Central American Customs Offices: Obstacle to Development

The competitiveness of the economies of the isthmus is being impaired by the inefficiency of the bureaucracy in the management of customs offices in the region.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The bureaucracy at customs offices has become a serious problem for the Central American region. Among other things it generates increases in the costs of exporting because of the procedures that must be paid for, loss of perishable goods and delays in production in processes that have to wait for raw materials.

The current deadlock in the Salvadoran customs is a good example of this: According to Jorge Briz, president of the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce, "... El Salvador is the second most important trading partner of its neighbor country and when there are problems Guatemalan traders lose $5 million a day. "

"What message is being sent to investors when there are these inefficiencies which are so serious for the region?" he asked.

More on this topic

Governments Hinder Intra-Regional Trade

July 2014

Despite the antiquity of the efforts for Central American integration and for the Customs Union the obstacles to trade between the countries on the isthmus presented by customs offices are notorious.

The Federation of Chambers and Associations of Exporters of Central America (Fecaxca) is once again calling for policies and common strategies for standards and customs procedures.

Less Bureaucracy in Customs Offices

December 2013

The World Trade Organization has managed to make its first agreement in 22 years on measures to remove barriers to trade by simplifying customs procedures.

The agreement reached in Bali could mean an increase of 1 trillion dollars in global trade.

Part II of the draft of the ministerial declaration of Bali is related to Trade Facilitation and establishes the customs procedures which must be undertaken by signatory countries.

Customs Still a Problem

February 2012

Instead of being reduced, bureaucracy at the Central American borders is becoming increasingly burdensome, complicating and making intra regional trade more expensive.

Constant delays which increase transportation costs, lack of progress in the streamlining of customs procedures and a perceived stagnation of the customs and economic integration project are the most pressing problems observed by business associations in Central America.

Business Optimism in Guatemala with Funes

March 2009

Guatemalan business leaders are optimistic about the election of the new president of El Salvador.

La Prensa Libre of Guatemala published the comments of several business leaders about future trade relations with El Salvador, which accounted for $973 million in exports and $692 million in imports in 2008.

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