Buying and Selling

flag Peru Peru: Buying and Selling

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | E-commerce | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
International Economic Cooperation
Andean Community of Nations
The free trade treaty with the United States came into force in February 2009.
Peru signed a Free Trade Agreement with China.
Peru signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Peru is part of the Pacific Alliance.
Non Tariff Barriers
In Peru, the free exchange and free trade principles exist: there are no quantitative restrictions or exchange controls. The import of certain goods is prohibited for health or safety reasons. Veterinary products, cosmetics and perfumes are required to be registered with the Ministry of Health (in Spanish). The import of raw materials, for transforming into exportable products, is not taxed (Regime of Temporary Admittance).
There are 4 free trade zones: the zone of export treatment (in Chimbote, Ilo, Matarini, Paita and Trujillo), the tourist zones, the special trade zones (with 10% Customs duty and tax exemption) and the development zones.
Peru has signed bilateral trade agreements with Bolivia, Ecuador and the United States and multilateral agreements with organisations such as the ALADI (in Spanish).
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Peru applies a four level tariff regime: 4%, 7%,  12% and  20%. The country levies Customs duties of 4% on about 37% of the goods on its tariff list (2,603 codes, essentially covering intermediate products and their components), 7% on a certain number of capital goods and building materials, 12% on almost 43% of goods (3,029 codes), and 23% on about 11% of products that can be imported (762 codes mainly covering textiles, shoes and some agricultural products). The non weighted average Customs duty is 10.2%, whereas it was more than 60% in the mid 1990s. In addition, Peru imposes no quantitative restrictions on imports.

Customs Classification
As a full member of the Andean Community, Peru follows the Nandina code, a fully harmonized tariff system that all CAN members use and which conforms to the Harmonized System (HS) of the World Customs Organization. Peru is also a contracting State of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In addition, it has signed various bilateral agreements guaranteeing most favored nation treatment.
Import Procedures
For imports, Customs (SUNAT) requires:

  • a Customs Merchandise Declaration (DAM – in Spanish)
  • a commercial invoice
  • an airway bill or bill of lading
  • a packing list
  • an insurance letter

If the product is imported from other Andean Community members (Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia), a certificate of origin is required to qualify for tariff preferences. Several imports are subject to antidumping and countervailing duties.

Goods can be brought into the country and kept in a bonded warehouse without paying import duties for up to twelve months. During that period, the importer can pay the duties on the goods kept in the warehouse and clear customs, or re-export the goods. This can be done for the entire shipment, or it can be broken down according to the importer’s needs.

For food and beverages, the importer must submit a sworn application to DIGESA accompanied by a Certificate of Free Trade and Use issued by the health authority of the country of origin, the future label, and the registration receipt. If the certificate is not available, the importer should present a document issued by the Peruvian Consulate in the country of origin. The sworn application includes the contact information of the importer’s company and the manufacturer, taxpayer’s identification (RUC), the list of products requested and for each product its content, the results of physical-chemical and microbiological analysis, lot code system, expiration date, packaging material and storage conditions.
A food sanitary registry is required for processed food products (issued by DIGESA’s Food and Environmental Health Bureau) or a sanitary certificate for animals, plants, or their by-products issued by SENASA).

For more information, please visit the website of Peru Customs Regulations Guide.

For Further Information
Superintendencia nacional de administracion tributaria

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
Although there is still a wide income disparity gap, strong economic growth in recent years has resulted in consumers enjoying rising levels of disposable income which, in turn, have spurred demand for a wide range of modern products and services. Consumer confidence is among the highest in the region: over the last 20 years, the country’s GDP grew at an annual rate that reached a maximum of 9.1 % in 2008 and then stabilized to 2.2 % in 2019 (IMF). Overall, Peruvians' income has tripled so far since 2000. However, Peru's urban and coastal communities have benefited much more from recent economic growth than rural, Afro-Peruvian, indigenous, and poor populations of the Amazon and mountain regions. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics of Peru, the poverty rate has decreased significantly during the last decade but remains high at about 20.2% in 2019 (more than 40.8% in rural areas).
Consumer Behaviour
Peruvian consumer behaviour has evolved considerably over the last decade, especially thanks to the use of the Internet, and is now more exigent and more inclined to share his experiences with a certain brand or product so that if they do not meet his expectations, he is likely to complain.
Peruvians are rational consumers, thus quality is the main driver when making a purchase decision. Brand awareness is high in the case of durable goods, while for everyday products availability and price are the most important factors. Peruvian consumers actively seek promotions and discounts, and this is one of the reasons why e-commerce is growing at a fast pace. Consumers are also spending more on leisure activities, although security concerns have prompted many to stay at home more often.
Consumers Associations
Peruvian association of consumers and users (Aspec)
Main Advertising Agencies
J. Walter Thompson Company
Grey Perù

