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The Dominican Republic grows as a logistics hub in Latin America

he General Directorate of Customs (DGA) reported that logistics operations showed a growth of almost 140% in 2021 and 671,275 TEUS (container cargo unit) have been mobilized until October of this year and 1,093.06 tons of air cargo.

The deputy director of Customs, Johannes Kelner, on behalf of its general director, Eduardo Sanz Lovatón, participated in the THINK LOGISTICS 2022 event: “Transformation of Global Trade”, together with national and international experts where renowned figures from the logistics industry spoke on topics such as the role of international trade in accelerating economic growth and the impact of global trade on logistics as a growth industry for the country.

At the event, the deputy director of Customs spoke on the topic: Facilitation, Technology and Security in Customs, where he addressed the current reality of trade and logistics in the Dominican Republic, presenting the achievements of his management in terms of security, technology and trade facilitation.

“In the last two years we have achieved the most significant progress in the Dominican Republic in terms of logistics hub, it has been the product of great effort and we continue to identify better market opportunities for our country through this study,” said Johannes Kelner.

This event, organized by the Swiss Dominican Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (CCTDS), was attended by the Swiss ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Rita Hämmerli-Weschke, and prominent international panelists such as Steven Altman, senior researcher and director of the DHL Initiative on Globalization at the Center for the Future of Management, NYU Stern.

Advances in operations

When performing a statistical analysis of the historical data of the country, in logistics services and cargo movement, as a data contribution for the Hub Study, Kelner said that reaching these figures has not been an easy task nor has it been achieved overnight, but has gone hand in hand with measures that have been planned and executed.

It can be said that the integration of new technological tools in Customs operations has been the key to this growth.

“We acquired a new risk engine to carry out the analysis and decision making for its mitigation, incorporated into our system; we integrate technologies for non-intrusive inspection of cargo, X-rays, with which more than 146,000 ammunition and weapons of different calibers have been detected; we have the figure of the non-resident consignee for the facilitation of operations and a new document for logistics operations and tracking of cargo sent by express mail”, explained the official.

More agile procedures

A great advance highlighted by Johannes Kelner was the long-awaited Customs Law No. 168-21, and the Logistics Operations Bill (Hub Law) is currently in the National Congress, which will establish a legal framework for the development and promotion of the Dominican Republic as a zone of regional logistics activity.

He said that, internally, regulations have also been adopted, with new manuals and procedures to streamline dispatch processes.

270 procedures and services have been carried out through the Single Window for Foreign Trade (VUCE). The Dispatch in 24 Hours (D24H) program represents an unprecedented milestone, in July of this year it reached a record number of some 30,000 containers processed, by reducing a process that previously took between six and seven days to complete. Another strategy that has been successful is the expansion of the AEO program, so that more companies receive the facilities of this certification.

“In terms of trade facilitation, we have achieved the institutionalization of the National Trade Facilitation Committee through Law 168-21. This committee is the main institutional tool as a permanent dialogue table for trade facilitation and logistics issues, which represents an important achievement that will last over time,” Kelner said.

He adds that the purpose of all these initiatives is to continue facilitating safe trade and transform the General Directorate of Customs, until it becomes one of the most modern and efficient in the region.
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