Costly Break to Regional Trade

Central American businessmen assure that the customs tax on the transport of cargo in transit or with final destination that the Nicaraguan government wants to impose "threatens the instruments of Central American integration, and becomes an obstacle to intraregional trade.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Weeks ago it was reported that from March 15 would begin to collect the customs tax, however, the authorities did not specify what amount will be required from carriers. 


See "Nicaragua to Charge for Freight Transportation"

From FECAMCO's press release:


Central America, March 20, 2019. The Chambers of Commerce of Central America express their concern over the recent measure implemented by the Government of Nicaragua, regarding the imposition of a new procedure and collection for temporary imports of means of transport cargo entering the Republic of Nicaragua in international land customs transit operations to Nicaragua or in transit. The imposition of unilateral measures that threaten the instruments of Central American integration, become obstacles to intraregional trade affecting our second most important market, so we make the following considerations:


The Central American Economic Integration Secretariat (SIECA) already has a regional database of Central American carriers integrated into the TIM regional transit declaration platform, which creates additional delays and obstacles to the functioning of intraregional trade.

The delays at the border because of excessive bureaucracy already generate an increase in transportation costs to companies between 4% and 12%, so adding the charge established in Technical Circular 042-2019 further aggravates this situation. In addition, the application of this violent circular is an instrument of Central American integration as well as international instruments, such as: The 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade "Freedom of Transit", the Trade Facilitation Agreement "Freedom of Transit" and the Regulations on the International Customs Transit Regime, among others.

Therefore, we call on the Government of Nicaragua to suspend that measure and on all countries in the region to eliminate all existing restrictive measures and to refrain from imposing new ones that undermine regional instruments. The blockades that have been experienced so far have increased uncertainty and chaos at the borders, making the transit of goods in Central America even more cumbersome.

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More on this topic

Cargo Transport: More Disagreement

July 2020

Arguing that it is not allowed to leave with cargo from the rest of the countries in the region, Costa Rican transporters are protesting at the border between Costa Rica and Panama, and are asking the authorities to apply reciprocal measures.

The discontent of Costa Rican businessmen could hinder the transit of goods in Central America, and although as of midday on July 7 no blockades of cargo transport had been reported, the sector does not rule out extending the protests.

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.

Costa Rica Requests Review of Freight Transportation Charges

April 2019

After Nicaraguan authorities imposed in their customs a $50 payment to each cargo vehicle transiting through their territory, Costa Rica requested a meeting to review the issue.

On March 15 of this year, Nicaraguan authorities began to collect a customs tax on the transportation of cargo in transit or with final destination in the country, which consists of the payment of $50 for each transport unit of goods that passes through land customs.

Transportation Taxes Worry Businesses in the Region

July 2013

The FEDEPRICAP believes the new transport charges imposed by governments in the region will have a negative impact on competitiveness and development.

In a statement, members of the Federation of Private Entities in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (FEDEPRICAP) said that Central American integration and the customs union "is not a specific goal, but a process of promoting the free movement of goods, trade facilitation, and the passage of people. "

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