Paso Canoas is Once Again a Logistical Bottleneck

Costa Rican customs offices do not have enough staff to handle the flow of cargo from Panama to the rest of Central America.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

While on the Panamanian side there are about 25 people to process documents from carriers, on the Costa Rican side there are only 5 staff members to carry out these duties.

The situation occurs at a time when "the international freight activity going from Paso Canoas to Central America has increased by 50 % ... ", reported In recent days up to 150 trucks have accumulated, waiting their turn to pass through.

As explained by Abdiel Lezcano regional administrator of Customs, it is at this time of the year when merchandise leaves the CFZ to go to Central America via Paso Canoas, which amounts to up to 6000 trucks per month.

"At this customs office, working hours are from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm from Monday to Sunday, and because we use a single document called the FAUCA (Formulario Aduanero Único de Centroamérica), the procedure to go through the Panamanian border should take between 15-20 minutes," he said.

However, staff is scarce on the Costa Rican side, so they have decided to resume talks with the authorities in order to expedite passage at this border crossing.

More on this topic

Customs Offices in Costa Rica: A Thorn in its Side

November 2014

Exporters claim that the lack of staff at border posts at certain times of the day is slowing the processes for customs clearance, security and sanitation issues.

Lack of staff and lack of coordination in the timetables for services provided to carriers are the main causes of the constant delays faced by companies that transport goods from Costa Rica to Central America.

Enlargement of Customs Office in Paso Canoas

June 2014

An announcement has been made that the area for attention to freight will be expanded and in order to streamline processes, they will go back to using a guide in which carriers list the goods they are transporting.

The response from the Customs authorities in Chiriquí comes after a border closure caused by freight carriers from throughout Central American demanding streamlined procedures and improved services. It is estimated that every day 150 trucks pass through Paso Canoas and in May this year to 16,584 vehicles of this type were recorded.

Private Offices at Paso Canoas Border

May 2013

At the border crossing singled out as the slowest in Central America, private sites for carriers could be used to manage customs documents.

According to Abdiel Lezcano, regional director of Customs, this is one of the measures being contemplated, after receiving complaints from hundreds of drivers of trucks transiting the border crossing.

Progress in Modernization of Costa Rica - Panama Border Crossing

September 2012

El Paso Canoas border point, linking Costa Rica and Panama, a key site for binational trade, will have an Integrated Control Center, according to a study carried out by the IADB.

At the moment the border crossing suffers from a lack of efficient logistical processes and the current regulatory processes for imports and exports are overloaded.

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