More Protectionism, More Smuggling

In Costa Rica a considerable increase has been reported in the illegal transfer of agricultural products such as avocados, which have been banned from Mexico for almost three years.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 reports that "... 'The Fiscal Control Police (PCF) reported a change in the trend of items confiscated in the first quarter of 2018.  This is because they have detected significant shipments related to products such as avocados and garlic."

Authorities at the PCF explained that while they still seize products such as cigarettes and liquor, which have traditionally been the products earning the highest incomes through illegal means, an increase in the smuggling of other goods, such as fruits and vegetables, is striking.

The director of the PCF, Irving Malespín, explained that they illegal entry of  "'... onions, avocados, garlic and even tomatoes,' the official said. Malespín explained that currently avocados fetch a very high price in supermarkets, which may be the reason for irregular transfer in the Southern Zone and Peñas Blancas."

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More on this topic

Costa Rica: Law Against Smuggling Tightened

October 2015

The new law lowers from $50,000 to $5,000 the minimum amount of goods in infraction, for it to be considered as a crime of smuggling.

The Legislature approved the bill which sanctions with penalties smuggled goods worth over $5000. The new law also provides for penalties against "split smuggling", made by the same group or individual.

Warnings in Panama Over Increase in Smuggling

July 2015

The private sector has signalled an increase in seizures of drugs, food, smuggled cigarettes, and consumer products from illegal sources.

From a statement issued by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP):

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) has expressed concern over the increase in illegal trade including smuggling, counterfeiting and piracy.

Liquor Smuggling in Costa Rica

December 2013

Costa Rica has the largest share of illegal liquor in the market of all the countries in Central America with 22%, while the average in other countries in the region is 8%.

Costa Rica also ranks among the top five countries in Latin America for having the most bootleg liquor in their markets, according to a study prepared by Euromonitor International for the Association of Producers and Importers of Alcoholic Beverages in Costa Rica (Apibaco).

Smuggling in the Guatemalan Economy

November 2012

The activities of well-established smuggling networks have distorted the normal functioning of trade, having become an everyday part of life for a sector of the population.

The closure of Central Tabacalera SA (Tacasa), which may have been caused by increased cigarette smuggling, mainly in Panama, can be seen as one of the many consequences of the phenomenon of illegal entry of goods.

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