Guatemala: Confrontation Over Customs Act

After further requests for extending fine exemptions and a comprehensive reform of the Customs Act, the government has responded saying that they will evaluate such requests.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The National Council for Promotion of Exports (CONAPEX), comprising representatives of the Executive and the private sector, called for an urgent reform of the Customs Act and the granting of another 90-day extension for exemptions from fines for violating the new customs regulations.

The CONAPEX send a recommendation to President Otto Perez, arguing that "the new Customs Law, which came into effect on March 12, affects the country's competitiveness by slowing exports and imports, and increasing costs for employers,” reported Elperiodico.com.gt.

Carla Caballeros, executive director of the Chamber of Agriculture estimates that it would be irresponsible for the Government to continue implementing the Act because it causes delays to international trade.



More on this topic

Entirely New Customs Law Planned

September 2012

The National Competitiveness Program of Guatemala has announced that the Executive will introduce a draft bill to Congress to replace existing customs regulations.

Under pressure from the Guatemalan business sector, the executive has presented a new initiative to Congress, which has already been agreed with various chambers of commerce, said Juan Carlos Pais, Presidential Commissioner for Competitiveness.

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.

Guatemala: New extension for Customs Fines

June 2012

By Governmental Accord administrative customs offenses punishable by a fine, and their cumulative effects, will be exempted until September 15, 2012.

The Governmental Accord 121-2012 from the Ministry of Finance states that it has “agreed to waive, for a term expiring on June 15, 2012, up to one hundred percent (100%) of fines to any individual or legal person incurred in some of the administrative customs offenses punishable by a fine established by the National Customs Law contained in Book III of Decree No. 10-2012 of the Congress.”

Guatemala: Call for Suspension of Customs Law

March 2012

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.

The Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) has requested that the Government suspend the Customs Act, which was included in the recently approved tax reform.

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