ProChile highlights measures to ensure logistics continuity during COVID-19 crisis

Published on
April 14, 2020

Chile has taken steps to ensure supply chain connectivity in the midst of the crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the country’s investment promotion agency ProChile.

First, the national customs service has adopted a series of foreign trade facilitation measures to secure the supply chain and, in turn, to protect the health of customs officers and customs agencies workers who must interact with the different customs processes in person.

The recently enacted Resolution No. 1179, under the National Customs Directorate, outlines a series of measures to simplify and secure operations of all sea, air and land ports throughout Chile, using electronic means of communication and other tools. For example, email requests may be made for the examinations of goods without the presence of customs employees or brokers.

The resolution has also authorized the provision of shipment mandates through email, allowing customs brokers to perform their duties remotely. It also allows handling basic documents for the processing of imports and exports via email, and allows requests for customs document modifications and the legalization of export declarations to also be performed through email.

Likewise, goods in customs warehouses may be released by employees of a customs agency other than the one responsible for its clearance, as long as the necessary control measures are performed.

The customs administration has been instructed to grant the greatest amount of facilities possible so foreign trade procedures can be carried out in an agile and expeditious manner through electronic means. It has also established coordination with other operators – such as port terminals, warehouse managers and issuers of transport documents – for the completion of electronic procedures.

In addition, Chile, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Myanmar, New Zealand, and Singapore have committed to guaranteeing connectivity, maintaining open and connected supply chains throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

“We recognize that it is in our mutual interest to ensure that trade lines remain open, including via air and sea freight, to facilitate the flow of goods including essential supplies,” the participating countries said in a joint ministerial statement, committing to “identify and address trade disruptions with ramifications on the flow of necessities.”

Finally, ProChile highlighted the launch of ChileB2B, an online marketplace that allows importers to easily and directly connect to products and services offered by Chilean suppliers. The website ChileB2B provides direct access to products – including canned seafood, gourmet snacks, dried fruits and wine – from nearly 1,000 Chilean companies.

“ChileB2B is a crucial platform amidst the pandemic as it facilitates conversation between importers and exporters through a translated forum, allowing for the continued development of business in the export market as Chilean borders remain open for commerce,” according to ProChile.

When the coronavirus crisis first hit Chile, salmon producers faced problems in shipping product as international borders and all airlines began closing, including Latin America’s largest carrier, LATAM, which was forced to drastically reduce operations due to plunging passenger numbers. In response many airlines decided to focus on cargo transport, and have adapted their fleets accordingly.  

Photo courtesy of ProChile

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