As anticipated, and as mandated by the World Trade Organization (“WTO”), the Federal Tax Authority (“AFIP”, according to its Spanish acronym) issued today General Resolution 3823 (“RG3823”) that abrogates the import licensing system known as Advanced Import Affidavit (“DJAIs” in Spanish”) and replaces it with the Import Monitoring System (Sistema Integral de Monitoreo de Importaciones, “SIMI”).
SIMI applies to all final imports into Argentina. According to the same, any importer must –prior to importation- submit the information that will be detailed in the site “Sistema Integral de Monitoreo de Importaciones” of AFIP’s webpage in electronic format. At the moment of issuance of this alert, such site is not yet in operation.
Once the information is submitted, all governmental agencies that have signed up (or will sign up) to the Single Foreign Trade Window (“VUCE” according to its Spanish acronym) will have ten (10) days to make any kind of observation to the filing made by the importer. Such observation shall be communicated by AFIP to the importer who will then have to get in touch with the agency making such observation. According to General Resolution 3599 –which establishes the VUCE-, the agencies that have signed up to it, among others, are: the food and drug administration (“ANMAT”), Sedronar, Secretary of Commerce, Central Bank and private trade associations (that have to right to participate as observers during the physical inspection of the goods at the time of importation).
At the time of filing the import declaration, the importer must include the identification number issued by the SIMI. The IT system of customs will then perform the consistency controls between the information filed with the SIMI and that filed at the time of importation. The declarations filed with the SIMI will have a 180 day validity, as from the date of approval.
RG3823 becomes effective on December 23. The DJAIs filed up to that date shall remain in full force and effect, whatever their current status.
From a strictly legal point of view, SIMI does not substantially differ from the DJAIs. It will be necessary to wait until its effective implementation to determine whether SIMI will become a trade facilitation measure aimed at complying with the single foreign trade window promoted by the World Customs Organization, while –at the same time- the worst abuses of the now extinct DJAIs are avoided.