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Tel: +504 2234 6611
COMMERCIAL CONSIGNMENTS: Commercial Invoice must be signed by shipper and is required “in Original” to apply for Customs clearance. The Commercial Invoice must be IN SPANISH (In case of invoices issued in a different language, a translation will have to be rendered dully signed by the consignee).
A proper Commercial Invoice must contain AT LEAST the following information:
- Full name and address of both shipper and consignee
- Importer ID and/or or TAX ID of the Consignee ( Consult with a REXCARGO Import Specialist If not sure or not available )
- Date and Place of Loading,
- Country of Origin of the goods.
- INCOTERM (2010)
- Quantity of packages,
- Marks numbers and kind(s) of package(s)
- Contents of each package, with detailed description of each article Including HTS Code
- Net weight of each kind of article and gross weight of each package in kilograms
- Unit price and total of each article
- CIF and FOB value and specification of transportation – and other charges
Prior to clearance, the consignee will be required to sign in the reverse side of the invoice a declaration of acceptance of the information contained in such invoice. Import License may be required for certain goods. When in doubt, please consult with a REXCARGO Import specialist.
- Value USD 25.00 or less: Pro Forma Invoice.
- Value over USD 25.00: (handled as Commercial consignments)
IMPORT CLEARANCE PROCESS
A Unique Customs Declaration form (DUA) will be drafted and processed for every import and export consignment.
The process of clearance depends on the type of cargo and means of arrival.
- FCL and Perishable, high value, Live Animals and other sensitive shipments may opt for “anticipated clearance” conducted at the port of entry upon arrival. A request for such will be processed provided it is presented at least One (1) working day prior to shipment arrival at the first port of entry. Anticipated clearance process is a discretionary recourse exclusive of customs authorities and therefore it is not guaranteed that all requests will be granted.
- LCL and regular air cargo will have to be transported unto a customs bonded facility for manifest breakdown and arrival declaration.
Storage and Handling charges for the bonded facility process may apply. Please consult with a REXCARGO Import Specialist for country/mode specific details.
IMPORT CLEARANCE TIMES
STANDARD CLEARANCE: If import documents and permits are in order, this process can be executed between two(2) to six(6) hours upon shipment entry within the customs system.
FREE TRADE ZONE: Free Trade Zone shipments are not cleared but rather transferred from a port or bonded facility to the Free Trade Zone premises as applicable, this process is usually faster than a standard clearance.
SMALL PACKAGES (COURIER): Any shipment with a CIF value of USD Five Hundred dollars ($500.00) or less can be cleared in an expeditious manner provided all documents are in order and they are transported under an “Express Delivery” manifest and declared as such prior to arrival. For more information on this modality please contact your REXCARGO import specialist.
Documentary and Physical Inspections: If a consignment is “flagged” by customs for physical or documentary inspection, one can expect a “reasonable” delay, usually not more than a few hours.
An importer and origin station (in the case of foreign partner routed shipments) will be informed accordingly and shall be able to follow-up on the process through WebTracker.
DUTIES AND TAXES
All commercial shipments are subject to Sales or VAT Tax payable upon clearance and most consignments are subject to import duties. The percentage of the import duty to be applied depends on the nature of the goods. Shipments from countries where a Free Trade Agreement is applicable may waive some or all import duties. Please consult the Free Trade Agreement section below.
Free Trade Zone shipments are exempt of tax and duties unless the shipment consists of material that will not be utilized / consumed within the authorized Free Trade Zone premises. Usually Free Trade Zone shipments liable for payment of duties and taxes consist of promotional material such as caps, T-shirts, etc. Please consult with the REXCARGO Import specialist for details.
Import duties can be consulted online at the following link for the Tariff Analysis Online (TAO) facility provided by WTO .
DESTINATION FEES AND CHARGES
REXCARGO will charge for destination services in accordance with the previously agreed tariff.
- COLLECT MASTERBILLS WILL BE REJECTED UNLESS PRIOR AUTHORIZATION FROM REXCARGO IS OBTAINED.
- Collect Charges on “House Bills” will accrue a fee of 3% payable by the Consignee.