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
Peru’s food retail sector sales will rebound in the medium-term, the GDP growth forecast of 4,2% in 2018 is contingent on an aggressive fiscal stimulus by the Government Convenience stores are becoming the retail format of choice for retailers aiming to reach 1,000 outlets in three years. FAS Lima foresees opportunities for ready to eat and/or cook products. FAS Lima forecasts total retail food sales to reach $22.2 billion in 2017. Of that total, some $3.7 billion, or about 18%, will be in supermarket sales.

There are three main supermarket chains in Peru: Cencosud (Wong and Metro), Saga Fallabella (Tottus) and Supermercados Peruanos (Vivanda and Plaza Vea). The market includes 252 conventional supermarkets and superstores, with 169 alone in Lima and 111 convenience stores with two outside of Lima. Conventional supermarket chains and convenience stores are expanding into Lima’s lower-middle income districts as well. These retailers benefit from consumers’ improved access to credit, through which they entice buyers with deep discounts on certain items when utilizing store credit cards.
While the traditional channel holds approximately 80% of market share, the modern channel has experienced a high rate of growth in recent years. In 2017, conventional supermarket chain growth was projected at 4,3%. Conventional supermarkets are still reporting profits because of the maturity of some of their outlets that opened in 2016 and 2017 and an aggressive discounting campaign to encourage sales. The expansion of the modern retail channel has not been entirely detrimental to traditional channel growth. Competition between these two channels occurs in specific categories. A growing middle class enabled supermarket chains to expand rapidly over the past ten years. The traditional, consisting of independent small grocers, target a large consumer base formed by low- and middle-income consumers. They offer a good mix of mid- and low-priced brands in small packaging sizes to favor sales to people with a small daily budget. Proximity is also a highly weighted feature within this market segment.

The Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) report made by A.T. Kearney’s ranks Peru as the 9th developing country for retail expansion worldwide. The report states that Peru’s retail sector is entering its peaking and displaying consistently strong fundamentals to attract new competitors.
Market share
There are three main supermarket chains in Peru: Cencosud (Wong and Metro), Saga Fallabella (Tottus) and Supermercados Peruanos (Vivanda and Plaza Vea). In 2019, the mass retailer market consisted of 259 supermarkets and superstores, including 179 in Lima, and 640 convenience stores, two of which are outside Lima (USDA, latest data available). Conventional supermarket chains and convenience stores are also found in lower-middle-income neighbourhoods of Lima. These retailers offer better access to consumer credit, which encourages shoppers to benefit from significant discounts on certain items when using store credit cards. While traditional stores accounted for over 75% of the market share in 2019, modern mass retail has grown strongly in recent years (USDA, latest data available).
Retail Sector Organisations
Informations about retail in Peru
Ministry of Economy and Finance of Peru
Chamber of Commerce of Lima

