An article in Siglo21.com.gt quotes the president of Distribuidora Alcazarén, Mariano Vadillo Portabella, who said: "the problem is so severe, that there are smugglers do not even need to use front companies to break the law, but go from person to person making individual visits to offer their products at very low costs, although with risks to consumer health, as the products do not meet the relevant standards and may have been tampered with".
The 7 largest companies in the sector have joined forces to combat smuggling, which they claim is on a massive scale, undermining the competitiveness of registered companies, "It's hard to compete against those who do not pay a penny in tax, who evade not only import tariffs but also the ISR (Income Tax) and VAT (Value Added Tax), it is unfair competition. "
"The government is responsible for smuggling because taxes are too high. When taxes are lowered smuggling will be eradicated, it is clear that the higher the tax is, the more appetite there is for this illegal business", said Vadilla.
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Businesses in Guatemala have suggested creating an anti-smuggling unit made up of the Public Ministry and the National Civil Police Force.
The members of the Chamber of Industry of Guatemala (CIG) proposed to the Vice President Roxana Baldetti that a series of measures be taken to combat smuggling, which is affecting trade.
Anti smuggling operations are working, resulting in tax collections by Customs grow by 3%.
From a publication in Diario de Centro América:
Working together to reduce smuggling
The first quarterly report of the National Commission Against Contraband (CONACON) contains encouraging news: From June to September smuggling has been reduced and customs revenue increased 3%.
Central American Business Chambers call for stopping unfair trade in both directions between the two countries.
"We must, as soon as possible, stop the illegal movement of goods from Guatemala to the southern border of Chiapas, in order to be able to aspire to making progress on all our objectives in this new era of trade between Mexico and Central America," said Jose Mejia, president of the Central American Binational Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Investment.
The president of Honduras announced, "We have discovered a smuggling ring, but do not worry, because we will put it in its place."
In the latest chapter of the story in which 14,300 tons of rice were going to come into Honduras without having paid taxes, the president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, said the importer of the shipment will pay a $2.5 million tax bill, corresponding to 45%, reports LaPrensa.hn.