GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS
Between December 31 and January 7, the Executive Branches of Guatemala and Honduras took measures to postpone the entry into force of costs related to medicines, whether in terms of paperwork or packaging. Guatemala’s Ministry of Health (MSPAS in Spanish) published a new governmental agreement that postpones to March 1, 2022 the entry into force of the regulations containing the new fees for technical services applicable to medicines. Likewise, the Executive Branch of Honduras announced the enactment of Decree 133-2021 which extends the benefit whereby legal entities will not be subject to the payment of two taxes, Sales Tax and Production and Consumption Tax, on the local purchase and imports of packaging material and containers necessary for the manufacture of medicines to meet the COVID-19 sanitary emergency. The regulation will be in force until December 31, 2022.
According to the Guatemalan measure, on March 1, 2022, the new fees for technical services applicable to medicines and food will come into force. The original text, published on November 30, 2020, contemplates the fees for technical services provided by the Department of Regulation and Control of Food and the Department of Regulation and Control of Related Pharmaceutical Products, among others. Thus, the values for the services of regulation and control of pharmaceutical products to be paid by private parties to carry out the procedures before the entity are established. Among the new values are the fee for the Sanitary Registration of Medicines (USD 518) and the fee for the Certificate of Import and Export of Medicines (USD 52).
As regards the Honduran regulation, in order to make the non-taxation effective, legal entities must prove that they are duly authorized by the Health Regulation Agency (ARSA in Spanish). According to the authorities, the measure is taken in order to “ensure a timely, adequate and proportional response to the sanitary threat that the country is still facing”. This is in addition to the new outbreaks of the latest variation of the virus called “Omicron”.