Guatemala New Customs Regulation - Principle Items
We would like to inform you that effective March 2012, the government of Guatemala signed into Law a new Customs Degree; Number 10-2012.
The changes are extensive, but we would like to point out to you the most notable ones as it relates to documentation requirements for your shipment:
- The carrier must present the vessel manifest to Customs Authorities no later than 24 hours prior to vessel arrival in Guatemalan port.
- A Spanish description of the commodity must be included on the Bill of Lading, Shipper Instructions and vessel manifest.
- Corrections to the manifest will no longer be allowed if within 24 hours of vessel arriving to a Guatemalan port.
- A full descriptive detail of the freight charges must be shown on the Manifest and Bill of Lading.
The penalties for non compliance are expected to be fully enforced, on 15 June 2012, with fines ranging between $250-$2000 depending on the frequency of occurrence and incident, with an ultimate risk of loss of privileges to any organization with frequent non-compliance.
In order to ensure your cargo is in compliance before full enforcement is in effect, please be aware that we will be applying the following disciplines around our documentation requirements effective immediately:
- APL will require that your Shipping Instructions include both Spanish and an English description of the commodity.
- APL will no longer release unrated B/Ls for Guatemala destined cargo.
Please be sure to address this with your customers in Guatemala as the burden of any corrections, after the cut offs, will be the responsibility of the cargo with Guatemala Customs Authorities.