Logistic and forwarding services in Ecuador


Capital City

15,78 Mio

National languages

US Dollar (USD)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 101,3 Mrd

GNP per person
USD 6’321

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 119 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 88 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Ecuador

Relations between Switzerland and Ecuador are good, but not intense. The Swiss development cooperation programme was terminated in 2010.

Economic cooperation

Trade with Ecuador is relatively modest. In 2015, Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 114.4 million, mainly agricultural products, precious stones and precious metals. Exports to Ecuador, mainly pharmaceuticals, chemicals and machinery, showed steady growth amounting to CHF 113.5 million in 2015.
In 2014, direct investment from Switzerland in Ecuador stood at CHF 330 million and Swiss companies employed 5,605 people in the country.


Business language

Spanish, English.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system


US Dollar (US$)
ISO code: USD

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

Applications for the granting of import authorisation are issued on what is known as a unique document, the “Documento Unico de Importación (DUI)” and submitted to a private bank. This form allows applications for the granting of an import authorisation, the “Visto Bueno” for shipment and prior authorisation (autorización previa) – required for approx. 900 customs positions – to be summarised in a single document. There are currently only import bans remaining for a small number of goods (used textiles and shoes). Vehicles may also be imported (brand new and from this year). The goods must be shipped before the import authorisation expires. Term of the import authorisation 180 days from the date of issue. Extensions up to 30 days are possible under certain circumstances. Once the import authorisation has expired an application for a new authorisation must be submitted.

  1. Advertising materials (not for commercial use) up to 500 USD.
  2. Shipments of samples (with no retail value) up to a weight of approx. 5 kg or a value of 50 USD. In the case of samples of medication, only the 4 items that are required for processing in the Health Register (Registro Sanitario) and that must have a stamp on the label indicating that the goods are not intended for sale are accepted.
  3. Medications, tools and equipment for human and veterinary medicine.
  4. Replacement parts and parts for machines, tractors and vehicles if the value is less than 5,000 USD FOB. This does not apply, however, if these goods are subject to a special rate of duty (e.g. vehicle coolers, tyres). In this case, the relevant import authorisation is required.

All goods which are permitted to be imported without an import authorisation still require a corresponding invoice.

Foreign exchange trading is extensively liberalised. Importers receive foreign currencies at the current rate. Hermes cover is possible for medium-term and long-term financing with payment terms of more than one year.
Standard VAT rate: 12% (reduced rate 0%).

Terms of payment and tenders

Terms of payment can be freely agreed between the contracting parties. Invoicing of the licensed goods in the currency specified or indicated in the licence. It is advisable to indicate prices in FOB and CFR on the basis of the port of destination. Insurance must be arranged by the importer in Ecuador. Payment terms (where possible with Hermes cover) are also possible for investment goods.
Tenders in Spanish are advisable.

Designations of origin

No special regulations for designations of origin on goods.


Each individual package must be marked with a consecutive number, mark, gross weight, sender, recipient, country of origin and the port of shipment and port of destination. The letters and numbers should be at least 6 cm. There are special labelling regulations for foods, textiles, shoes, pharmaceuticals and alcohol. Labelling in Spanish.


Robust, waterproof packaging.
Use of the IPPC standard ISPM no. 15.

Product samples

Samples are only duty free if they have been made unusable for further sale and are labelled “muestra gratuita”. The shipment of samples which are subject to duty as “product samples” is only permissible by registered letter.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and:

a) Commercial invoices, 1 original and 4 copies, uncertified, in Spanish, with all standard information, a precise description of the goods (material, components, mixtures etc.) with an indication of the import licence number. The invoices must be signed in a legally valid manner. Commercial invoices may only include CFR values, the insurance must be arranged by the importer in Ecuador. CFR costs must appear individually; they may be no higher than 2% of the FOB value and may not be made up simply of the FOB and freight costs.

b) Consulate invoices are not required.

c) Certificates of origin are not required (however, banks which process transactions on a L/C basis mostly require a certificate of origin. As the origin, indicate “Swiss” in the case of Swiss goods, or “European Union” for goods originating from UE.

d) Postal packages up to 31.5 kg: 1 international dispatch note, 1 customs declaration in Spanish/French/English.

e) Bills of lading prepared in Spanish. Consular legalisation is not required. Bills of lading on “order” or owner must include the name, otherwise they are not valid.