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Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

Hurry Up and Wait: Chaos Abounds at Nicaragua-Costa Rica Border Crossing

Article Summary:

The Costa Rican customs office at Penas Blancas, on the border with Nicaragua, seems to be in complete chaos. The expansion of the highway to four lanes, along with reforms in custom procedures, has caused significant and costly delays at the border crossing.

Photo Credit: Nacion

Original Article Text From Nacion via Google Translate :

Peñas Blancas Social Chaos and Commercial Lines of Trucks

Losses for businesses, dirt, disorder, illegal trade, robbery and despair take hold of this border zone, hidden among the long lines of trucks.

The expansion to four lanes of the path to the border, in his last five kilometers, and can be seen, but is not yet fully utilized. Work is expected to accelerate the traffic.

Truck drivers are delayed up to two days to complete the procedures and reviews and be authorized to pass by Nicaraguan.

The problem exists in the second outpost of importance in the country after Lemon.

Passes around the flow of trade for Central America, the third largest market for domestic products, only behind the United States and the European Union. In 2011, for example, sold a little over $ 1,500 million to the four Central American countries, according to the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer).

From these countries, Costa Rica imported $ 917 million last year, according to Procomer.

Between 9,000 and 10,000 trucks a month passed the border post, according to customs statistics, provided by the Customs bonded warehouse Deposit Peñas Blancas.

The problem. On the morning of Wednesday, March 28, 120 trucks were a row of five kilometers in route to the border, hoping to move to Nicaraguan territory. We counted one by one.

This should add at least another 100 trucks parked on the sidewalk, in yards or in a deteriorated street exit from Customs to the border.

The director of the Directorate General of Customs (DGA), Gerardo Bolaños, and the chief of the Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex), Anabel Gonzalez, recognize the situation. Arrears, they say, are due to problems with infrastructure, lack of coordination among the entities that act in the place, including private operators (customs agents) and banks and lack of planning users.

The DGA, the State Phytosanitary Service, the National Animal Health Service, the Directorate General of Immigration, the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism, the Police and other agencies provide services there.

A plan of improvements, both in infrastructure and inter-agency coordination is underway and is expected to deliver several works this July 25, coinciding with the annexation of Nicoya to Costa Rica.

Impact. Companies incur losses for long waits, but have not done an exercise to assess the problem, said Mario Montero, executive vice president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Food Industry (Cacia).

One of the main problems is the need for customers to increase their inventories in Central America, with the consequent cost, detailed the company Dos Pinos, a major national export to the region.

Besides the commercial plug, on the border, cumbersome action causes the money changers, servicers, taxi drivers, food vendors and so-called “chicle”, who sell their products and often “lost in the trucks.”

Link to Original Article:

From Nacion

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