As of September 24th, Central American freight carriers will be able to unload and load in fiscal warehouses and in companies without the need to obtain prior authorization, in a new flexibility of controls for this type of activity. Until now, they could only do it in fiscal warehouses and companies authorized by the Government.
The measure was communicated at the end of the afternoon of this past Friday, September 18th by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex), in charge of monitoring international merchandise exchanges.In addition, the operations of coupling, uncoupling and relief of drivers in the primary customs zones will be eliminated, in this case, as of September 29th.
Strict sanitary controls will be maintained at border crossings, in companies and in fiscal warehouses, as well as the traceability of carriers, that is, they must rent a GPS unit to transit through the national territory.
Part of a global strategy
The acting minister of Comex, Duayner Salas, highlighted this flexibility of the measures for the transit of cargo and said that they conform to the strategy “Costa Rica works and takes care of itself”, which seeks a balance between health and economic reactivation.The two local chambers of the sector celebrated the announcement of this flexibility and congratulated Comex for the efforts in this regard.
Marjorie Lizano, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Unitary Transporters (CCTU), said that a response from the other Central American countries is to be expected, to allow Costa Rican plates to unload and load in their territories in companies and in fiscal warehouses. .
For his part, Francisco Quirós, executive director of the National Chamber of Cargo Carriers (Canatrac), said that with this it practically returns to the measures before the pandemic, since what remains are strict sanitary requirements.
“We celebrate the positive of this news, which is taken despite the health condition that the country has at this time, which is not optimal,” said Quirós.
For Lizano, it is still necessary to make an effort to open the service to more companies that offer GPS units in order to lower costs.
Last May, Costa Rica put into effect measures to control a possible expansion of the coronavirus, which affected the entry into the country of cargo carriers.
Among them, the unloading and loading only in authorized fiscal warehouses, the control through the use of the GPS and for those who were only in transit, without unloading in the national territory, the transit system in convoys monitored by the Public Force; also the coupling and uncoupling of trucks and the replacement of drivers at border posts.
Those decisions sparked protests in the region, which led to the closure of the Peñas Blancas pass by the Nicaraguan authorities for three weeks, which paralyzed regional freight transport.
On the Panama side, Costa Rica’s measures led to the blockade on three occasions, since May, of the passage of cargo through Paso Canoas. The last event at that point on the border ended on August 29, after Costa Rica agreed to abolish the convoy modality for trucks in transit.