Logistic and forwarding services in El Salvador

El Salvador

Capital City
San Salvador

6.3 Mio.

National languages

US Dollar (USD)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 24,3Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 3835

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 13.2 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 1.8 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–El Salvador

Relations between Switzerland and El Salvador are good but not particularly intensive. The Swiss development cooperation programme was completed in 2008.

Economic cooperation

Trade with El Salvador is modest. In 2015, Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 1.87 million, mainly textiles and machines. It exported goods to El Salvador worth CHF 18.35 million, mainly machines, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.


Business language

Spanish, also English.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.


National currency El Salvador Colón (C) = 100 centavos.
ISO code: SVC

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

An import permit must be requested from the “Banco Central de Reserva, Centrex Dept.” for all imports worth 5.000 USD or more. Special import licences are only required for a small number of groups of goods, such as goods in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, weapons, military equipment and explosives, aircraft, leather, gunnysacks and sugar.
The processing of imports is computer-based.
Hermes cover is possible. In the case of transactions with public customers, securities must be provided to the Ministry of Finance or the Central Bank; in the case of private customers bank securities are sufficient.
Standard VAT rate: 13%

Terms of payment and tenders

Terms of payment can be freely negotiated. Debt collection and letters of credit are standard. Obtaining information on the creditworthiness of companies via the commercial banks is advised in the case of first-time customers.
Invoices in EUR or USD.
Tenders and brochures should be in Spanish.

Designations of origin

Indication of the country of origin on the commercial invoice.


Clear marking of the packages (numbering required in addition to an indication of the country of origin and port of destination).
There are special labelling regulations for medications, foods, drinks and perishable goods.


Customs clearance based on the gross weight, so choose light but stable packaging.
Use of the IPPC standard ISPM no. 15.

Product samples

Duty free if they have no retail value.
The shipment of samples which are subject to duty as “product samples” is not permissible.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and

a) Commercial invoices, 3 copies, in Spanish. Standard information; value of the goods in CIF and FOB; CIF costs to be indicated in addition to the agreed value in USD, country of origin. The following declaration must be made at the end of the invoice: “Certificamos que todos los datos contenidos en esta factura son exactos y correctos”. Duty free goods must be invoiced separately to

goods which are subject to duties in a separate invoice.

b) Certificates of origin only necessary at the importer’s request.

c) Bills of lading (4 copies), uncertified, in Spanish. Order bills of lading are permissible with an indication of one or more notify addresses.

d) For postal items up to 20 kg: 1 APC and 1 customs declaration in Spanish/French. 1 commercial invoice in Spanish/French.

e) Proof of preferential status:

EUR.1 (issued by the customs office), declaration of origin on the invoice

– for each exporter up to a value of EUR 6.000

– “authorised exporters” – no limit

Wording of the declaration of origin: “The exporter of the products covered by this document (customs authorization No …)(1) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of … (2) preferential origin”. If the declaration on the invoice is made by an authorised exporter, the permit number of the authorised exporter should be entered under (1). If the declaration on the invoice is not made by an authorised exporter, the words in brackets can be left out or the gap left empty. (2) The origin of the products must be indicated. If the statement on the invoice relates in full or in part to products originating in Ceuta and Melilla, the exporter must make the short description “CM” clearly visible.