Streamlined Customs Procedures

The customs offices of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador have been interconnected using the Integrated Foreign Trade System (SICEX by its initials in Spanish) since June.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The system aids export companies in reducing time and costs, by digitalizing the process of customs authorisation.

According to an article in, "When we speak of a customs interconnection, what this means is that an export transaction can be automatically generated in El Salvador, registered in the national customs system, and simultaneously, registered at the offices of another Central American country" said Cornelius Deras, head of the Center for Import and Export Procedures (CIEX El Salvador).

Using SICEX, registering product output operations takes between 18 and 30 seconds, the time that the exporter must wait to ensure that his transaction is authorized. ‘In the case of Guatemala it used to take six hours to cross the border, the interconnection has reduced this to only an hour,’ said Deras."

More on this topic

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.

Recurring Failures in Panamanian Customs System

October 2013

From the October 3 frequent interruptions in the Integrated Customs Management System have paralyzed imports and exports.

The Integrated Customs Management System (known as Siga) was installed in 2011 replacing the Integrated Foreign Trade System (known as Sice) and its value was $20 million.

Electronic System for Import and Export Procedures

September 2011

A dedicated electronic processing desk for exports and imports in El Salvador (CIEX) is now connected to the local customs offices and those of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Costa Rica will be added soon.

Cornelio Deras, director of the Center for Import and Export Procedures (CIEX), noted that the technology they are using allows them to connect to any country with whom they have a free trade agreement or a commercial interest. Also planned is an interconnection with Mexican customs, as soon as readjusted FTA is signed.

El Salvador and Nicaragua Customs to be Connected

July 2011

The interconnection will expedite the processing of business transactions between the two countries.

The 541 companies in El Salvador currently exporting goods to Nicaragua will be the first to benefit from the connection of the two offices, which will expedite the process of obtaining permits and other paperwork.

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