Logistic and forwarding services in Bolivia


Capital City
Sucre (Government in La Paz)

11 Mio.

National languages
Spanish, Quechua, Aymara

Boliviano (BOB)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 29,5 Mrd. (est.)

GNP per person
USD 2674 (est.)

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 34,9 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 7,8 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Bolivia

Relations between Switzerland and Bolivia are good, in particular in the area of development cooperation. Bolivia is a priority country for the SDC.

Economic cooperation

Trade between the two countries is modest.  In 2015, Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 16 million, mainly mining and agricultural products and textiles. Exports to Bolivia were mainly chemicals and machinery, amounting to CHF 14.8 million.
Swiss direct investments in Bolivia amounted to CHF 66 million at the end of 2014.  A total of 1,344 persons are currently employed by Swiss companies in Bolivia.


Business language

Spanish, English.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.


National currency Boliviano (Bs) = 100 centavos (cts).
ISO code: BOB

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

The import of all products is fundamentally free. Import licences must be applied for in advance from the respective ministry for goods which may cause a risk to the security and stability of the state or public health (firearms, munitions, explosives) and for books and other publications for primary school education, sending and receiving devices for radio, telephones and wireless radio telephones and for strong medications (such as narcotics). The import of used private vehicles which are more than six years old and vehicles which are more than eight years old is prohibited. The import of goods has only been possible through registered importers since 01/07/2009.
The VAT rate is 13%.

Terms of payment and tenders

Payment transactions are generally processed in USD.
Export letters of credit are predominantly used, or payment in advance/down payments of at least 50%.
In the case of state export guarantees for Swiss exporters, cover is only available for business of up to 360 days.

Designations of origin

Designations of origin are only required for foods.


All packages must be clearly labelled with the name of the transit port, destination (“en tránsito para La Paz/Bolivia”). The gross weight (size of label at least 6 cm) must also be indicated on each package. Labelling in Spanish. In addition to the normal information, the registration mark and the country of origin must also be indicated. There are special elements for the labelling of foods.


Sea packaging, boxes which are not too heavy, multiple reloading, often week-long storage in a hot, moist climate.
ISPM no. 15 applies.

Product samples

Samples with no retail value = permitted duty free.
Like other deliveries of goods, samples with a retail value require a commercial invoice, which normally indicates the nominal FOB value stating that no payment is made. Among other things, the following notes are to be selected:
“Sin valor Comercial”, “Valor nominal US $ … FOB”, “No destinado para la venta”.
They can be imported temporarily free of charge for a period of 90 days. This period of time can be extended up to one year with a special permit from the Ministry of Finance.
The shipping of samples which are subject to customs duties as “product samples” or “packages” is not permitted.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and

a) Commercial invoices, 5 copies, in Spanish/English with the required legally binding signature and the following declaration: “Protestamos que los pormenores de cantidad, pesos, calidades, valores y fechas de las mercaderías detalladas en esta factura son verdaderos y correctos.”

In commercial invoices, in addition to the standard information a special statement of cost including the total FOB value and total CIF value exclusively in USD in numbers and letters is also required.

Give the following as a country of origin for goods from Swiss: Pas de origen “Swiss”. Each commercial invoice may only relate to one recipient and one loading. Chamber of commerce certification and consular legalisation are not required.

b) Certificates of origin are generally not required, but if required use “Swiss” in the case of Swiss goods or “European Union” for goods originating from UE.

c) Bills of lading must be prepared in Spanish, order bills of lading are permitted on indication of a notify address (person).

d) Postal packages up to 20 kg: 1 foreign dispatch note, 2 customs declarations in Spanish, commercial invoices in Spanish.