Consulate General and Promotion Center in Los Angeles

Legalizations and vistos on commercial documents

Updated date: 08/07/2024

There are two types of consular interventions on commercial documents: a “visto” or a “legalization”. Please make sure you know if your customer needs a “visto” or a “legalization” by reading on.

The Consulate can inform you about general requirements for these types of operations, but please ask first a customs broker (despachante de aduana) in Argentina.

Please remember that the Argentine Customs (a part of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue, AFIP) is the agency that controls goods that enter or exit the Argentine territory. Therefore, they have the final decision on admitting goods.

Both “vistos” and “legalizations” cost 200 dollars for each document, payable by money order only to the “Consulate of Argentina”. “Vistos” and “legalizations” cannot be issued for American documents that carry the “Apostille” stamp on them.

When to ask for a consular “visto”

Commercial documents other than Certificates of Origin (for example, commercial invoices and price lists) are subject to a consular “visto”. The Consulate can certify that a given document, private or public, has been seen (“visto”) by an Argentine consul.

This intervention does not imply either certification or legalization of the signature or of the content of the document by the Consulate. It solely gives certainty of date and place of its presentation to the Consulate.

If you require a “visto” on a commercial invoice or price list, please specify so in a letter sent along the documents.

The first time you or your business ask for a Consulate’s “visto”, you will need to have the commercial document previously legalized by a Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade within the Consulate’s jurisdiction.

When to ask for a consular “legalization”

Certificates of Origin of US goods just need to be legalized by a Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade within the Consulate’s jurisdiction before requesting the consular “legalization”.

Certificates of Origin of goods manufactured in countries other than the US need that the US exporter send us the certificate issued by the country of origin (for example China). The exporter has to add an affidavit, printed on the reverse of the certificate, stating:

  1. That the US exporter is the owner of the goods to be exported;
  2. Date and number of the invoice by which the US exporter bought the original goods from an exporter in a third country (for example, China);
  3. Full name of the importer in Argentina;
  4. Description of the goods to be exported to Argentina, quantity and gross weight.

This affidavit must be signed and stamped by the exporter and this signature must be authenticated (signed and stamped) by the Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade.

Certificates of Origin can be legalized by the Consulate up to one year after the date of issue and they should be sent to Argentina within 6 months of the date of legalization by the Consulate.

Procedures

  1. Email the scanned documents to secom_clang@cancilleria.gob.ar. Once we have reviewed and verified them, we will send you a confirmation email and you can submit the original documents either by postal mail or in person along with a “letter of registration” (see below), already completed and signed.
  2. Make a money order payable to “Consulate of Argentina”, for 200 dollars per each certificate. Include a prepaid envelope or courier slip, with the waybill duly completed, to return the documents to you, unless they will be picked up personally at our office (see below, “postal remittances”).
  3. The documents will be processed and returned in 5 business days, as from the date of the arrival to the Consulate.

About the Letter of registration

Please make sure that the signature on the letter of registration is legible and that there is a seal with the name of the authority under the said signature. We are not allowed to intervene documentation unless there is a seal clarifying the signature of the authority of the Chamber of Commerce on the Letter of registration. Please also make sure that the signature of the member of the Chamber of Commerce on the Letter of registration is in ink and not stamped, unless you can provide a letter from the Chamber of Commerce certifying that this is standard procedure at the Chamber and providing a Register of Signature in both ink and a stamp. Otherwise the documents will be returned to you without consular intervention. The Letter of registration should be written according to the following model.

Letter of registration, page 1

Date

Consulate General of the Argentine Republic in Los Angeles
5055 Wilshire Blvd, Suite #210
Los Angeles, California, 90036.

The xxxxxxx Chamber of Commerce authorizes xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to sign commercial documentation on behalf of the xxxxxxx Chamber of Commerce. An official Register of his/her signature can be found on the second page of this letter.

Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the xxxxxxxx Chamber of Commerce at xxxxxxxxxxxx.

Sincerely,

xxxxxxxx

(SIGNATURE IN INK)

Seal clarifying the signature of the authority of the Chamber of Commerce
Title, official email address of the person who wrote this note on behalf of the Chamber"

Letter of registration, page 2

The second page of the Letter of registration must begin with the title “Register of Signature”, and must contain the full signature and a short signature of the officer of the Chamber who will sign Certificates in ink, and the officer’s seal or the the seal of the Chamber of Commerce, and the officer’s contact data or those of the Chamber (address, telephone, fax number and email).

Postal remittance

For US goods, submit the original documentation (no photocopies or faxed copies will be accepted).

For goods manufactured in countries other than the US, submit original or a photocopy of the Certificates of Origin of the country of origin with an endorsement on its back.

Documents to be intervened by this Consulate CANNOT HAVE THE “APOSTILLE” stamp on it.

After the Consulate’s intervention, your documents will be mailed back to you in a self addressed stamped envelope. This envelope should state the Consulate General of Argentina (5055 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 210, Los Angeles, CA 90036) as the sender and yourself as recipient. We recommend you use a tracking-number shipping.

Note: This Consulate does not take responsibility for delays or losses in the mail or courier.

Location: 5055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 210, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Hours: the Legalizations Department is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 12:30 PM (for submission and collection of applications). The Consulate is closed on Argentine and U.S. holidays.

For further inquiries please email secom_clang@cancilleria.gob.ar.

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