Costa Rica Marks a Milestone in Border Management with Innovative Integrated Control Center in Paso Canoas

    A milestone for Panama and Costa Rica

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    The President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves Robles, accompanied by the President of the Republic of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, today inaugurated the Paso Canoas Integrated Control Center (CCI), on the border between Costa Rica and Panama. The event marks a milestone because for the first time, Costa Rican and Panamanian authorities will carry out their control processes in the same facilities, with a single stop for passengers and transporters, increasing efficiency and reducing waiting times by 50%. The act is framed in compliance with the Framework Agreement signed by both countries to facilitate trade and the importance of providing the best conditions so that officials and users have top-level infrastructure to carry out their procedures and tasks must be highlighted. The Inter-American Bank Development Agency (IDB) has been the strategic partner of both governments to carry out the Border Integration Program (PIF), executed by COMEX, through a loan of US$100 million, and the Customs Logistics Integration Program (PILA). for US$75 million, the execution of which is in charge of the National Customs Authority of Panama.

    “If we can move forward, we don’t have to stay with the idea of ​​a small Costa Rica that conforms to past glories. Now we can tell the tourists who visit our country, as well as the Costa Rican and Panamanian merchants, that they will no longer have have to go through torture of immigration and customs procedures,” stressed the President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves Robles.

    The Paso Canoas Integrated Control Center represents an approximate investment of US$33 million and is the first border post to be inaugurated within the framework of this Program, and will regulate the entry of people, vehicles and cargo into Costa Rica. For its part, Panama will soon inaugurate a similar center in its territory, where the same management model will be applied for entry to said country. The Minister of Foreign Trade, Manuel Tovar, highlighted the importance of the prompt implementation of the CCI, due to the benefits that will be obtained as a result of strengthening competitiveness, by reducing times in loading processes and entry and exit procedures. from the country.

    COMEX and our productive sector once dreamed of changing the face of our land border posts, as these had become an obstacle to economic growth and the competitiveness of our trade with Central America, our second largest trading partner. Today that dream is reality That is why I celebrate the courage and persistence of my work team, the invaluable support of the IDB and the joint work with institutions such as Customs, Immigration, Security, MOPT, Health, Agriculture and others. The result of these actions will allow us to count on. modern facilities that will house agile and efficient passenger and merchandise control processes,” said Manuel Tovar, Minister of Foreign Trade. The CCI will house a total of 19 institutions that will carry out exit controls from Panama and entry to Costa Rica. Customs, immigration, agricultural, health, police, transportation and logistical support authorities from both countries will operate in these modern facilities, promoting more efficient and coordinated management.

    Thanks to this strategic investment, the Paso Canoas Border Post now has modern infrastructure, adequate equipment and effective controls, which will allow progress in binational inter-institutional coordination processes, which will culminate with the digitalization of all systems. 77% of trade with Panama is carried out by land. According to data from the General Directorate of Foreign Trade, during 2023 US$551.6 million were exported and US$157 million were imported in this way. This commercial dynamic highlights the relevance of the coordinated border management model for both economies.

    “Trade facilitation energizes the economy and with this, supports the generation of more employment in all regions of Costa Rica. For this reason, at PROCOMER we recognize the importance of this border crossing, since it is key to increasing the competitiveness of the country, allowing our export sector to be more agile and generate more opportunities for Costa Ricans,” stated Laura López, General Manager of PROCOMER.

    About CCI Paso Canoas:

    The CCI is located in Darizara, canton of Corredores, province of Puntarenas, 4.3 km from the border line.

    This work was built between April 2022 and November 2023. It has a covered area of ​​approximately 14 thousand m² and an exterior works area of ​​close to 50 thousand m². 74.26% of the labor used for its construction was local.

    During the Chaves Robles administration, a process long awaited by the export and import sector, and by the community of Paso Canoas, has been completed, which now has a modern post that will also boost the local economy. Likewise, the importance that the Costa Rican Government assigns to Coordinated Border Management has generated an additional Local Contribution of US$ 10 million, which will allow for a similar modernization at the Peñas Blancas Border Post, at the beginning of 2025.

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