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The consumer

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)
 

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Importing & Distributing

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 Peruvian Customs.

Distribution market players
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).

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Operating a Business

Type of companies

La Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada / SARL is a Private Limited Company.
Number of partners: Minimum 2 without limitation in the number of partners
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Sociedad anonima / SA is a Public Limited Company.
Number of partners: Minimum 2 without limitation in the number of partners.
Minimum 750 shareholders for a listed Public Limited Company
Capital (max/min): PEN 1,000
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Sociedad in comandita simple / SCS is a limited partnership.
Number of partners: Minimum 2 without limitation in the number of partners. Two types of partners: active partners and sleeping partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability of active partners is unlimited. Liability of sleeping partners is limited to the amount contributed as long as they do not take part in the company management.
 
Setting Up a Company Peru Latin America & Caribbean
Procedures (number) 8.0 8.0
Time (days) 26.0 25.2

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

 

Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
The minimum wage is PEN 930 per month in 2021, according to data from the Peruvian State.
Average Wage
In 2019, the monthly average wage was PEN 1,443.1 according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics of Peru (lastest available data).
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 9% for health insurance (ESSALUD).
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 13% of salaries for the pension plan.
 

Intellectual Property

National Organisations
Peru signed the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the agreement which establishes the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The INDECOPI is the Peruvian organization responsible for the protection of patents and trademarks.
Regional Organisations
As a member of the Andean Community, Peru is subject to the legislation of the Andean Community regarding intellectual property which controls industrial property (Régimen común de Propiedad industrial), copyright and related rights.
 

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Value added tax (VAT) - Impuesto General a las Ventas (Local name)
Tax Rate
Standard VAT rate is 18% (16% of VAT plus 2% of municipal promotion tax)
Reduced Tax Rate
Exports of goods, fruits and vegetables, educational services and public transportation are exempt from VAT.
No other reduced rates apply.
Other Consumption Taxes
Peru has established a consumption tax, "Impuesto Selectivo al Consumo", for the sale and import of goods such as cigarettes (125%), alcoholic beverages (20%, 40% for liquors with 20% or more alcohol); sugary drinks (17% for up to 6 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres, 25% for higher sugar content), luxury items, fuel, gambling and betting.
 

Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
29.5%
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are generally considered as income and taxed at the ordinary corporate tax rate. If the seller is a non-domiciled party, gains derived from the sale of stock issued by a Peruvian company through the Lima Stock Exchange are taxed at a 5% rate. Such gains are subject to exemption if the stock has a market presence and more than 10% interest is transferred (valid through January 2019 until December 2022).
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Payments exceeding PEN 3,500 must be made via bank account deposits, wire transfers, payment orders, credit cards, non-negotiable cheques, or other means of payment provided by entities of the Peruvian financial system or else the deductions will be disallowed.
Assets may be depreciated for tax purposes via the straight-line method, at rates between 10% and 25%.
Deductions are available for: interest on loans, insurance premiums, leases of aircraft and ships, maritime freight, and fees for transiting the Panama Canal; depreciation; loss; payment of royalties to non-domiciled affiliates; taxes; start-up and operational costs; wages and salaries; health insurance premiums; vehicle expenses.
Donations to charitable organisations are deductible up to 10% of taxable income. Donations of food apt for human consumption are also deductible, capped at 1.5% of total sales.
Tax losses of Peruvian origin can be carried forward up to four years, unless the taxpayer opts for offsetting the losses against 50% of the net income generated in the following fiscal years after the year in which the loss was generated. However, net losses established in 2020 shall be offset year-to-year in the 5 immediate years, counted from 2021, until their amount is exhausted (COVID-19 related measure). The carryback of losses is not permitted.
From 2020, taxpayers investing in scientific research, technological development, and technological innovation projects can enjoy special deductions between 150% and 215% of the expenses incurred.
Other Corporate Taxes
Employers contribute 9% of salary for healthcare and apply monthly withholdings of 13% or 12.4% for the pension fund, with no other payroll tax in place. Employers should pay an insurance premium for employees who perform high-risk activities.
A property tax is collected by municipal authorities at rates of 0.2%, 0.6% and 1%, depending on the value of the property (deductible from the corporate income tax). Real estate transfer taxes are levied at 3% of the sale price and payable by the buyer. The first 10 tax units (equivalent to PEN 4,400 each in 2021) of the transaction are tax-exempt.
Banking and financial transactions are taxed at a rate of 0.005%. Companies with a total value of assets exceeding PEN 1 million are subject to a temporary net asset tax of 0.4% (the tax applies only to the part exceeding PEN 1 million).
Mining companies are subject to a new royalty regime ranging from 1% to 12%. The special tax on mining varies between 2% and 8.4% while companies having voluntarily concluded a tax stability agreement with the Peruvian government pay in addition a contribution varying between 4% and 13,2% of their mining income. Mining companies are also subject to a contribution surcharge for the activities of the Supervisory Agency for Investment in Energy and Mining (Osinergmin). The tax is collected at a rate of 0.14% of monthly turnover in 2021. Companies are also subject to a contribution tax for the activities of the Agency for Environmental Assessment and Enforcement (0.10% in 2021).
Entities with more than 20 employees, provided they obtain taxable income during the fiscal year, must distribute a percentage of their profits among their employees (10% for fishing, telecommunications and industrial companies; 8% for mining, wholesale, retail and restaurants; and 5% for other activities).
Other Domestic Resources
SUNAT
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 

Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
See the list of the Double Taxation Agreements
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 0 (resident companies)/5% (non-resident companies, individuals; earned on or after 1 January 2017), Interests: 0 (resident companies)/5% (resident individuals)/Non-residents: 4.99% (if certain conditions are met)/30%, Royalties: 0 (resident companies)/5% (resident individuals)/Non-residents: 30%

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