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

"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 .

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