Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

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Expat Chronicles
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Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby Expat Chronicles » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:16 pm

I tried to import used, unlocked iPhones from the US to sell at a relative discount to what Movistar and Claro charge sin plan. The nine refurbished iPhone 3s were valued by Peruvian customs at $3000 - well over $300 each - which is what new iPhone 4s sell for in the US. The accompanying tax bill is $400, which would incur a steep loss at the market price we planned to sell them at.

Valuation aside, the paperwork and red tape was a nightmare.

Is anybody successfully importing into Peru? Does anybody know anybody with an import business? Or have suggestions / anecdotes?

I saw the nightmare posted about the gentleman who had his car seized. I've personally had a slew of nightmares with Peruvian customs on personal items, so I don't know why I attempted this business. It's working in Colombia, so I thought it'd work here.

Any help appreciated. You can email me at post dot colin at gmail.


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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby SilverbackPeru » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:55 pm

Sorry i can't help you with the enquiry, i'm only responding cos of the shock on how the Peruvian customs just seem to be a way of government sponsored robbery! They hardly seem to help encourage business in Peru do they! The more i read posts on here the more i'm shocked at how they just seem to double the value on everything thats imported into Peru! Which explains the stupidly high prices for things in Saga!
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby Expat Chronicles » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:15 pm

SilverbackPeru wrote:Sorry i can't help you with the enquiry, i'm only responding cos of the shock on how the Peruvian customs just seem to be a way of government sponsored robbery! They hardly seem to help encourage business in Peru do they! The more i read posts on here the more i'm shocked at how they just seem to double the value on everything thats imported into Peru! Which explains the stupidly high prices for things in Saga!


Given the most you could fetch in the US for a refurbished iPhone 3g 8gb is about $150, the Peruvian valuation of $333 / unit is a little more than double.

And "government sponsored robbery" is one way to put it. I had imagined it a long-held government policy to view customs as a profit center / revenue stream. They have different ways to do it. I had personal shipments held up while they considered goods that are clearly free to enter. Then to release it you have to pay the "almacenaje" - storage fees for the 3-6 weeks that it took them to realize it's free to enter.

No, it does not make doing business here easy and also explains sky-high prices on imported goods. That's why I'm looking for help from someone who's successfully importing!
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby SilverbackPeru » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:47 pm

I do know there is a trade agreement signed between Peru and The U.S.A so that all electronics entering Peru from the states aren't taxed which i would have thought would have made this business a lot easier but i see thats now out of the question!

Peruvians really do get totally screwed when it comes to price paid for modern items. Even general sports wear is overpriced here, which makes you wonder why it is. Is it super high taxation on all products coming into Peru, or is it massive profit margins put on all products by shops and businesses.

All the best anyway with your business!
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby SilverbackPeru » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:49 pm

i also can't help but wonder how much of this extra charge makes its way into government pockets as well!
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby fanning » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:57 pm

Are you importing this things as a private person, or as a business. If you are importing them as a business then any IGV they force you to pay, actually is a IGV credit, which you can use as a credit in your IGV payment once you sell your items. So in reality you won't pay those taxes, as they are refunded in your company.
If you import them however as a private person, then you pay the IGV, and I suppose you sell the items without factura or boleta. So it makes sense that Peru taxes you as you import ..
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby Expat Chronicles » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:48 am

fanning wrote:Are you importing this things as a private person, or as a business. If you are importing them as a business then any IGV they force you to pay, actually is a IGV credit, which you can use as a credit in your IGV payment once you sell your items. So in reality you won't pay those taxes, as they are refunded in your company.
If you import them however as a private person, then you pay the IGV, and I suppose you sell the items without factura or boleta. So it makes sense that Peru taxes you as you import ..


