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July 26, 2023

Argentina applies tax on purchases of foreign currency in new transactions, provides preferential foreign-exchange rate to certain exported goods

  • Two new decrees in Argentina enacted certain tax and foreign exchange measures.
  • Decree No. 377 extends the application of the tax "Impuesto PAIS" (in Spanish) to the acquisition of foreign currency under certain conditions.
  • Decree No. 378 instructs the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic to establish a mechanism through which Argentine exporters that liquidate foreign currency corresponding to certain regional economies' goods by 31 August 2023 settle those funds at ARS 340.

On 24 July 2023, the Argentine National Executive Branch ("PEN" in Spanish) published in the Official Gazette Decrees 377 and 378, which establish certain tax and foreign exchange measures.


On 23 December 2019, the Argentine Government enacted Law 27,541. Among the changes implemented, this tax reform law established a new tax on certain purchases of foreign currency ("Impuesto PAIS" in Spanish), including (i) purchases of foreign currency without a specific purpose by Argentine residents, (ii) purchases of goods or services from abroad or purchases by Argentine residents abroad through credit or debit cards, and (iii) purchases made online through portals or virtual websites in foreign currency.

Under those rules, both Argentine individuals and entities performing taxable purchases were subject to the tax at a 30% rate, except for the purchase of digital services, which were taxed at an 8% rate.

Decree No. 377

Decree No. 377 extends the application of Impuesto PAIS to the acquisition of foreign currency in accordance with the following rules:

  • Services acquired from abroad or services rendered by foreign residents in Argentina included in Appendix II of the Decree (technical, legal, accounting, managerial services in general, charges for the use of intellectual property, advertising, engineering, audiovisual services, among others) will be subject to a 25% tax rate.
  • Freight and other transportation services for import and export of goods will be subject to a 7.5% tax rate.
  • Imported goods will be subject to a 7.5% tax rate, with the following exceptions:
    • Certain goods related to the oil industry (fuels, lubricants, etc.)
    • Goods related to the basic food basket
    • Other goods related to the generation of energy, among others

The acquirer is responsible for paying the tax, but entities authorized by the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) to operate in the foreign exchange market shall act as collection and liquidation agents.

Decree No. 378

Decree No. 378 instructs the BCRA to establish a mechanism through which Argentine exporters that, in adhering to the Export Increase Program for Regional Economies ("Programa de Incremento exportador para Economias Regionales") established by Decree No. 194/2023 (the Program), liquidate foreign currency corresponding to certain regional economies' goods by 31 August 2023 settle those funds at 340 Argentine pesos (ARS 340) per US dollar. (The current foreign-exchange rate is approximately ARS 270 per US dollar.)

Goods included in the Program will be the following:

  • Meat, fish, crustaceans, milk, dairy products, and other products of animal origin
  • Plants, vegetables, fruits, coffee, tea, yerba mate, cereals, milling products, seeds and fruits, gums, resins, and other products of vegetable origin
  • Animal or vegetable fats and oils
  • Prepared meat, fish, or crustaceans, mollusks or other aquatic invertebrates, sugars, cocoa and cocoa preparations; preparations based on cereals, flour, starch, or milk; bakery products; prepared vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants, various food preparations; beverages, alcoholic liquids and vinegar; residues and waste from the food industries; prepared animal feeds, tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes
  • Essential oils, perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations, albuminoidal substances, modified starch products, glues, enzymes
  • Wood and articles of wood, cork and articles of cork
  • Silk, wool, cotton, among others

Decree No. 378 also establishes that the BCRA will implement the necessary mechanisms so that the Argentine pesos arising from the foreign currency liquidation under the Program will be, at the exporter's option:

  1. Credited to a special account that will follow the evolution of the reference exchange rate of Communication "A" 3500 (wholesale dollar — "dollar mayorista") of the exporter
  2. Applied to the direct subscription of Internal Bills of the BCRA in US dollars exchangeable in Argentine pesos at the Reference Exchange Rate of Communication "A" 3500


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Pistrelli, Henry Martin & Asociados S.R.L., Buenos Aires

Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Latin American Business Center, New York

Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), Latin American Business Center, London

Ernst & Young Tax Co., Latin American Business Center, Japan & Asia Pacific

Published by NTD's Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor


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