On March 20, the National Customs Authority (ANA, for its acronym in Spanish) published a resolution in the Official Gazette for temporary procedures to use digital means to check documents at the country’s port terminals. The idea is to find a solution in the context of the spread of the coronavirus and ramp up controls on goods entering the country. The regulation is already in force until April 7, with the possibility of extension. ANA Deputy Technical Director Rodolfo Samuda announced that the institution is working on digitizing customs procedures to speed up goods trade.
The new resolution authorizes temporary procedures for sending, receiving and verifying documents prior to goods entering the country. The text clarifies that this procedure may only be carried out in digital form at port terminals on customs territory, and only concerns the import regime. In addition, the ANA stressed the importance of disseminating the new procedures to make sure that users comply with it properly.
In the same vein, Samuda stated that it is essential to digitize national customs procedures and processes in order to ensure that “national and international trade is not affected by COVID-19.” The official explained that the ANA has sent its communication to “the entire logistics, business and transport sector” to inform them about the new electronic procedures, clarifying that this will not affect “the work carried out by the ANA to control traffic in goods.”