I don't have a problem with paying taxes. I have a problem with paying 35% of the item value in taxes. Given I didn't plan to mark them up into absurdity, that valuation will wipe out all of my 20% planned markup and a good bit of my initial investment. I have a problem with their valuation of used iPhone 3s at over double what they're worth.
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby fanning » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:08 pm

Suppose you bought the item for $100. And Customs tells you it is worth $200. and tax you IGV ( $36 )
Those $36 are a tax credit, which you deduct from your payment once you sell your product.
Let's say you sell it for $125 + IGV ($22.50 ) = $147.50.
Now you don't have to pay the IGV ( $22.50 ) as you have a credit of $36. So your new credit is $13.50 which you can deduct of your future payment, or ask back of Sunat to pay your utility tax with a PDB Exportadores.

The end result of all this calculations is that you simply pay the IGV over your selling price, which is logic and how it is supposed to be.

But apparently you import them as a private person, and have to pay the $36 of IGV. And then you sell them basically on the black market without an invoice. So what did Peru to stop this ? They tax you higher when you import, and when you legally sell it with invoices, you get the extra tax back. It is all to stop what you appear to be doing... Importing informally and selling it informally.
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby Philipc4u59 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:21 pm

My uncle's wife buys high-end women's clothes in the USA, takes a pic of same & posts on her web site.
She in reality has all the items (except the sample for pic), sold b4 she purchases.
You can put a lot of clothes in several suitcases; but I honestly don't know how she avoids taxes.

Will keep you posted, Colin...
Excellent alternative forum - expat chronicles; the good-bad & ugly on South America (mostly Columbia & Peru (my words - not Colin's).

For you guys out there; I am pleased to have Colin as one of my "contacts"...
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby richorozco » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:00 pm

Colin,

You need to carry the phones on you to get thru the airport. 9 is small qty and shouldn't be an issue.

Also don't bring boxes in .... No need for ATT boxes, etc...

I carry 8-10 phones on me when I go to Peru. Even if you get the red light, they never check your pockets or jacket pockets.

I also bring 2 brand new laptops to Lima ..... Every time, but laptops are now allowed (max of 2).


Also, if you want to do stuff legitimate and pay taxes .... Just bring the US receipt and you pay the tax on the price stated on the receipt.
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby Expat Chronicles » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:53 pm

fanning wrote:Suppose you bought the item for $100. And Customs tells you it is worth $200. and tax you IGV ( $36 )
Those $36 are a tax credit, which you deduct from your payment once you sell your product.
Let's say you sell it for $125 + IGV ($22.50 ) = $147.50.
Now you don't have to pay the IGV ( $22.50 ) as you have a credit of $36. So your new credit is $13.50 which you can deduct of your future payment, or ask back of Sunat to pay your utility tax with a PDB Exportadores.

The end result of all this calculations is that you simply pay the IGV over your selling price, which is logic and how it is supposed to be.

But apparently you import them as a private person, and have to pay the $36 of IGV. And then you sell them basically on the black market without an invoice. So what did Peru to stop this ? They tax you higher when you import, and when you legally sell it with invoices, you get the extra tax back. It is all to stop what you appear to be doing... Importing informally and selling it informally.


Thank you, this is a big help. So it appears the key is to sell formally with invoices, and deduct from future taxes? I have a concern with that though, because it seems I'm still paying exorbitant taxes for each unit, and no matter how many I sell I'll never realize all that tax credit. I'd never sell enough to owe as much as I'd be paying.
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby chi chi » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:56 pm

richorozco wrote:Colin,

You need to carry the phones on you to get thru the airport. 9 is small qty and shouldn't be an issue.

I carry 8-10 phones on me when I go to Peru. Even if you get the red light, they never check your pockets or jacket pockets.



I am wondering what they are actually looking for at customs?

I got in September my first red light. Had 350 cuban cigars (12 boxes) in my bag + two behind my belt. It was hot in the airport but wearing my long wintercoat to hide the cigars better. (no suspicions from customs at all???)

