Freight transportation at the Central American level faces serious complications due to the mobility restrictions implemented by each government.
Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador, for example, have chosen to give a term of 72 hours for motorcyclists to remain in each country, if they exceed that time a fine is imposed.
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Raúl Alfaro, President of the Association of International Freight Forwarders reports losses due to these reciprocal measures, since their units travel less frequently, which can lead to a shortage of products in the region.
«We are no longer traveling to Nicaragua or Costa Rica or Panama. It will end in a shortage and there are no ears for our cry, “said the businessman.
Some Salvadoran motorists maintain that it is not profitable to travel more than a thousand kilometers and return with empty trucks to avoid being fined by the customs authorities of Costa Rica, since in case of exceeding the term they must pay a $ 500 fine and about $ 5,000 to avoid having the vehicle seized.
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“We want to get out of here, the parking lots are full, the lines are long and we want to vacate the parking lots so that other colleagues can enter because trucks are not entering right now,” the transporter Edwin Rodríguez told the Voice of america.
During the last days, a long line of trucks was reported on the border of Peñas Blancas, between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, a country that does not allow motorists to enter without first checking if they are carriers of the coronavirus, the problem is that the results of the tests They can arrive in a period of up to 5 days.
Marvin Altamirano, president of the Nicaraguan Carriers Association, told the VOA that the measures generate crowds in the parking lots and a possible source of infection.
“For us, as a sector, they are an obstacle to trade, because all drivers can give negative when entering Costa Rica, but no doctor, no citizen, no government assures us, as a sector, that our drivers do not they are going to catch it on that trip they take, “he said.
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The carriers request the customs authorities to extend the term to stay in each country to 10 days, so that the food security of the most vulnerable sectors would not be put at risk during the emergency by COVID-19.