April 3, 2020

Chilean National Customs Service establishes foreign trade facilitation measures to address Covid-19

Chilean National Customs Service establishes foreign trade facilitation measures to address Covid-19

Chilean 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 of workers of Customs Agencies who must intervene in person in different customs processes.

In this way, and in the context of the declaration of State of National Exception due to Catastrophe made by Chile Government, the National Customs Directorate issued Resolution No. 1179, which  contains a series of specific actions to simplify and secure operations in all sea, air and land ports of Chile, using electronic means of communication and other tools.

Among other things, it was determined to authorize physical examinations of goods without the presence of employees or assistants of Customs Brokers. For this, the request must be made previously by email, which will be answered in the same way.

Likewise, it is authorized the following: the provision of shipment mandates through email; the possibility that Customs Brokers and their assistants can perform their duties remotely; and that the basic documents that allow imports and exports to be processed, the Request on Customs Document Modification (SMDA) and the Legalization of Export Declarations, among others, may be received through emails.

The release of goods in customs warehouses may be carried out by employees of a customs agency other than the one responsible for their clearance, who must issue a formal letter of authority and adopt the necessary control measures, is another important measure.

The validity of customs carnets that expire during the period of special measures established by the Customs resolution is also extended.

In general terms, the measures adopted by the National Customs Service establish that all the documentation that is processed electronically must be sent in PDF format and presented in originals within a period of 30 days, so it is emphasized that Customs Agents must duly safeguard these documents.

Finally, the Regional Directorates and Customs Administrations are instructed to grant the greatest possible facilities so that the foreign trade procedures can be carried out in an agile and expeditious manner through electronic means, in addition to establishing the necessary coordination with other operators, such as port terminals, warehouse keepers and issuers of transport documents, so that the procedures that allow the completion of procedures electronically are adopted.

All these measures will take effect from Friday 20 March 2020.