flag Puerto Rico Puerto Rico: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Puerto Rico's economy is highly dependent on foreign trade, and they are extremely open to it, which accounted for 106% of GDP in 2018. The country mainly exports petroleum oils (7.7%), motor vehicles (3.2%), electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies (3.1%), petroleum gas (2.3%), and parts and accessories for tractors (2.3%), while imports include motor vehicles (6.1%), petroleum oils (4.9%), automatic data processing machines (4.4%), electrical apparatus for line telephony (4%), and medicaments (3.4%).

Besides the United States, Puerto Rico's main trade partners are Mexico, China, Canada, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The island has the largest non-contiguous Foreign Trade Zone project in the United States, which allows companies to obtain significant financial savings, since items can be processed within a zone while eliminating the custom duty rate of such product. Puerto Rico is subject to trade agreements signed by the United States and while the island has established relations with other countries, particularly in Latin America, the establishment of such relations requires permission from either the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Congress. 

According to the last available data from the World Bank, Puerto Rican exports of goods and services in 2018 totalled USD 60.5 billion, while imports amounted to USD 46.4 billion - resulting on a trade surplus of USD 14.1 billion. While imports increased when compared to the previous year, exports decreased during the same period - mainly due to the impacts of hurricane Maria. Nevertheless, exports still accounted for a larger share of GDP (60%), while imports were 46%.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20142015201620172018
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 102109110113106
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 4242424446

Source: World Bank ; International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Canada 17.8%
Mexico 14.9%
China 8.7%
Japan 4.5%
United Kingdom 4.1%
See More Countries 50.0%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
China 19.0%
Mexico 13.7%
Canada 11.5%
Japan 5.1%
Germany 4.9%
See More Countries 45.9%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

1,430.3 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.5%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.2%
Electronic integrated circuits and microassembliesElectronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 3.1%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 2.3%
See More Products 83.6%
2,405.4 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 6.1%
Automatic data processing machines and units...Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 4.4%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 4.0%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.4%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.4%
See More Products 78.8%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs duties

 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
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
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2007
International Economic Cooperation
Because Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. customs territory, it belongs to a number of agreements signed by the United States. For more details on the trade agreements signed by the United States, please refer to this site.

Puerto Rico is part of the free-trade agreement between the Dominican Republic and Central America; the trade agreement signed with the Andean countries (ATPA); the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation treaty (APEC); the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI); the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); and it has the status of observer within the Caribbean common market (CARICOM).

Useful Resources
Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
Puerto Rico Secretary of State, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Copyright Office.
 
 
 

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Latest Update: July 2022

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