RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Peruvian Customs and Tax Administration Agency (Sunat) and the Guatemalan Tax Administration Agency (SAT) have signed a mutual recognition agreement to promote the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, which will facilitate foreign trade between the two countries.
Thanks to the signing of this agreement, companies certified as AEO, a program promoted by Sunat, will have more opportunities and guidance to do business in Guatemala, which will improve their competitiveness, reduce the cost and duration of their activity and increase the security of the international logistics chain.
Read also: Check out our coverage on Peru
According to the Peruvian tax authority, the trade volume between Peru and Guatemala exceeds US$350 million in 2019-2021.
Imports (of cane sugar, furniture, kraft paper, and rubber) amounted to US$130 million, while exports (including plastic sheets and tails of crustaceans) exceeded US$220 million.
This is the seventh agreement signed by Peru, after those with Korea, Uruguay, the United States, the Pacific Alliance countries (Chile, Mexico, and Colombia), the Andean Community (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador), and Brazil.
Likewise, Sunat officially handed over 85 certificates to companies that now have the status of Authorized Economic Operator, which allows them to trade with more than 80 countries recognized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) by complying with the security measures of the international logistics chain.
With this certification, export clearance takes only 47 minutes, while import clearance takes only 13 hours. In both cases, clearance takes one-third of the time required for a standard procedure.
According to the Tax Administration, there are currently 237 authorized economic operators in Peru, including small, medium, and large companies certified by Sunat. In 2020 alone, the Tax Administration granted the AEO certificate to 54 companies related to foreign trade (importers, exporters, customs agents, warehouses, and fast delivery services). Of these certificates, 41 were issued during the national health emergency due to Covid-19.
So far this year, AEO-certified companies have imported and exported more than US$17 billion.
Guatemala is a market of about 18 million people. According to Sunat, Peruvian exports to this Central American market amounted to US$64 million in 2020, while imports amounted to $43 million, which meant a surplus of US$21 million for Peru. Peruvian supply consists mainly of agricultural and mining products.