Bolivian Market

Bolivia Globe

Over the last decade, Bolivia has enjoyed an exceptionally strong macroeconomic performance, driven by the boom of commodities prices and, after the deterioration in natural gas and minerals prices in 2014, by the government’s counter-cyclical macro policies. In 2013 Bolivia’s economic growth reached a peak of 6.8%; its average annual expansion rate during that period was 5.0%. At the end of 2018, Bolivia’s nominal GDP reached USD 40.8 billion and in per capita terms USD 3,395. During the decade 2004-2014, moderate poverty was reduced from 59% to 39% and the Gini coefficient of inequality fell from 0.60 to 0.47. Bolivia’s economy grew at an average yearly rate of 4.0 per cent.

Bolivia is rich in non-renewable natural resources. Mining and hydrocarbons are some of Bolivia’s largest export sectors, and there is still room to grow. In addition to presently mined minerals such as zinc, silver, lead, and tin, Bolivia boasts significant lithium deposits, which remain mostly unexploited.

Tax & Duties

The Bolivian tax system sets a set of mechanisms that assists with the inspection, control, and verification of taxpayers by the tax authorities.


Landed costs generally include the following:

  • Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) value at the border.
  • Currently the import tariffs are 0 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, 35 percent, and 40 percent (the 30, 35 and 40 rates are only for textiles as delineated in the Bolivian tariff schedule, called the NANDINA in Latin America).
  • Warehouse fees: customs warehouses are privately owned. Rates vary according to volume.


The value added tax (VAT) paid by the importer reduces the importer’s tax liability when goods are resold, ultimately reducing actual costs. Although the standard VAT rate is 13%, the actual computable rate net of VAT is 14.94%


Other Custom Taxes

Other specific customs taxes are:

  • Warehouse fees: customs warehouses are privately owned. Rates vary according to volume.
  • Bolivian National Tax Service (Servicio de Impuestos Internos) fees: the value-added tax is 13.3 percent. Added customs fees bring the effective rate to 14.94 percent, which is charged on an accumulated base.
  • Specific Consumption Tax (ICE): the ICE is levied on luxury goods like automobiles, perfumes, cosmetics, liquors, cigarettes, and beer.
  • Customs broker fees: the following customs broker fees are applied to CIF for land shipments and to CIF airport value for air cargo:
    From (USD)To (USD)Percentage
    $100,001and above0.50

Entry and Warehousing

Bolivia benefits from free transit arrangements with Argentine, Brazilian, Chilean, Paraguayan, and Peruvian ports. The Chilean ports of Arica and Iquique are generally considered the most important ports of entry in terms of logistics.

Bolivian customs officials maintain warehouses in Chilean ports and allow storage of incoming goods for up to 90 days, with fees levied at 0.5 per cent of CIF for each 30-day period or fraction thereof. Once clearing documents are signed, goods must be removed from storage within eight days to avoid an additional charge of two per cent of CIF.