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Internet access
Peru is the fifth largest internet market in Latin America, as well as the country with the highest growth in internet users in the region. In 2017, there were 18 million people connected to the internet in Peru, making the penetration rate 56%. Connectivity is growing, and by 2019 it is estimated that there will be 21.3 million internet users in the country. Even though connectivity is more common in urban areas, internet access for rural households has expanded by nearly 19 times in 2017. According to the Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications (Osiptel), over two thirds of Peruvian households get home or mobile Internet access, and 3 out of 4 families rely on more than one telecommunications service. In 2017, there were 5.7 fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the coutry, while that number grew to 64.2 per 100 inhabitants when it came to mobile-broadband subscriptions. Additionally, 32.9% of households had a computer, and 28.2% of them had internet access at home.
E-commerce market
E-commerce is a promising market in Peru. Strong growth is predicted, even though the market is still new, mainly due to increasing internet access in the country and the presence of reliable platforms. According to the Peruvian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (Cámara Peruana de Comercio Electrónico - Capece), e-commerce business in Peru grew 198% in the last two years. The main reasons for e-commerce growth are changes in governmental policies, lower taxes, better internet penetration and the development of new tools to protect online transactions. 90% of connected Peruvian adults have made online purchases at least once. There are over 12.5 million online shoppers in Peru, out of which 8.6 million buy using mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and 3.6 million of them purchase using desktops. The preference for mobile devices is expected to continue, with a predicted growth of 55% in smartphone and tablet users, and a 30% increase in desktop users by 2020. According to the U.S Department of Commerce, the number of people connected to the internet is increasing by 10% every year in Peru, which creates a great opportunity for e-commerce companies. Additionally, Peru is a young country, where 55% of the population is 30 and younger, the age group that tends to be the most active when it comes to online shopping. The top products among Peru’s e-commerce shoppers were electronics goods, followed by clothes and shoes. Almost 55% of online shoppers are under the age of 30 and men make up 64% of users. Some of the most popular e-commerce websites in the country are Mercado Libre, OLX, Linio, Falabella, Ripley and Platanitos.

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Peru has 69,941 km of roads, 10% of which are tarmac. The main roads are along the coast over 2,800 km, and the Inca Trail, which links Lima to the interior of the country. Considerable projects to improve the road network are underway. The railway network covers 1,876 km, 1,576 km of which have a 1,435 m gauge and 300 km have a 0.914 m gauge. The state of the network is poor.
The port of Lima (Callao) is the biggest port in Peru. Peru has 8,600 km of waterways (tributaries of the Amazon and 300 km on Lake Titicaca).
Air transport is often the only means to reach jungle areas inaccessible by road or the fastest way to reach some Andean populations. Secondary airports are those of Cuzco, Tacna, Arequipa, Iquitos, Ayacucho, Chiclao, Piura and Trujillo. Small airline companies offer regular flights between the country's cities. In 1994, 54 million tons of goods were transported by air.
Port of Callao
Port of Chimbote
Jorge Chavez International airport in Lima
Crnl. FAP Francisco Secada Vigneta International airport , Iquitos
Cap. FAP Carlos Martinez de Pinillos International airport , Trujillo
 Inca Manco Capac International airport, San Carlos de Puno
Padre Jose de Adalmiz International airport, Puerto Maldonado
Alejandro Velasco Astete International airport, Cuzco
Crnl. FAP. Carlos Ciriani Santa Rosa International airport, San Pedro de Tacna
Sea Transport Organisations
Peruvian harbor authority
Air Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport and Communications
Road Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport and Communications
Organismo superviso de la inversion en infraestructura de transporte de uso publico
Rail Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport and Communications

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
Mining is one of Peru's main economic activities and the country's largest source of exports (24 % of total exports). Gold is the main product exported, followed by copper, zinc, lead and iron. The sector has experienced considerable development because of new investment made after the privatization and modernization of the many public companies. Peru has enormous reserves of raw materials including oil and gas.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories - Peru - Directory of companies in Peru
Datos Perú - Database of industrial companies in Peru
Directorio Empresarial - Peruvian business directory offered by the Chamber of Commerce in Lima.
InfoEmpresas - Database of the main Peruvian companies
Perú Pymes - Companies, industries and services in Peru
PlanetaPé - A search engine for companies in Peru
Yellow pages - Business directory in Peru

To search directories by industry in Peru, check out our service Business Directories.

Professional Associations by Sector
28 professional associations listed for Peru.
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Chamber of Commerce of Lima
American Chamber of Commerce in Peru (in Spanish)
General Professional Associations
Confederación Nacional de Instituciones Empresariales Privadas - CONFIEP

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Latest Update: May 2024