Chile: Procedure For Food Imports In Chile

Last Updated: 4 May 2016
Article by Brokering Abogados

GENERAL PROCEDURE

The import procedure of any kind of food involves the fulfillment of two requirements established by the Health Authority of the Metropolitan Region (known as "SEREMI de Salud R.M"):

1) Getting a Certificate of Customs Destination (known as "Certificado de Destinación Aduanera"); and,

2) Getting the Authorization of Use and Disposition of Imported foods (known as "Autorización de Uso y Disposición de Alimentos Importados").

Both applications may be approved or denied, depending on whether the imported foods comply or not with the current health regulations.

I.- CERTIFICATE OF CUSTOMS DESTINATION

It is a Resolution issued by the correspondent Health Authority, by which the imported foods entered to the country, and which authorizes the removal and transportation of the products, from the customs facilities to the warehouse or authorized deposit, where the products are going to be stored.

The said certificate (Certificate of Customs Destination) must show the address of the warehouse, duly authorized, the Health Resolution, route and transportation conditions of the imported products.

1. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

The Certificate of Customs Destination (CCD) must be requested at the correspondent Regional Ministerial Secretariat of Health (SEREMI) of the customs office by which the products were entered, through the form created for that purpose.

As for the SEREMI of the Metropolitan Region, there are two ways to carry out this kind of procedures:

1.1. AS DIGITAL

1.2. Going to the Customer Service Offices

Whatever the way you choose to obtain the CCD in the Metropolitan Region, the following documents are going to be requested by the Health Authority:

  • Invoice of the product
  • Copy of the Health Resolution of the authorized warehouse of destination
  • Air waybill

1.1. AS DIGITAL

In order to access to the Digital System of the Health Authority, you must go to the following address: http://asdigital.minsal.cl/asdigital using Google Chrome web browser.

Once there, you should register, access with your password and select the option "Comercio Exterior" and then "Certificado de Destinación Aduanera".

Fill all the information requested in the "Solicitud de Certificado de Destinación Aduanera" which is inside the option "Comercio Exterior" and select the CCD type for foods. After having filled all the data requested in the application, the system will deliver a receipt to make the payment.

1.2. Going to the Customer Service Offices

In order to obtain the CCD, you must concur to one of the following offices, from Monday to Thursday 9:00 to 13:30 hrs. and Fridays from 9:00 to 13:00 hrs.:

Central Office: Avenida Bulnes # 194, Santiago.

Office in Melipilla: Plaza de Armas # 550, Melipilla

Office in Talagante: Esmeralda # 1177, Talagante

Office in San Bernardo: Freire # 493, San Bernardo

Office in Chacabuco: Av. General San Martín # 243 – 253, Colina

Oficina in Cordillera Concha y Toro # 469, Puente Alto

In these offices you should request and complete the form of "Solicitud de Certificado de Destinación Aduanera" (CCD) corresponding to the product to import and pay the correspondent fee.

2. INFORMATION TO CONSIDER

In case that the application does not comply with the requirements or if the product cannot be imported to the country, the issuance of the CCD will be denied through founded decision, issued within the third day counted from the date of the application.

The CCD (Certificate of Customs Destination) must be granted, within the terms established by the Law number 18.164/82 of the Ministry of Finance or the one which replaces it.

"This Certificate (CCD) does not allow to its holder to move to any place other the warehouse of destine, change, use or consume the foods signaled in them".

Once the process of the CCD and the products having been retired from the primary locations of Customs, the importer will assume the following obligations and responsibilities:

a. Movie the food products to the warehouse indicated in the CCD, through the route and transport conditions indicated in the same Certificate.

According to article number 68 of the Food Health Regulation (D.S. 977/96), the vehicles transporting perishable foods, which require cold for its conservation, must have the Health Authorization for that purpose.

b. Maintain the products in said warehouse, not being allowed to use them, consume them, sell them, transfer them or dispose from them at any title, before obtaining the Authorization of Use and Destination, issued by the Health Authority of the Region in which the destination warehouse is located.

c. Request the Authorization of Use and Destination from the Health Authority of the Region in which the warehouse of destiny is located, attaching a copy of the CCD with the application.

The non-compliance of the conditions mentioned before will be sanctioned by the Health Authority, prior instruction of the correspondent sanitary investigation, according to the established in book X (ten) of the Health Code (D.F.L. 725/67).

II. AUTHORIZATION OF USE AND DISPOSITION

Consists on a Resolution issued by the Health Authority (Seremi de Salud – Regional Ministerial Secretariat of Health), correspondent to the jurisdiction in which the warehouse, which the products are stored, is located. This resolution allows or forbids the importer to use, sell, consume, transfer and dispose the imported products. Before the approval, the Health Authority (Seremi de Salud R.M.) will inspect and/or run lab tests on the products in order to check whether the products comply with the Chilean legislation or not.

1. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

In the Regional Ministerial Secretariat of Health of the Metropolitan Region (Seremi de Salud R.M.) are two ways to carry out this kind of procedures:

1.1. AS DIGITAL

1.2. Going to the Customer Service Offices

Whatever the way you choose to obtain the Authorization of Use and Disposition of Imported Food Products, the Health Authority of the Region will ask for the following documents:

a) Certificate of Customs Destination

b) Copy of the Purchase Invoice

c) Copy of the Health Resolution of the Warehouse or authorized deposit

d) Health Certificate from the country of origin of the product, valid for each import license or free product sales certificate.

e) Label or label project with the format that allows to comply the established in the Food Health Regulation (D.S. 977/96)

Notwithstanding to the above, the Health Authority is entitled to request more details about a product.

1.1 AS DIGITAL

To access the Digital System of the Health Authority, you should connect to the Internet through the Google Chrome web browser, and go to the following address: http//asdigital.minsal.cl/asdigital/

Once inside the website, you must sign in, enter with your password and select the option "Comercio Exterior" and then "Autorización de Uso y Disposición".

Fill the information of the Authorization of Use and Disposition application (Solicitud de Autorización de Uso y Disposición) which is inside the option "Comercio Exterior" and attach all the documents to the use and disposition application.

After the application has been filled, the System will issue a receipt to make the payment.

1.2. GOING TO THE CUSTOMER SERVICE OFFICES

To carry out the application for the Authorization of Use and Disposition of imported food products, you must concur to the following office, Mondays to Tuesdays from 09:00 to 13:30 hrs and Fridays from 09:00 to 13:00 hrs.:

Central Office: Avenida Bulnes #194, Santiago: at this office you must request and fill the application form for the Authorization of Use and Disposition of imported food products, paying the correspondent fee.

2. INFORMATION TO CONSIDER

The products that are announced as foods, and which possess or attributes themselves therapeutic properties, must have the determination of the Applicable Control Regime, issued by the Chilean Public Health Institute (ISP), according to the established in article 70 of the Supreme Decree number 1.876/95.

The Authorization Resolution is granted to the applicant after the products has been verified and its compliance or non-compliance to the national legislation has been established.

3. TECHNICAL PROCEDURES

The process to follow is determined considering the epidemiological risk, food composition, history of previous imports and complaints about imported foods (or infractions), and which may be: direct without inspection, inspection without sampling, and inspection sampling.

3.1. DIRECT PROCESS (WITHOUT INSPECTION)

Once the importer has informed the arrival of the products to the country, and after the documents from the imported products had been analyzed, the Health Authority from the jurisdiction in which the warehouse of destiny is located, issues the Authorization Resolution, without inspecting the product.

3.2. INSPECTION WITHOUT SAMPLING

In this case, the products are inspected in its storage location in order to check and record, at least, the following:

  • Identification of the product, including the CCD
  • Physical characteristics at the moment of the inspection
  • Labeling
  • Stowage conditions
  • Inspection the temperature and measurement records of the product, if necessary. According to the outcome of the inspection carried out by the Health Authority, the same is entitled to proceed to take samples and run test on them later on.

3.3. INSPECTION SAMPLING

The same process described on the last point (3.2.). The only difference is that, in this procedure, samples of the products are taken in order to be analyzed according to the parameters established for the type of food in question. The samples shall be taken by qualified technical personnel from the Health Authority of the Metropolitan Region and shall be analyzed in the laboratories of Environment Health or another analysis laboratory recognized by the Health Authority.

When the jurisdiction where the destiny warehouse is located is the Metropolitan Region, the costs generated from the sampling and its corresponding analysis, must be paid at the Customer Service Office of the Health Authority of the Metropolitan Region, 72 hours after the samples were taken. Also, in order to speed up the process, it is suggested to make reference to the number in it at the moment of the payment.

It is required to present all the documentation left by the professional of the Health Authority in the inspection.

REJECTION OF THE FOOD INTERNMENT APPLICATION

If, once all the procedures described above have been applied, it is found that the product does not comply with the current Chilean legislation, the Health Authority issues a Rejection Resolution. In this Resolution the causes of the rejection are detailed, and the product, factory of origin and elaboration codes of the product are identified. Also, the Authority gives the importer a term of 5 days (working days) counted from the date of the issuance, in order to inform the destiny of the products, which may be:

  • Re-exportation
  • Destruction
  • Another use (authorization from the competent Authority needed)

The interested can request, in writing, a reconsideration of the decision adopted, except in those food imports to which the article 105 of the Food Health Regulation (D.S. 977/96) has been applied. In case that this request is accepted, the analysis of the product is carried out considering the double amount of samples used initially.

The denaturation and destruction of the rejected foods is requested to the Health Authority and is carried out under the oversight of the same. The costs derived are charged to the importer.
In the case that the importer decides to destroy or remove the rejected product on his own, it must be informed to the Health Authority, in writing, within the term stipulated for it and attaching all the documents required.

RE-ENTRY OF FOODS

Foods which are re-entered to the country, whatever the rejection cause in the country of destiny might be, must comply with the established in the procedures of Certificate of Customs Destination (CCD) and Authorization of Use and Disposition of imported products, informing the cause of the rejection through a certificate issued by the competent authority or a commercial technical document.

The total of the imports, corresponding to re-entered foods, shall undergo the correspondent inspection sampling.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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