These are aimed at intensifying trade exchange with partners including the US, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, Panama and the European Union (17 in total as of March 2013).
All these trade agreements introduce more efficient procedures allowing imported goods to be handled by the customs authority and made available to the importer within a period not exceeding 48 hours.
This procedure was implemented at the end of 2010. To date, it is estimated that 20 percent of all imported goods enter Peru using this procedure. While the figure is still low, it is expected that the number will grow. However, it is anticipated that bank guarantees will be requested from importers willing to use this mechanism.
This system of granting guarantees includes a number of features which mainly emphasize the fact that they are granted in favor of the Peruvian customs administration and that they cover any tax liabilities generated in a single declaration (individual guarantee system) or multiple declarations (global guarantee system).
The most appealing aspect of using this type of guarantee is perhaps the fact that the Peruvian customs administration has made it possible for users to defer the payment of taxes generated from the import of goods until the 20th day of the month following the one when goods were unloaded in the country.
If, for example, goods covered by one of these customs guarantees is unloaded in Peru on 2 March, even though the importer is entitled to use it as an owner at this date, he will be able to pay import taxes to customs without generating any type of interest, until 20 April – almost 50 days after the goods entered the country.
From a financial standpoint, this regime is attractive to importers since it not only speeds up the importation process but also allow them to defer payment of taxes without generating fines or interest.
Therefore, this new fast-track customs clearance system is likely to grow in popularity at the same pace as the country’s competitiveness and attractiveness to foreign investors.