San Jose.- The customs authorities of Costa Rica and Colombia on Thursday signed an agreement that aims to facilitate trade, as part of the implementation of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in force since 2016.The Government of Costa Rica explained that the agreement is a Mutual Recognition Agreement (ARM) of Authorized Economic Operators (OAS), similar to those it has already signed with Central America and Mexico.
The OAS is the safest global trade programme, which seeks to strengthen customs’ relationship with the private sector and commits countries to ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, protection and security of the information exchanged and necessary measures to strengthen the security of the logistics chain, the Costa Rican Government said.» This arrangement signed by our customs authorities today are to enhance trade facilitation measures. It will also enable our exporters to enjoy customs clearance benefits, reduce the costs and times of operations and provide greater security to our foreign trade,» explained the Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Duayner Salas.In Costa Rica, the OAS was created in 2015 and currently has more than 30 companies certified under export, import, port operators and export cargo terminals. During the period 2009-2018, the bilateral trade flow between Costa Rica and Colombia reached an annual average of $404 million and an average growth rate of 4.5%. The FTA between Costa Rica and Colombia has been in force since 2016 and includes 96% of products, with 4% exclusions, including some dairy and meat, beer, chewing gum, some plastic, paper and metalworking products. The FTA stipulates that 70% of goods enter with immediate free trade, while 26% will have rebate periods of 3, 5, 10 and 15 years.