Had to put my bag on the X-ray scanner but wasn't ask to open it. Just could go ahead. For sure, they weren't looking for Cuban smokies.
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby Expat Chronicles » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:03 pm

chi chi wrote:
richorozco wrote:Colin,

You need to carry the phones on you to get thru the airport. 9 is small qty and shouldn't be an issue.

I carry 8-10 phones on me when I go to Peru. Even if you get the red light, they never check your pockets or jacket pockets.



I am wondering what they are actually looking for at customs?

I got in September my first red light. Had 350 cuban cigars (12 boxes) in my bag + two behind my belt. It was hot in the airport but wearing my long wintercoat to hide the cigars better. (no suspicions from customs at all???)

Had to put my bag on the X-ray scanner but wasn't ask to open it. Just could go ahead. For sure, they weren't looking for Cuban smokies.


Main difference is I'm not walking these in, or sneaking them. Trying to legally import and declare them before customs. Thought I'd just pay on the valuation given the invoice I provided them, but they more than doubled their worth.

I'm looking more into what Fanning talked about, and it makes sense. I know collecting taxes is a MAJOR problem for Latin American governments, so that's a common-sense way to deal with small players. It seems once incorporated they give a business more leeway.
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby richorozco » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:07 am

Business in Peru is not like business in the States ....unfortunate but true.

I think the saying goes soemthing like "el vivo vive del tonto" ....

The government is able to collect taxes!!!! Trust me..... I don't pay 18% sales tax in Chicago, IL. The difference is that in the US, and European countries as well, you see that the taxes go to use. In Peru, the taxes go into the politician's pockets ....

If you support corruption from the Government, then you can support taxes in Peru. I prefer to keep as much of my money as possible ..... The Peruvian way!!!!
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby Philipc4u59 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:30 am

The last time I viewed the Peruvian website; you were only allowed ONE (1) computer.
Have the laws changed???
If that's the situation; I will buy two (2) of the new $250 "browsing" computers in the USA & sell them here to help pay for the trip...
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby Brison » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:50 am

Expat CChronicles wrote:I tried to import used, unlocked iPhones from the US to sell at a relative discount to what Movistar and Claro charge sin plan. The nine refurbished iPhone 3s were valued by Peruvian customs at $3000 - well over $300 each - which is what new iPhone 4s sell for in the US. The accompanying tax bill is $400, which would incur a steep loss at the market price we planned to sell them at.

Valuation aside, the paperwork and red tape was a nightmare.

Is anybody successfully importing into Peru? Does anybody know this https://peblueprint.com/bathmate-review anybody with a bathmate import business? Or have suggestions / anecdotes?

I saw the nightmare posted about the gentleman who had his car seized. I've personally had a slew of nightmares with Peruvian customs on personal items, so I don't know why I attempted this business. It's working in Colombia, so I thought it'd work here.

Any help appreciated. You can email me at post dot colin at gmail.


As an expat to peru who also tried to start an importing business I can tell you that the customs charges ate up any profits and then some on extortionate charges. It's almost like they were overcharging me on purpose just because they could.
Last edited by Brison on Tue May 17, 2016 2:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Peruvian Customs, Importing to Peru, HELP

Postby tjmccurdy » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:14 pm

As a private person, I never pay any customs duties, not from SERPOST and not from coming in via airports. There is a certain Declaracion Jurada I use, but essentially there are no taxes on private property - not IGV, not anything. It was funny the first time the lady at SERPOST had to give me everything for free, she "shooshed" me so that other Peruvians would not find out about it :lol: .

Now, for business, I am slowly working my way into imports, but it's still considered private property, you'd just need a slightly different Declaracion Jurada to import it correctly. Remember, when filling out your forms, those forms have a small "Declaracion Jurada" at the bottom, and that is how they get you in joinder to agree that you are importing your private goods into a public venue (i.e. the governments' inventory / almacen). This is expressed in their customs laws over and over. Even the IGV is only due when you "provide services" to a public office - however, no body reads, and since "ignorance is bliss", everyone pays because they don't know any better.

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