MARCH 23, 2020

Unavoidable activities of foreign commerce | Priority and discretional operations for customs’ service.



International Trade & Customs Report | Unavoidable activities of foreign commerce | Priority and discretional operations for customs’ service

Dear Sir or Madam,

Within the measures implemented as a consequence of the Social, Preemptive, Mandatory Isolation, ordered by DNU No. 297/2020, General Instruction No. 2/2020, issued by the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP, for its acronym in Spanish), was published in the Official Gazette today. This General Instruction repeals AFIP’s General Instruction No. 1/2020, replacing it.

The General Instruction No. 2/2020 expands Customs’ discretional power to attend import and/or export operations during the quarantine in place. Specifically, the General Instruction sets forth that:

a. Customs must prioritize the attention of those import and/or export operations related to the essential activities and services, declared so by DNU No. 297/2020, and its complementary rules.

b. General Deputy Directors may authorize the attention of other import and/or export operations when said attention is deemed critical or essential due to the nature of the goods or the features of the mainstay business operation.

Note that export operations involving perishable goods have lost its preferential treatment granted by General Instruction No. 1/2020.

In short, Customs’ attention to any import or export operation, other than those related to essential activities and services, is discretional and will depend on the judgment of the corresponding General Deputy Director.

In these cases, the new General Instruction invites to dialogue with Customs, to which we recommend that, in every operation, the customs broker consults the Deputy General Director on this General Instruction.

Should you require any further information on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Guido H. Krolovetzky