Logistic and forwarding services in Nicaragua


Capital City

6 Mio.

National languages

Cordoba Gold (NIO)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 11.1 Mrd. (est.)

GNP per person
USD 1833 (est.)

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF  3.71 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 11.46 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Nicaragua

Both the SDC and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO are present with a number of projects in Nicaragua, one of the “Central America priority regions” for Swiss development cooperation.

Economic cooperation

The volume of trade between Switzerland and Nicaragua is low. In 2015, Switzerland imported goods worth a total of CHF 11.23 million from Nicaragua, mainly agricultural products including coffee and bananas.  Swiss exports to Nicaragua stood at around CHF 9.24 million, composed mainly of machinery, pharmaceutical and agricultural products.


Business language

Spanish, some English.


Dimensions and weights

American and metric system.



1 Córdoba (C $) = 100 Centavos (c, cts)

ISO code: NIO


Customs tariff

Harmonised system


Import control

Liberalised foreign trade. The importer must be registered in the “Registro Nacional de Importadores”. This entry entitles him to apply for a register number from Nicaragua’s customs authorities.

With the register number, he is then entitled to import certain commercial goods.

Foreign currency is allocated by the Banco Nacional de Nicaragua and authorised commercial banks.

Standard VAT rate: 15%

Terms of payment and tenders

Payment in advance or irrevocable, confirmed letters of credit are approved by the central bank under certain conditions.

Tenders based on CIF.

Invoices in USD are standard.

There are cover options for transactions with credit terms of a maximum of 360 days if they are not transactions with public clients (e.g. state agencies).

Tenders in Spanish.


Designations of origin

No special provisions.



Signing of the boxes must be uniform and to one recipient with the symbol, number, domestic destination and port in letters of at least 6 cm.



Seaworthy packaging. Hay, straw and used sacks are prohibited as packaging materials. Use of the IPPC standard ISPM no. 15.


Product samples

Samples with no retail value are not subject to customs payments provided the quantity is justifiable and they are marked as “muestros sin valor”. Pharmaceutical goods are permitted to be imported duty free in small quantities provided certain conditions are complied with.


Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and:

a) Commercial invoices with all standard information including country of origin, weights, values etc. in Spanish/English, no certification by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or embassy (exceptions are possible). The total FOB value, the total CIF value and CIF costs in USD must be clear:

Valor FOB (port of shipment) $ …

Flete Marítimo (sea freight) $ … or Flete Aéreo (air freight) $ …

Seguro Marítimo (sea insurance) $ … or Seguro Aéreo (air insurance) $ …

Otras Gastos Total $ …

Valor CIF Tótal (port of arrival) $ …

The following declaration must be given at the bottom of the commercial invoices: “Declaramos bajo juramento que el importe de esta factura de US $ … (CIF value) (repeat in words) corresponde a nuestros libros correctamente llevados y que todos los detalles son verdaderos”.

b) Bills of lading, 3 copies indicating the freight costs, dimensions, weights etc. certified by the consulate. Order bills of lading with a notify address are possible.

c) No consulate invoices or certificates of origin. If requested, indicate the following for Swiss goods: “Suiza” or “Unión Europea” depending on the case. Chamber of Industry and Commerce certificates of origin.

d) Postal packages up to 31.5 kg: 1 international dispatch note, 2 customs declaration 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.