Rural land ownership by foreign persons
The Law No. 26,737 of 2012 (enacted by the National Congress) sets out the protection regime of the national domain over the property,
possession or control of rural land in Argentina (Rural Land Regime Law). The Law was further regulated by Regulatory Decree No.
The Rural Land Law considers any purchase, transfer or assignment of possession rights of rural lands made in favour of foreign persons
as foreign ownership. Foreign persons include foreign individuals and legal entities controlled by foreign capital, subject to certain
requirements set out under the law. Some specific exceptions for foreign persons are provided (for instance, for foreign persons with ten
years of continuous, permanent and verified residence in Argentina).
The Rural Land Law states that any purchase, transfer or assignment of possession rights of rural lands in favour of foreign persons must
be previously authorised by the Argentine Registry of Rural Land.
The principal restrictions under the Law are that:
Foreign persons (physical or legal) cannot own or possess more than 15% of the rural lands in Argentina.
Foreign persons (physical or legal) of the same nationality cannot own or possess more than 30% of those 15%.
Foreign persons (physical or legal) can only own up to 1,000 hectares in the nucleus area (defined under Decree No. 274/2012) or the
equivalent surface in Argentina, depending on the jurisdiction.
Foreign persons (physical or legal) cannot own or possess rural lands containing, or bordering, large and permanent bodies of water,
unless specifically authorised.
Foreign individuals or legal entities cannot own or possess rural lands that are located in border security zones, unless specifically
authorised (see below, Authorisations required for border areas).
According to the Rural Land Law, all acts executed in violation of the Protection Regime Law are absolutely and irrevocably null and void
and create no right of indemnification in favour of the authors of and participants in the illegal act.
The Rural Land Law also provides that the Argentine Registry of Rural Land can initiate administrative proceedings to investigate possible
breaches of the Law. The results of the investigation must be notified to the potential violator, following which it has ten business days to
collect and submit evidence. The National Director of the National Register of Rural Land will analyse the incident and apply the penalty
that it deems appropriate (if any). The penalties vary between:
Special disqualification orders from six months to two years.
Authorisations required for border areas
The purchase of real estate property by foreign persons in frontier security zones (zones that are between 150 kilometres from terrestrial
borders and 50 kilometres from shorelines) is subject to prior and special authorisation issued by the National Commission for Security