Meeting of Central American Business Leaders

The main issue of concern is the slow pace of intraregional trade, which in particularly is hindered by customs offices in the isthmus.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The quarterly meeting of the executive directors and presidents of the Federation of Chambers and Industry Associations of Central America (Fecaica) showed the concern of the sector over measures such as the charging at offices in El Salvador of an $18 fee for the service of scanning the cargo passing through.

Ana Morales, executive director of Fecaica reiterated that "it has been of great concern for the chambers that some measures have been taken in various countries that impede trade in goods."

"... Javier Siman, president of the Salvadoran Association of Industrialists (ASI), said that beyond customs conflicts in Central America, there are other issues such as the implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

The executive said that when the General Integration Treaty was signed almost 60 years ago, it was established that Central America should seek FTAs in a combined way. However, today each country has sought treaties on its own, so the Isthmus has "an assortment of Free Trade Agreements." According to the industrialist, "the treaties we share were negotiated independently and with different conditions, this makes a customs union and Central American integration increasingly more complicated."



More on this topic

Its Time for a Customs Union

February 2015

Now is the time to fulfill the clear mandate of the Presidents of the Central American Integration System for the establishment of a Customs Union in Central America.

From a statement issued by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Central America (FECAMCO):

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Central America (FECAMCO) held in San José, the transfer of chairmanship of this regional entity to the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica for the period 2015.

Governments Hinder Intra-Regional Trade

July 2014

Despite the antiquity of the efforts for Central American integration and for the Customs Union the obstacles to trade between the countries on the isthmus presented by customs offices are notorious.

The Federation of Chambers and Associations of Exporters of Central America (Fecaxca) is once again calling for policies and common strategies for standards and customs procedures.

Single Declaration Form for Central American Customs

May 2013

Preparations are being made for a single form that will streamline customs trade ahead of the entry into force of the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union.

According to the president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep), Joseph Adam Aguerri, already working on this issue are the Central American Integration System (SICA), and the Secretariat of Central American Economic Integration (SIEC). They are working "on a unified customs document that aims to concentrate all imports and exports," added Aguerri.

Customs Still a Problem

February 2012

Instead of being reduced, bureaucracy at the Central American borders is becoming increasingly burdensome, complicating and making intra regional trade more expensive.

Constant delays which increase transportation costs, lack of progress in the streamlining of customs procedures and a perceived stagnation of the customs and economic integration project are the most pressing problems observed by business associations in Central America.

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