The Government of Argentina reduced the restrictions imposed under the existing Rural Land Law concerning the acquisition and leasing of rural lands by foreign individuals and legal entities.



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InfoLeg. Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos. Tierras Rurales. Decreto 820/2016. Available at:

Inception date: 01 Jul 2016 | Removal date: open ended

FDI: Entry and ownership rule

On June 29, 2016, the Government of Argentina enacted Decree 820/2016 reducing certain restrictions imposed under existing laws on the acquisition and leasing of rural lands by foreign individuals and legal entities. The main changes introduced relate to determining when the Rural Land Law applies, the clear definition of “Foreign Legal Entity”, and the modification of certain reporting requirements and the consequences for failing to comply with such requirements.

In the first case, according to the new Decree, the application of the Rural Land Law shall be determined as it follows depending on the type of investments:

  • in the case of real property rights such as usufruct and superficiary rights, the nationality of the residuary title owner would determine the application of the rural law, enabling possession of land for up to 50 and 70 years respectively;
  • in the case of land held in trust (which can last for up to 30 years), the nationality of the trustee would apply instead of the nationality of the beneficiaries; and 
  • in the case of land owned by a legal entity, the proportional interests of the different equity-holders would be analyzed, in order to determine whether a single foreign individual or legal entity exceeds the 1,000 hectare limit of the “core area” or the “equivalent surface.”

As to the definition of "Foreign Legal Entity", Decree 820/2016 defines it as any legal entity registered as an owner of rural lands in which foreign individuals or legal entities, directly or indirectly, control the majority vote. In addition, it does not differentiate between legal entities incorporated in Argentina or abroad, making only the 51% foreign ownership as the distinctive feature.

With regard to reporting requirements and consequences, the new Decree still maintains the obligation to disclose any modification in their capital stock, however in case of failure, it eliminates the audit inspections triggered by a failure to comply with the reporting requirement.