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WCO participates in opening ceremony for Phase 2 of the regional TRS for SIECA Members

07 julio 2021

At the invitation of Mr. Werner Ovalle Ramírez, Director General of Guatemala Customs and Vice-Chair for the World Customs Organization (WCO) Americas and Caribbean Region, the WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, participated in the opening ceremony for Phase 2 of the regional Time Release Study (TRS) for the six Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA) Member countries, namely Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, on 5 July 2021.  

The event, which was held virtually, brought together various dignitaries including the Deputy Minister of Economic Integration and Trade of the Republic of Guatemala, the Secretary-General of SIECA, a regional representative of the European Union, and Directors General and representatives of all six SIECA Member Customs administrations.

The Deputy Secretary General began by welcoming participants, stressing the importance of using the TRS on a regional basis not only to identify bottlenecks at borders, but also to boost the economic competitiveness of SIECA Members. He noted that the six SIECA Members had made significant progress with Customs coordination, particularly during Phase 1 of the TRS (preparation phase).

In addition, while acknowledging that Phase 2 was the backbone of any TRS cycle, Mr. Treviño Chapa urged SIECA Members to continue working on and remaining committed to the TRS so as to ensure that inefficiencies affecting border procedures were properly identified and that appropriate corrective measures were designed for the benefit of the entire region.

Against the backdrop of this event, it is worth underscoring that the current regional TRS for the six SIECA Members falls within the framework of the Central American Trade Facilitation Strategy, the Central American Customs Committee (Comité Aduanero Centroamericano) and SIECA, and that it enjoys robust technical support from the WCO.