Regional Chaos in Customs Fees

In contrast to what should be a regional customs union, every Central American border post charges vastly different rates and taxes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"We believe that we could even stage regional custom blockades," said the Nicaraguan Marvin Altamirano, president of the American Federation of Chambers of Transportation (Fecatrans).

Central Freight carriers will meet next August to define the measures to be taken against the different fees imposed by various countries in the region.

According to Altamirano, the latest events occurred in March, when Panama wanted to establish a comprehensive review of trucks, and in April, when Nicaragua attempted to charge $15 for each vehicle in order to finance a scanning system. Added to these is the fee that Costa Rica attempted to charge, of $25 per truck and $5 per person, which was to be used to fund improvements at border posts.

Monica Segnini, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Exporters (Cadexco), explained that the most recent event is the increasing supply of informal cargo services in the region, as well as the practices of transport unions in each country to defend their niche. Segnini added that transporting a container to the region can cost $1,500 and that by using informal services the price is $800.



More on this topic

Central American Integration Not a Reality

April 2014

The difficulties and obstacles highlighted by exporters in intraregional trade reveal the serious shortcomings of the much vaunted concept of Central American Integration.

Chambers representing exporters in Central American countries believe that instead of moving towards the integration of the region, the slow progress of the customs union and the high costs of transport is retracting from it.

Carriers Prepare Lawsuit Against El Salvador

January 2014

The regional union is bringing charges to the Central American Court of Justice over what it considers to be undue customs fees in El Salvador.

The American Federation of Freight (Fecatrans) announced that it is preparing a lawsuit against El Salvador at the Central American Court of Justice (CCJ). The union is complaining about the fees that carriers pay at customs offices in that country, which it considers improper.

Problems at Customs Offices in El Salvador Once Again

January 2014

Freight carriers are opposed to the collection of a fee of $18 per inspection using scanners and are threatening strikes and a change of routes.

Representatives from the freight union are analyzing re routing trucks so that they do not have to cross El Salvador in order to reach the rest of the region, instead crossing at the border of Agua Caliente, Chiquimula, into Honduras.

El Salvador: Border Tax Repeal Announced

June 2013

The regional freight sector has agreed to purchase insurance to protect accident victims.

Prensalibre.com.gt reports that "The government of El Salvador and cargo transport unions in Central America, agreed yesterday in "supporting" a legal reform which alleviates them from the payment of a tax on those who already pay insurance to cover against any accidents, an official said. "

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