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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Customs changes in Venezuela

Sep 19, 2013
Mudanzas Internacionales Global in Venezuela has reported changes implemented by the country’s customs relating to the import of shipments consigned to Embassies/Consulates to be cleared with diplomatic franchises issued by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or MPPRE (Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores).


Until recently it was acceptable to dispatch shipments from origin once the shipper had arrived in Venezuela and the respective Embassy had provided information to the MPPRE in order to have the person accredited, and the corresponding diplomatic ID issued.  In these cases import clearance procedures were started upon arrival of vessel to the port of La Guaira and in most cases, once shipments were  cleared, customs authorised the delivery of the container to shipper´s residence awaiting the franchise which usually takes several weeks to be processed.  In the meantime customs kept the individual´s file open until the original franchise was provided by the Embassy to be handed over to customs, enabling them to close the file.

This is no longer the procedure.  Now the delivery of the containers to residence is not allowed until the original franchise is available.   Customs now says that they realise that the fact that an individual is accredited by the MPPRE does not imply that the franchise will be granted guaranteeing duty free import of the shipment.

This new system was enforced by customs without previous notification and Mudanzas Internacionales Global has several containers on hold pending clarification of their status. A number of files are still open because the franchises have not been granted. The respective Embassies have been notified and affected shippers have contacted customs offices, to no avail.

Mudanzas Internacionales Global has already instructed the Embassies with which it works to make provisions in this regard and has also advised the local diplomatic community to jointly address the issue with the MPPRE.

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