Guatemala: Call for Suspension of Customs Law

The American Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce noted that the implementation of the Act without the respective regulations is confusing, taking away transparency in the system and increasing costs.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) has requested that the Government suspend the Customs Act, which was included in the recently approved tax reform. The main argument is that there are no approved rules for regulating the application of this legal act which contains many complex and confusing points and there is no uniformity of approach, reported Siglo21.com.gt.

"A law can not come to life without regulations because it leaves its interpretation up to each employer, manager and carrier, and that takes away transparency and credibility," said AmCham’s executive director, Carolina Castellanos.

Castellanos
complained that the tax authority, the SAT, "has not established specific and concise criteria for its application, and this increases the costs of emigration formalities."

She also said that due to delays in the release of goods and payments to cover carriers at the borders, costs for importers have risen by 20% to 30% and sometimes even more. As a result, this will lead to a general price increase and affect the country's competitiveness, she said.

For his part, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Jorge Briz, shared Castellanos’ concerns by noting that losses are in the millions, because the long queues of containers are dramatic. "The procedures are very slow, no one knows how to do things properly and they have not been able to solve the problems," said Briz .



More on this topic

Intervention Not Solving Problems at Guatemalan Customs Offices

January 2014

Entrepreneurs are warning that illegal payments are still being made for getting goods through because the intervention operation has not worked.

The business community believes that the operation for intervention in customs offices has not worked properly and users have to make illicit payments in order to get their goods through.

Lack of Security on Guatemalan Roads

August 2013

Companies use up to 12% of their budgets to provide security for their transportation teams.

In an article in Prensalibre.com, Carolina Castellanos, executive director of AmCham, said that the road blockades are causing uncertainty for companies and that it is impacting on the cost of products, causing them to rise.

Pressure for Changes to Customs Act

August 2012

Among the changes requested by the Guatemalan private sector, are the elimination of insurance for theft of goods in transit and the current billing method.

Private sector representatives together with the Tax Authority (SAT) are working on a draft for a new law, which introduces changes to almost 80% of the current Customs Act.

Guatemalan Exports to the U.S. Up 18%

May 2010

In the first quarter of 2010, exports grew 18% when compared to the same period of 2009.

Data from the U.S. Commerce Department shows that Guatemalan imports also increased 9%.

Carolina Castellanos, head of AmCham, the Guatemalan-American Chamber of Commerce, explained that the leader of this rebound was the textile industry, which had “fallen to the ground” in 2009, reported Sigloxxi.com.

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