of Establishments (Registron Nacional De Establecimientos - RNE). To register, the following items must be submitted:
The RNE is valid for five years.
(Source: Argentina FAIRS Country Report 4JAN2018)
Product Registration Requirements
After obtaining the RNE, the importer must then register the product by obtaining a National Register of Food Products (RNPA) number. The application must include:
One an RNPA is obtained for a particular product, it is not necessary to obtain a new one for each additional import of that product. However, a new Certificate of Free Circulation is required for each shipment.
(Source: Argentina FAIRS Country Report 4JAN2018)
Label Inspection Requirement
On March 31, 2021, Argentina gazetted Resolution 283/2021 (in Spanish), creating a Sign and Label Inspection System (Sistema de Fiscalización de Rótulos y Etiquetas, SiFIRE). A press release (in Spanish) from the Ministry of Internal Commerce summarizes the system.
As of April 30, 2021, the manufacturer, importer, and/or distributor must submit all labels or signs (rótulos) for several products, including food and beverages, for conformity inspection to ensure that labels and signs do not include misleading or confusing statements regarding product qualities, composition, raw materials and additives, quantity, origin, price, or adverse effects, nor information on offers, promotions, or discounts that cannot be guaranteed.
Labels and signs must be submitted to the Undersecretariat of Actions for the Defense of Consumers (SSADC) of the Ministry of Productive Development through the remote procedures (TAD) module of Argentina’s electronic document management platform (GDE). Once submitted, a response will be issued within 10 business days. If a response is not issued, compliance by the labels or signs is presumed. If the label is deemed to infringe on the rights of consumers, a sticker or decal must be placed on the product container until the infringing label or sign is removed from the market.
National Administration of Medicine, Food, and Medical Technology (Administration Nacional de Medicamentos, Alimentos y Technicos Médica)
Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud)
Av. De Mayo 869 (C1084AAD)
Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: (54-11) 4340 0800
Food Regulation and Content Authority
National Food Institute (Instituto Nacional de Alimentos - INAL)
Ministry of Health (Ministerio De Salud)
Estados Unidos 25
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: (54-11) 4342-5674
Tariffs and Excise Duty
Argentina Customs (Aduana Argentina)
Azopardo 350 1er piso (ala derecha)
Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: (54-11) 4338-6400
E-mail: [email protected]
National Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial - INPI)
Paseo Colón 717
C.P. 1063 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: (54-11) 4344-4902
Fax: (54-11) 4344-5286
E-mail: [email protected]
US Agricultural Representative
American Embassy, OAA, Buenos Aires
Av. Colombia 4300
C1425GMN Buenos Aires
Office of Agricultural Affairs
American Embassy Buenos Aires
APO AA 34034-0001
Tel: (011-54-11) 5777-4627
Fax: (011-54-11) 5777-4216
E-mail: [email protected]
US Business Representatives
Argentina-American Chamber of Commerce
Viamonte 1133, Piso 8
C1053ABW Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: (54-11) 4371-4500
E-mail: [email protected]