Since July 2 exporters and importers from both countries are able to manage online the Single Central American Customs Form.
With the online process the main change from the way things were done before is that information is now received by the tax authorities of both countries via the web, before the product reaches this point.
Victor Rivera, president of the National Customs Agents, told Elperiodico.com.gt that "... 'Now you can pay at the time and the information is recorded. This means, when you arrive at the office you do not need to stop to process any paperwork. This results in time saved of one or two days, representing a savings of $150 to $200 per day, which is what it costs a company to pay a driver to wait at the border. These are important changes'. "
Costa Rican customs offices do not have enough staff to handle the flow of cargo from Panama to the rest of Central America.
While on the Panamanian side there are about 25 people to process documents from carriers, on the Costa Rican side there are only 5 staff members to carry out these duties.
The situation occurs at a time when "the international freight activity going from Paso Canoas to Central America has increased by 50 % ... ", reported Prensa.com. In recent days up to 150 trucks have accumulated, waiting their turn to pass through.
Since October 11 exporters of goods originating in Costa Rica and going to El Salvador have had to attach to the FAUCA a certificate issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade which states the Customs regime under which the company operates.
From a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Trade in Costa Rica (COMEX):
The Ministry of Foreign Trade has announced to exporters of merchandise originating from Costa Rica and going to El Salvador that as of October 11, the Directorate General of Customs of that country will ask the Central American Customs to attach to the (FAUCA) form a certificate issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade of the Ministry, indicating the customs regime under which the company operates as an exporter or, alternatively, indicating whether they do not operate under any special customs regime. Such records must be attached in the original format to each shipment of goods.
Poor roads and complex bureaucracy reduce the markets in Central American cities.
The term “local market” was created in China to refer to the consumers which can be reached in eight hours in a truck loaded with products, including all the paperwork necessary.
According to an article by Louisa Reynolds on Elperiodico.com.gt, under this definition, the “local market” of Guatemala City includes San Salvador, but not other important cities like San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa (which take 12-14 hours to reach), Managua (18 hours) and San Jose (26 hours).
ATS El Salvador is a Customs Agency with 26 years of providing services for imports, exports, transits, consultancies and international transport.
Operates in El Salvador
Phone: (503) 2235 6522 - (503) 2235 6524
International Freight Forwarder
Consolidation of land freight from Mexico to Central America
Special cargo handling (hazardous and oversized)
Operates in Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 2293 4300