World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Uruguay

Money and duty free for Uruguay

Currency and Money

Currency information

Peso Uruguayo (UYU; symbol $U) = 100 centécimos. Notes are in the denominations of $U2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of $U10, 5, 2 and 1 and 50 centécimos.

Credit cards

MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Diners Club are the most commonly used credit cards. All are widely accepted in major tourist and business destinations including Montevideo, Punta del Este and Colonia del Sacramento. In rural areas, it's best to carry cash as many businesses will not accept credit cards.


ATMs marked with the green Banred or blue RedBROU logo are reliable and available in all cities, as well as some smaller towns. These serve all major international banking networks, including Cirrus, Visa, Link, MasterCard and Maestro.

Travellers cheques

Traveller's Cheques can still be cashed at some banks and exchange shops in major tourist hubs. US Dollar traveller's cheques are more widely accepted than those issued in Euros or Sterling.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 1300-1800.

Currency restrictions

Local currency and foreign currency may be imported and exported up to the equivalent of US$10,000; larger amounts must be declared.

Currency exchange

Visitors are advised to buy local currency at banks and exchange shops, as hotels tend to give unfavourable rates. Inflation in Uruguay, though less severe than in other Latin American countries, leads to frequent fluctuations in the exchange rate.

Uruguay duty free


The Customs Allowances for Uruguay DUTY FREE SHOPS are:
• USD$650 for products acquire at arrivals Duty Free Shops. (Decree 317/017 and its modifications).
• For Travelers arriving to Uruguay from non-MERCOSUR countries, tax-free for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes income is limited to the following maximum amounts: distilled alcoholic beverages up to six (6) liters and four (4) cartons of cigarettes. This regime does not apply to wines, sparkling wines and similar.

Travellers are allowed the following franchises:

For travellers coming by air or sea from a MERCOSUR country, Chile or Bolivia, the franchise is up to US$500.
For travellers coming from a country outside of MERCOSUR, Chile or Bolivia via air or sea border, the franchise is up to US$500 whereas coming via land border the franchise is  US$300. The established franchises may only be used once a month.
Travelers under the age of 18 years returning to the country are allowed 50%  of the applicable franchise.

Please check Customs official web page at

Banned Imports

Prohibited items include flammable objects, narcotics and obscene or pornographic materials.

Restricted items include firearms, plants, fruit, vegetables, seeds, flowers, and animals and their products. 

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