The Essential Central American Customs Union

Governments in the region should accelerate and make concrete a real customs union that decisively contributes to economic development by facilitating trade in goods and services as well as flows of capital.

Monday, April 28, 2014

While Central American government officials in regional authorities speak of integration, in reality central governments are doing little or nothing to achieve it, when not they are not in the process of obstructing it.

An article on reports that "...Directors of customs offices from the region met last week in Tegucigalpa, where they continued advancing positions for a full customs union which would allow the movement of investments in all countries, through standardizing procedures for the flow of capital. "

"... It has been stated that a full customs union, similar to that which operates in Europe, could triple the current figures for trade, capital and investment in the region."

While in such meetings they are "... looking to implement policies to reduce paperwork for the movement of goods", which according to previous studies, greatly would benefit Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the fact is that these policies are only expressions of good intentions and with only great difficultly could result in concrete actions.

More on this topic

Regional Chaos in Customs Fees

July 2013

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

"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 American Customs Union is Essential

June 2012

The Central American Customs Union is the most important tool for increasing trade in the region and generating the economies of a scale necessary to compete in the global market.

The Federation of Chambers of Exporters of Central America, Panama and the Caribbean (FECAEXCA) has released a statement in which it urges “the Ministers of Economy of the region to redouble their efforts so that the processes of the Customs Union can acquire the necessary priority and speed and to take actions to complete them”.

How to Strengthen the Regional Integration Process

March 2011

Transporting a truckload from Guatemala to Costa Rica takes four days, when the journey could be completed in 30 hours.

The Business Committee for Customs Union launched a campaign to accelerate and complete the integration, attacking in particular mental and cultural barriers which persist in economic actors and in the general population.

Economy ministers study reforms to improve Central American trade

April 2008

The Board of Economic Integration Ministers of Central America met today in San Salvador to analyze reforms that would improve regional trade.

Yolanda Mayora, the Salvadorean Minister, told the news media that during the meeting they analyzed reforms to the Uniform Customs Code of Central America and its rules. They considered technological improvements to transmit commercial transactions and customs payments electronically.

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