Panama's National Customs Authority (ANA in Spanish) informs all its users and regional branches, ports, marinas, railways, free trade zones, export processing facilities and storage centers that there will a moratorium will apply until 10 September.
The moratorium seeks to provide a window in which anyone with pending customs transactions can regulate their legal status and comply with their obligations to the state.
The ANA warns that those who do not comply with this order will be prosecuted and fined accordingly, risking the closure of their commercial operations.
Employers have pointed to limitations on the certificate extended by the Customs Office and doubt its efficiency as there is no certainty that it will be valid at the regional level.
The purpose of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status is to contribute in the implementation of safety guidelines in order to have a secure supply chain, but in El Salvador the certificate granted by the Directorate General of Customs has, in the opinion of local entrepreneurs, some limitations which hinders its optimal use. One of them is that the benefits only apply on the borders of El Salvador, without making any change to the market with the countries of Central America.
The function of the AEO is to contribute to the implementation of safety guidelines of the World Customs Organization in order to have a secure supply chain.
"The AEO certificate, issued by customs authorities in the EU and many other countries using the same or a similar name, is a trusted certificate which Customs offices give to traders who meet certain requirements which demonstrate to the customs offices their reliability regarding customs processes, solvency and safety. It is granted to operators involved in the chain of international trade, whether natural or legal persons, provided that the professional activity of these operators is subject to customs regulations, such as importers, exporters, manufacturers, representatives at customs offices, bearers, carriers , terminal operators, shippers etc.
The level of customs risk for exporting companies will be evaluated jointly by the private sector and the authorities.
The evaluation will take place in order to speed up the processing of merchandize and to improve global fee trade indicators.
Under the Business Alliance for Secure Trading project, promoted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of El Salvador (CCIES), the private sector is seeking to minimize the risk that exporters face from customs processes, providing them with a certificate which to date is not approved by the government sector.
The Costa Rican customs office at Penas Blancas, on the border with Nicaragua, is going through social and commercial chaos pending reforms in infrastructure and procedures.
Delays in the passage of trucks carrying goods are causing major losses to exporters, although business chambers have not conducted any specific studies, said Mario Montero, executive vice president of the Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry (Cacia).
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