In general, Paraguayan customs duties have been viewed as a source of revenue and a means of conserving foreign exchange, with relatively few of the high duties being intended as protection for manufactured products. Tariff rates, under the MERCOSUR common external tariff (CET) agreement, range from 0% for raw materials to 20% for automobiles. Import duties are specific, ad valorem, or both. Import pressures are such that the government has not kept a tight control on the purchase of nonessentials.
Paraguay has free port privileges at the Brazilian ports of Paranaguá, Santos, and Rio Grande do Sul; at the Argentinean ports of Buenos Aires and Rosario; in Chile at Antogagasta; and in Uruguay in Montevideo and Nueva Palmira. Most trade is done through the Brazilian ports.