Central American countries need to implement a series of improvements in customs procedures in order to meet the requirements of the agreement for the facilitation of international trade.
Within two years, as part of the commitments made in the 2001 Doha Round of the Bali Agreement, signed in 2013 by 160 nations belonging to the World Trade Organization (WTO), including Central America, governments will have to harmonize their customs systems ensuring trade facilitation. However, to date institutional progress on issues established by the Agreement such as simplification, harmonization and automation of procedures for international trade have not happened, particularly in relation to the requirements and formalities for import, export and transit of border freight.
The formalization of the industry and the harmonization of the rules governing the livestock sector is the basis with which the business challenge presented by Asociation Agreement Central America-European Union will be faced.
Central America has already taken steps in harmonizing standards for the dairy industry, said Francisco Arias, an expert on integration from the Central American Dairy Farmers Federation (FECALAC).
Despite pressure from industry groups, the government of Costa Rica will not advance in the tariff harmonization of products considered "sensible".
The negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement between Costa Rica and China has raised alarm and protests from the Chamber of Industries and the Chamber of Food Industry, who request a 100% tax relief for central american trade in order to be competitive.
In a report in Capitales.com, the purpose is stated thus: "…to compile and disseminate data that may provide a comparative analysis of the fiscal situation." The commentary by the finance minister of Costa Rica, Guillermo Zuniga was also published: "The project is very important for the region because by having quality information that is properly harmonized we can do a fiscal analysis in the midst of the current situation which is crucial for decision making."