Losses due to Customs bureaucracy

With the entry into force of the Single Central American Declaration, businessmen in the region report losses because of the delays generated by the implementation of the new system in the import and export processes.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

At the end of March, a report was made that the Council of Economic Ministers (COMIECO) agreed to postpone to May 7, 2019, the entry into force of the Single Central American Declaration (DUCA), which had initially been set for April 1, 2019.

On that occasion it was stated that the "... extension would allow the Customs Service and its users to strengthen communication, dissemination and knowledge of the processes related to the DUCA and thus achieve its successful implementation."

See "Single Central American Declaration Extended"

But the reality has been different since the system came into effect. The businessmen report that there are delays both in the processes of imports and exports that are moved by air, sea and land.

Jorge Gómez, president of the Guatemalan Logistics Union, attached to the Chamber of Industry, told Prensalibre.com that "... foreign trade operations did not flow as on a normal day and there were economic losses, but they still cannot be quantified."

Werner Floriencio Ovalle, Customs intendant of the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT), explained that "... there were inconveniences, despite the fact that during the day the Central American Integration System (Sieca), which is in charge of the administration, incorporated more personnel to attend to users. See ""Everyone lost: Implementation of the Duca system causes delays in Central American trade".

In El Salvador, Carmen Aída de Meardi, president of the Inter-Union Commission for Trade Facilitation (Cifacil), told Elsalvador.com that after the difficulties in implementing the new Central American Single Declaration (Duca), "we are paralyzed. Right now we are an island. You can't take out or introduce any product into the country."

The article adds that "... The new computer platform, applied to imports and exports, officially began on May 7, but Salvadoran customs dropped the previous system from May 6 at 2:00 pm. From that day to date, the commission estimates that $16 million in daily export merchandise and another $32 million in imports have not been mobilized, which represents an economic affectation of at least $144 million in regional trade in two and a half days of failures." See "Failures in new customs system paralyzes goods for $144 million in C.A.".

More on this topic

Customs: Contingency Plan Finishes

July 2019

After having been extended several times, the contingency plan for DUCA F and DUCA was finalized on July 8, however, there is uncertainty because the platform is not fully operational.

The entry into force of the Central American Single Declaration at the beginning of May generated delays in the import and export processes, so it was decided to activate a contingency plan at the Central American level.

Customs: Problems Continue in Guatemala and El Salvador

May 2019

Delays are reported in Salvadoran customs in San Cristóbal and La Hachadura, and difficulties in the port of Santo Tomás de Castilla, in Guatemala, because of the implementation of DUCA.

The Inter-American Commission for Trade Facilitation (CIFACIL) of El Salvador asked the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) of Guatemala, to work to solve the problems that Salvadoran companies are facing in the port of Santo Tomás de Castilla, Guatemalan maritime terminal in the Atlantic, arising from the implementation of the Single Central American Declaration (DUCA).

Customs Problems: Contingency Plan Expanded

May 2019

Until May 20, the validity of the regional contingency plan was extended to customs, which was activated because of the difficulties generated by the use of the Central American Single Declaration.

Since May 7, when the Single Central American Declaration (DUCA) was implemented at the regional level, the situation in customs has been complicated, because of multiple difficulties reported in the import and export processes arising from the implementation of the new system.

Contingency Plan for Customs Challenges

May 2019

Because the entry into force of the Central American Single Declaration has generated delays in the import and export processes, a contingency plan will be implemented at all customs offices in the region.

By agreement of the Council of Ministers of Economic Integration (COMIECO), on May 7 the Single Central American Declaration (DUCA) was implemented at the regional level, a situation that has generated many difficulties arising from the implementation of the new system in the import and export processes.

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