New Rules for Containers in Guatemala

Those containers that remain in customs over 3 months must be nationalized.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The change in the rule reported by the Superintendent of Tax Administration (SAT) applies for dry-goods or refrigerated containers that are awaiting merchandise and whose temporary stay permits have expired.

Byron Dardón, journalist for wrote: "Prior to the new provision, when the equipment arrived at the ports, customs authorities would allow entry for 90 days, using the Temporary Admission of Containers (ATC) form. Once the period had expired, the ship had to pay $100 in fines and the authorization could be extended for more three months."

While the SAT indicates that the ATC can be renewed for another three months, Ronaldo Coronado, president of the Shipping Association of Guatemala (ASONAV) said that “in effect, it can be renewed, but there is a delay in authorizing the ATCs, which forces the nationalization of the container."

More on this topic

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.

Guatemala: Complaints about System and Container Inspection

November 2011

Losses up to $35 million in the last 7 months have been reported by transport companies due to delays caused by revision of containers by the SAT.

Both the Guatemalan Council of International Transport Users (Cutrigua) and the Shipping Association of Guatemala agree on the lack of efficiency in the container review process performed by the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT), which in some cases takes up to 24 hours.

Delays Reported in Puerto Quetzal

June 2011

The intervention decree over the Port of Quetzal has caused delays in clearing containers.

Containers are taking about two days to move out of port facilities, whereas beforehand it was less than 24 hours, said Hector Fajardo, of the Central Transport Federation (Fetransca).Revisions of 100% of the import containers are generating delays and also affecting the output of export containers, added the official.

Central American Cargo Withheld in Mexico

February 2011

In July 2010, Mexican authorities withheld 250 containers with more than $ 5 million in goods brought from Asia by Guatemalan importers.

The cargo, originally from China, Japan and Taiwan and headed for the port of Quetzal in Guatemala, was seized by Mexican authorities at the ports of Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo in Mexico.

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