Online Paperwork for Exporters and Free Trade Zones

From April, exporters and companies established in Panama's free trade zones will be able to carry out online procedures such as Declaration of Commercial Movement, Certification of Origin and Determination of Origin.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The companies in free trade zones that will be able to perform the three new online procedures will be those governed by Law 32, explained the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) in a statement.

The Minister of Commerce and Industries, Néstor González, stated that "... important advances have been made in the modernization of the platform, integrating items to the export module, and now with the activation of these three new modules, which speed up the exchange of information with the authorities through the Customs Management Integration System (SIGA), of which the Single Window for Foreign Trade (VUCE) is a component."

Gonzalez added that "...'The automation of the procedures of the Single Window for Foreign Trade has occurred progressively and seeks to adapt the Panamanian system to the current needs of the sector to make it more competitive. In a first phase, we added the chapter of the fishing sector, and then other items relating to 24 products of the agricultural sector. Today we can give the good news that we have these three new services online'."

Angélica Lam, General Director of Foreign Trade Service, indicated that "... system updates took about a year, as part of VUCE's joint work with the National Customs Authority."

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Pressure to Implement Single Window

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Five months after the regulations for the creation of the Single Window of Procedures for the Colon Free Zone were approved in Panama, businessmen are asking for their implementation to be accelerated.

At the beginning of April, it was reported that the Board of Directors of the Colon Free Zone (ZLC) approved the resolution regulating the creation of the Single Window of Procedures (VUT) and its procedures to expedite trade in the free trade zone, however, so far the window in question still does not work.

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The Dominican Republic's free trade zones guild promises to reduce response times with the implementation of the Single Window for Foreign Trade of the General Directorate of Customs.

Simplifying procedures, transparency and security of processes, reduction of response times of requests, reduction of costs of stationery and office equipment, are some of the benefits that will enjoy for companies in areas with the implementation of the Single Window, informed the union.

Nicaragua: Online Foreign Trade Procedures

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By mid-year the Single Window for Foreign Trade could be functioning, enabling online procedures to be used for obtaining permits and documents required for export or import.

The Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade (MIFIC) announced that in May pre customs formalities for exports and imports in Nicaragua will be able to be done online through the Foreign Trade Single Window (known as VUCEN in Spanish).

Costa Rica Centralizes Foreign Trade Procedures

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An announcement has been made of a beta version of a digital platform for paperwork and export permits which is integrated with related institutions.

From a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica :

This morning (yesterday) PROCOMER launched the beta version of Single Window for Foreign Trade (VUCE) 2.0 a project that will revolutionize the export sector and domestic importer, offering an interoperable platform ( with approvals in minutes) between the 16 state institutions state that are involved in foreign trade procedures.

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