Regional Bureaucracy Hinders Development

The heavy bureaucracy present in Central American governments is obstructing the transport of goods, adding to regional trade costs.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In Guatemala, for example, the inefficiency in resolving issues and easily implementing procedures is self evident, as currently there are open files against 36,000 carriers, "something that no one can update, because of how cumbersome it would be to update this documentation , but the worst thing is that many of these records were wrongly documented because they correspond to breaches by vehicles which later went out of circulation ... " noted an editorial published by

Carriers have spent more than a year negotiating with governments to work more freely, but their concerns seem to have gone unheard because they are still waiting for solutions, a situation which has led them to take action to stop governments from hindering their work, "when it would be much more worthwhile to speed up the resolution of these cases, unifying criteria and allowing trade to recover its dynamism".

More on this topic

Costly Break to Regional Trade

March 2019

Central American businessmen assure that the customs tax on the transport of cargo in transit or with final destination that the Nicaraguan government wants to impose "threatens the instruments of Central American integration, and becomes an obstacle to intraregional trade.

Weeks ago it was reported that from March 15 would begin to collect the customs tax, however, the authorities did not specify what amount will be required from carriers. 

Customs Offices Should be Open 24/7 for Cargo

June 2014

In order to expedite intraregional trade it is necessary for customs offices dealing with cargo freight, to be open all hours, just as immigration customs offices are.

A study commissioned by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Central America (Fecamco) concluded that there are 87 barriers to trade in the region, one of the major ones being operations of the systems at customs offices at borders, followed by bureaucratic requirements and lack of adequate infrastructure.

Central American Customs Offices Hinder Trade

October 2013

From the border with Mexico up to Darien in Panama, customs offices are hindering trade and conspiring against the region's development.

According to the Corporation of Guatemalan Customs Agents (CAAG), delays suffered by transport carriers alone make goods 5% more expensive for Central American consumers. But added to this is 30% for sanitary and phytosanitary barriers and non-tariff measures that are applied in each country.

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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