Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced that a new customs authority, which will facilitate the flow of goods and fight smuggling, will go into force November 1, Colombian media reported.
The Authorized Economic Operator for Colombia will be in charge of DIAN, Colombia’s tax and customs agency, and will facilitate the import and export of merchandise and combat smuggling, President Santos announced Thursday in the coastal city of Cartagena.
President Santos said that with this new authority it is hoped that the dispatch time of merchandise will be cut from 19 hours to five hours and that levels of smuggling will be reduced from 14% to 6%, reported RCN.
The Authorized Economic Operator was adopted after a commitment made by Colombia three years ago as a member of the World Customs Organization.
“The fight against contraband is a fight in favor of employment because contraband not only finances illegality and violence but also destroys national employment.” said Santos according to a presidential press release.
Santos said the new authority represents a commitment to security in exports and the transport of merchandise. “What are we looking for? To fight contraband, terrorism, narco-trafficking, and widen and strengthen even more the relationships between customs authorities, in a way that merchandise travels with major setbacks with benefit to exporters importers and ultimately consumers.”