Central America Surpasses Commercial Jam

After several days of tension generated by the restrictions imposed by Costa Rica on the transport of cargo from neighboring countries, Central American authorities reached an agreement and opened the way at the border of Penas Blancas.

Monday, June 1, 2020

In recent weeks the free transit of goods in Central America had been interrupted. The difficulties began when Costa Rica, arguing that it was trying to mitigate the outbreak of covid-19, unilaterally decided that as of May 18 only carriers would enter Costa Rican territory that made direct transit from border to border, whose units would be subject to police surveillance.

See the "System for Monitoring Markets and the Economic Situation in Central American Countries", prepared by CentralAmericaData.

The situation became more complicated after the Nicaraguan government ordered weeks ago the closure of the Penas Blancas border post. This was in response to Costa Rica's restrictions.

After multiple negotiations at the Central American level, the Costa Rican authorities decided to relax the restrictions, and on the afternoon of May 31 it was confirmed that free transit was restored.

See "Central America: Disruption of the Logistics Chain"

From the Ministry of Foreign Trade statement:

San Jose, May 30, 2020. This afternoon in an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers for Economic Integration (COMIECO), the leaders discussed and adopted several measures to be applied for the entry of goods into the national territories. At the end of the session, it was agreed to restart operations at the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica and to implement the plan approved jointly with the Central American Federation of Transporters for the transit of goods.  The Secretary General of the Central American Integration System, Mr. Vinicio Cerezo, accompanied the meeting.
It was under a close public-private coordination of each of the countries of the region that made it possible to generate various options for conducting intraregional foreign trade operations. As has been the norm for several weeks now, those transporters who present symptoms associated with COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter national territory.
The Minister of Foreign Trade, Dyalá Jiménez Figueres, said she was very grateful to the public and private team for their support during this situation. She also welcomed the fact that the countries represented in COMIECO had two consecutive and very fruitful sessions after the dialogue, conducted under the Pro-Tempore Presidency of Honduras. "While the pandemic has affected us deeply, since last Thursday the region has shown that it can cope with innovative solutions.  It remains to implement the agreement to adjust it according to the lessons that will only be known in practice, after close monitoring". At that meeting, following Costa Rica's proposal, the leaders reached an agreement to create a working group to follow up on the implementation of this plan.

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More on this topic

Cargo Transport: Guatemala Applies Reciprocal Measures

June 2020

Because Costa Rica has imposed several restrictions on the movement of goods entering its territory, the Guatemalan government announced that it will apply reciprocal measures to Costa Rican transporters from June 9.

Guatemala joins the list of Central American nations applying similar measures to those imposed by Costa Rica, which, arguing that it is trying to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in its territory, decided that from 18 May only transporters carrying out direct border-to-board transit would enter, whose units would have to be subject to police surveillance.

Regional Trade: Panama Applies Reciprocal Measures

May 2020

After Costa Rica imposed several restrictions on the movement of cargo entering its territory, the Panamanian government limited the permit for Costa Rican carriers to remain in the country to 72 hours.

The transit of goods in the region is becoming more complicated every day, since it is argued that the propagation of the covid-19 is being mitigated.

Cargo Transport: Honduras Replies to Costa Rica

May 2020

After the Costa Rican government decided to impose several restrictions on heavy transport units entering its territory, the Honduran government decided to grant Costa Rican pilots only 72 hours in the country.

The difficulties affecting intraregional land trade are increasing, since arguing that it is trying to mitigate the spread of covid-19, the Costa Rican presidency decided that as of May 18 only transporters who make direct transit from border to border would enter Costa Rican territory, whose units must be subject to police surveillance.

Cargo Transport: Costa Rica Tightens Restrictions

May 2020

In order to mitigate the spread of the covid-19, the government decided that as of May 18, only transporters that make direct transit from border to border will enter Costa Rican territory, whose units must be subject to police surveillance.

On 15 May, President Carlos Alvarado issued two decrees aimed at keeping the number of foreign transporters in the country as low as possible, reported the Costa Rican presidency.

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