Honduras: Puerto Cortés causes headaches

Exporters are complaining because customs clearance procedures at the port terminal which used to be completed in three days now take 20.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ever since Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana assumed control of operation of the cargo terminal at Puerto Cortes, the processes for inspections and unloading have delayed goods by considerably more days than before, raising costs for exporters and importers, who have to wait up to 20 days to take their products out of the port.

"This situation raises costs for users, because the delay means having to pay extra to shipping companies. Moreover, in the case of the importation of some products we run the risk of shortages. The most important import product for Honduras is fuel. At the moment, supply is assured, but if the logistics problem persists in the medium or long term, there could be more significant consequences. "

"We have a boat in the bay waiting to dock. Its been a week and we havent been able to make space in the dock for it to unload. Operations at the port are disastrous, the risk is being run of not having products on the market," says one of the oil distributors."

"According to Luis Larach, vice president of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (Cohep), delays in operations raises costs in the National Port by up to 300%."

More on this topic

Options for Solving Problems in Puerto Cortes

November 2016

Assigning container inspections to a "green channel" for importers with a good record and creating a one-stop shop to streamline procedures is part of what has been proposed to reduce congestion at the port.

Constant complaints over problems and delays faced by entrepreneurs in the Honduran port terminal have led the government to prepare a series of measures to reduce container inspection times and streamline processes to export or import goods through the port. See: "Customs Problems Arise in Puerto Cortes Again".

Costly Delays in Puerto Cortes

May 2016

Clearing a container through customs can take up to 14 days and the extra costs for surcharges which apply after a third day can exceed $600.

An article on Laprensa.hn reports that "...Of those 14 days, only about 11 will be spent waiting, first for the cargo to be inspected and after for a diagnosis to be made, or because of the delay added due to days when customs officers from the now liquidated Executive Directorate of Revenue ( DEI) have taken off in order to migrate to the Revenue Management System (SAR). "

Delays at Puerto Cortés Customs Office

October 2014

The inspection of 70 containers of foodstuffs which on average enter and leave the port every day is carried out by a single official.

Importers and exporters bear the costs for delays and extra stays of containers, which costs around $60 a day per unit, resulting in an increase in the final value of the products.

Agreement to Improve Operations in Puerto Cortés

March 2014

The aim is to optimize the entry and exit of cargo at the container terminal where there have been long lines and delays in procedures.

After some problems arose last week, executives from Operadora Portuaria de Centroamérica (OPC) pledged to streamline the procedures for the entry and exit of cargo at Empresa Nacional Portuaria.