The debt that the state has owed to export companies for four years, from unrefunded VAT, has now reached $50 million.
Silvia Cuéllar, executive director of Coexport, told Elmundo.sv that"... every year, the Ministry of Finance should have reimbursed exporters about $200 million, and the amount now overdue is $50 million."
The Salvadoran government has ruled out making another tender to grant the operation of the terminal and is preparing a bill so that it can be granted under the form of a lease.
The mistakes made when trying to put out to tender, repeatedly, the operation of Puerto La Union will not be repeated again, as now a proposal has been made to change the format under which the terminal operates from a concession to a lease arrangement The Salvadoran government insists on finding a way for La Union to be operational, even thoughthere is not enough maritime traffic to be served by this terminal and the one in Acajutla.
Elmundo.sv reports that "...The Technical and Planning secretary of the Presidency, Roberto Lorenzana said that the Executive Branch will promote to the Legislature the Port Services Act which allows for operation of this terminal to be granted under a lease format.The official recalled that investors who initially showed interest in the project were not attracted to the idea of a concession of this port governed by the Law on Concessions, which establishes certain conditions and the payment of an initial fee and a defined cargo quota in a port with a minimum cargo handling and which is located in an 'inappropriate' place. "
In this regard, the executive director of Coexport, Silvia Cuellar,"... said although offering facilities will probably help attract investors, they are concerned that the discussion of what to do with the port is advancing slowly, while other terminals such as Puerto Cortes in Honduras and Puerto Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala are undertaking improvement projects to attract more cargo to their facilities. "
In El Salvador the export sector claims that delays of up to nine months are being reported on tax refunds due from the Treasury, which should take no more than 30 days.
Seven months ago the Exporters Corporation of El Salvador (Coexport) submitted to the Ministry of Finance a proposal for self-assessment of Value Added Tax (VAT) with the aim of reducing the time it takes to receive tax refunds. To date they have not yet received a reply from the authorities and, according to the entrepreneurs themselves, the State owes approximately $50 million in this category.
Carriers claim that the new rules on the $18 fee for revision using scanners is not clear when it comes to charging the fee on consolidated cargo.
This new conflict has arisen from the fact that the rules of the law do not specify whether in the case of consolidated cargo the $18 must be paid per package or if the fee should be divided among all packages, as they claim has been done up until now. The administrative provision indicates that the payment of the fee must be made with the goods declaration, ie consolidated loads must pay for each packet, for each declaration presented and not a single fee per container.
While the textile sector accounts for over 90% of total exports to the USA under the FTA, lack of training and compliance with requirements is preventing other sectors from taking better advantage of the trade agreement.
Lack of training, compliance requirements and inability to make the necessary investment to produce on a large-scale are some of the challenges faced by the sectors who are failing to take advantage of the trade agreement with the United States faces.
Exporters have reported inconsistencies in the system of non-intrusive inspections at customs offices in El Salvador.
Exporters are complaining they have paid the $18 fee more than once for scanned inspections of the same container. This is because "in some cases they are charging per product declaration issued not per the number of containers, in other words, if a container has more than one product then you must pay the fee for each one ...".
The sector, which was ready to export 10,000 tonnes of sugar to the European Union, must wait two more months to do so.
Non-acceptance by dairy farmers in El Salvador and Costa Rica of the geographical indicators for Italian cheeses has caused a delay of at least 60 days of the entry into force of the Association Agreement with the EU.
Businessmen from various sectors are demanding regulation by the government of several existing laws, which allow for different interpretations and legal uncertainty.
Elmundo.com.sv reports that "representatives of the Salvadoran Association of Industrialists (ASI), the Salvadoran Chamber of Construction (Casalco) and the Corporation of Exporters of El Salvador (Coexport), said that the lack of regulations or breach of these in many laws intended to raise productivity, is generate the opposite effect from the original objective. "
From January to May sales abroad totaled $1.8 billion, 12.3% more than in the same period of 2009.
Non-traditional exports are those that have performed best with a 9.1% increase. The main products exported were underwear and accessories; boxes; plastic bags and containers; iron, steel and their finished products; and paper products.
"Silvia Cuéllar, director of the Corporation of Exporting Companies (known as COEXPORT), believes that the recovery is not enough. 'Exporters want to get back all the lost ground and start seeing the same level of growth achieved in 2008 when sales reached $4.5 billion,' she says", according to Elsalvador.com.
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