The cost and time to transport containers at the terminal are not competitive with other ports in Central America.
While moving a container in Puerto Cortés costs about $2,308, other ports in the region charge more competitive rates, such as Manzanillo, Panama ($665), Quetzal, Guatemala ($977), Limon, Costa Rica ($1,020), Acajutla , El Salvador ($1,040), Corinto, Nicaragua ($1,140), and Santo Tomas, Guatemala ($1,450).
An announcement has been made of increases of 3% in January and 3% in March 2016 for the rates for services provided by the Operator Port Central Terminal in Cortez.
Entrepreneurs say the planned rise in rates will further affect the competitiveness of the productive sector, which is already battling with the slow pace of customs clearance in the terminal. To save time and minimize costs exporters are using the ports of Santo Tomas in Guatemala, Puerto Limon in Costa Rica and Acajutla in El Salvador.
Some of the reforms that Congress is studying refer to customs penalties and operation of the courts for Customs issues.
The National Federation of Honduran Customs Agents (Fenaduanah) outlined to the chairman of the National Congress what the industry needs are and legal changes required to improve competitiveness in the country's customs offices and expedite trade.
Exporters are complaining because customs clearance procedures at the port terminal which used to be completed in three days now take 20.
Ever since Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana assumed control of operation of the cargo terminal at Puerto Cortes, the processes for inspections and unloading have delayed goods by considerably more days than before, raising costs for exporters and importers, who have to wait up to 20 days to take their products out of the port.
In the short term, authorities will publish the bidding rules for supplying milk to feeding children at the country’s public schools.
The contract, valued at $8 million, comprises supplying 10 million liters of milk.
“Leopoldo Durán, president of the Honduran National Federation of Farmers and Breeders, assured that the process is well underway, and expected the bidding to start in a couple of months”, noted Elheraldo.hn.
The National Association of Honduran Customs Agents complained about the difficulties with the Honduran Automated System for Customs Income (SARAH).
In an interview with Hondudiario.com, the vice president of the National Association of Honduran Customs Agents (FENADUANAH), Gustavo Chévez, indicated that the system implemented by the Executive Directorate of Revenue (DEI) "has generated more losses instead of profits for Customs."
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