Various business groups have expressed concern about the strike, which is causing serious economic losses for businesses.
Regarding this, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in El Salvador states that "We have learned from our partners that the suspension of customs duties has already begun to generate losses of perishable products, delays in delivery times and possible shortages of basic goods, especially vegetables from other countries in the region and those that supply El Salvador. "
As Elsalvador.com reports, the strike is organized "by the Union of Workers of the Ministry of Finance (Sitramha) for the purpose of enforcing the arbitral award, agreed in December last year. Odila Marroquin, Sitramha’s, Secretary General, said that one of the main complaints is that the Finance Minister Carlos Caceres has not given the $1.000 bonus (per employee), as stipulated in clause 58 of the Award nor the payments for overtime so far for the first half of the year. "
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Officials at the Ministry of Finance and Customs have kept customs offices at a standstill for the third day running.
Business groups are concerned about the extent of the emergency measure which has generated large economic losses for businesses.
Laprensagrafica.com reports, "At the customs border posts of El Poy, El Amatillo, The Chinamas and The Hachadura, staff of the National Civil Police (PNC) was deployed during the morning to streamline administrative processes and prevent transit through them being further affected.
Only cargo destined for El Salvador should be charged with the $18 fee for the inspection with scanner, request freight carriers.
According to the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA), this fee violates conventions and trade agreements in the region. In addition, they believe that the inspections and the time it takes to submit all shipments to the procedures are excessive.
Carriers claim that the new rules on the $18 fee for revision using scanners is not clear when it comes to charging the fee on consolidated cargo.
This new conflict has arisen from the fact that the rules of the law do not specify whether in the case of consolidated cargo the $18 must be paid per package or if the fee should be divided among all packages, as they claim has been done up until now.
The main freight union of Central America has issued an ultimatum to the government of El Salvador to modify the collection of the new tax levied at customs offices.
Representatives of these unions which integrate the Central American Council of Transport have given a deadline of May 31 to amend this charge, otherwise on that date, if Congress has not amended the law which created the new tax, the truckers will go on strike for an undefined period causing heavy losses to Central American companies.