- 3rd Party Disbursements will accrue a fee of 4% payable by the contracting Party.
In all cases, carriers and co-loaders will charge destination fees for an “assortment” of services such as:
- Document turnover
- Customs Formalities
- Shipment transfer
- Bonded warehouse
- Terminal Fee
These fees are usually not contemplated in the negotiation at origin and may become an “unpleasant surprise” to the consignee or shipper (depending on the Incoterm ). These destination charges (especially Bonded Warehouse) in some cases may be as high as the International freight charges and therefore should be considered always when sending cargo to our network.
REXCARGO STRONGLY recommends that prior to shipping, a REXCARGO Import Specialist is consulted to verify the list of “approved” carriers and “co-loaders” to propose an alternative or at least visibility with respect to destination charges. It is always best if the destination charges are “negotiated” at origin and that REXCARGO is informed of the agreed fees prior to the arrival of the consignment.
FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
Central America is conformed by Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador while Panamá is considered part of South America.
Throughout the years, the Central American countries have subscribed a number of Bilateral and multilateral trade agreements as well as preferential treatment agreements with many countries. If you believe your goods are eligible for preferential duty treatment, please consult with a REXCARGO Import/Export Specialist. You can also verify Trade and Preferential agreement status >HERE<
CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN
A Certificate of Origin (CO) is an important international trade document attesting that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country in accordance with the rules of origin negotiated between the countries participating in the applicable trade agreements. COs also constitute a declaration by the exporter. With the introduction of this document, the importer in the country of destination may request preferential tariff treatment accorded to the goods. There are two certification schemes and within each particular treaty, it is established which of these two apply and how :
- Self-certification issued by exporter, producer or importer (as applicable)
- Controlled certification which is issued by an officially designated authority.
The countries of Central America have all negotiated individual and collective Free Trade Agreements with other countries or regions. It is very important to consider that adherence to the “letter” (form) of a Free Trade Agreement is key to maintaining its benefits and in the case of the certificates of origin, in almost every case, the actual format of the document is established as an integral part of the agreement and therefore, to be acceptable, it must comply 100% with the format of reference incorporated in the agreement.
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN
Certificates of Origin (CO) are integral parts of the official agreement and therefore in many cases, there is a predetermined “Template” or “Format” that has to be utilized. Failure to adhere to the “exact” template specification may result in the elimination of the preferential treatment for a particular consignment. It is also worthy to consider that a revision of a CO may occur several years after the importation of the consignment and therefore, the reimbursement of the exempted amount and heavy fines may apply retro-actively if a CO is rendered invalid. If you have doubts about this or any other issue regarding COs or Free Trade Agreements in general, please consult with a REXCARGO Import/Export specialist.
RESTRICTIONS AND PROHIBITIONS
RESTRICTIONS (Import Permits and/or Licenses are required )
Restrictions (import permits / licenses) apply for:
1. Live animals – SENASA (In case of Protected Species, the permission of the corresponding CITES authority is also required)
2. Plants and Plant Material – State Phytosanitary Service, SENASA
3. Products, Devices and Pharmaceutical and / or Medical Supplies – Ministry of Health
4. Human Remains – ARSA
5. Chemical Products – SENASA / ARSA
6. Medications and Vaccines – SENASA / ARSA
7. Products of Animal Origin – SENASA / ARSA (not processed) / (processed)
8. Food – SENASA / ARSA
9. Precursors – ARSA
10.Yeast, non-alcoholic beverages containing saccharin, coffee or seeds and sugarcane, alcohol in containers of more than 1 liter, opium and derivatives essences for use in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, SENASA / ARSA
11. Animals for slaughter, not tanned leathers, Subject to requirements by SENASA / ARSA
12. Foreign lotteries.
THE FOLLOWING GOODS ARE PROHIBITED:
- Meat (fresh, chilled, frozen or dried) from countries where foot-and-mouth disease or rinderpest occur. PROHIBITED
- Articles capable of transmitting any disease, plague or harmful weeds. PROHIBITED
- Narcotics PROHIBITED
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