President Luis Abinader unveiled the new Customs Law, issued with the objective of streamlining, modernizing and adapting the previous law to international norms and standards, in line with the reality of national legislation.
The new law adapts the customs legislation to the international trade and customs agreements signed by the country in the last 30 years and reduces the discretionality of the director of the Directorate General of Customs.
In a brief speech during the event prepared for the purpose, President Luis Abinader declared that the Dominican Republic now has a modern customs legislation that goes hand in hand with international trade and the new technologies of transportation, logistics and distribution of goods.
This has the objective, said the President, of recovering the economy and boosting trade through the simplification and elimination of bureaucratic procedures and legislative loopholes, providing greater rationality to the national tax system and the regulatory framework for international trade. He also stated that this new law has a positive impact on competitiveness indexes and the Zero Bureaucracy program, thus increasing legal certainty to promote local and foreign investment.
“Having completed one year of our government, we put an end to a long wait of almost four decades of attempts to modify the old Customs Law, a regulation totally outdated from the reality of local and international trade, which dates back to 1953,” he added.
Abinader thanked all those who were involved and contributed over the years to make the Customs Law a reality today. He emphasized that this exercise is another example of his administration’s commitment to institutionalism, the modernization of the Dominican State and the economic development of the nation.
DR becomes a logistics hub in the region
For his part, the head of the Directorate General of Customs, Eduardo Sanz Lovatón, said that this is one of the great achievements of his term as head of the entity and that this new law represents a step forward in making the Dominican Republic the logistics hub of the region.
“The enactment of this new law is another goal achieved, driven by the current administration, which from day one has generated the confidence needed to work together for the advancement and development of our country. We thank the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the President, Luis Abinader, for making this new law a reality”, highlighted Sanz Lovatón.
Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Customs Crimes and Offenses
The legal consultant of the Executive Branch, Antoliano Peralta, while reading some particularities of the new Customs Law, pointed out that it punishes the crime of laundering in the trade of goods and creates the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for the investigation of customs crimes and offenses. It is also proposed that the DGA participate more in the processes of international economic integration, following the current rules of foreign trade.
He explained that it also adds new definitions related to multilateral environmental agreements, green customs, types of documentary and physical gauging, cold chain, international transportation, economic customs regimes, international trade vocabulary in accordance with the “incoterms” or ICC rules for the use of international trade terms. It also incorporates the use of electronic or digital signature and adds the payment through banking entities.
Likewise, it incorporates the transmission of documentation prior to the arrival of the means of transport and accepts the Sea Waybill as a physical or electronic shipping document.
Regarding the powers, measures on money laundering via trade of goods are added, following the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT) together with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), among others.
It is recalled that the bill was submitted by the official legislator Alexis Victoria Yeb, through the Senate of the Republic, and was subsequently converted into law by the Chamber of Deputies.
The new regulation is composed of 420 articles aimed at regulating the Dominican customs regime, establishing the different guidelines on which the institution will be based. The legal text recently presented aims to modernize and make the DGA more secure, as well as to have a more exclusive regulation that increases the control of merchandise.
The event was attended by Vice President Raquel Peña; the presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Estrella and Alfredo Pacheco; the ministers Lisandro Macarrulla, of the Presidency; José Ignacio Paliza, administrative of the Presidency; Treasury, Jochy Vicente, and the president of the National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD), Vice Admiral José Cabrera Ulloa.
Also in attendance were the ministers Lieutenant General Carlos Luciano Díaz Morfa, of Defense; Víctor -Ito- Bisonó, of Industry and Commerce, and Orlando Jorge Mera, of the Environment, as well as other Dominican government officials.