The director general of Customs, Eduardo Sanz Lovatón, said Wednesday that the logistics sector is the next great leap in the Dominican economy and could perhaps lead the country to become not only a developing economy, but a first world economy.
“We have identified in you, in this sector (logistics), the next great leap of the Dominican economy,” said the official.
Sanz Lovatón indicated that this sector could lead the Dominican Republic to become “an example” in Latin America, “an oasis” in the region.
The head of Customs offered his statements in the framework of the VI Conference of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), where he added that already today the Dominican Republic is a regional logistics hub.
“What we have is to say it more, we have a law that competes with any legislation in the world, we have eight international airports, we have equipped docks and ports, we are receiving the most accelerated foreign investment in the last 25 years in our country. What we have to do is to keep saying it, keep promoting it and, of course, these AEO certifications allow us to tell the world that the Dominican Republic is ready to receive these investments”, argued Sanz Lovatón.
Alexander Schad, first vice-president of the country’s Shipping Association, said that the Dominican Republic has a competence that other countries in the region do not have, complemented by what is logistics. “Without logistics there are no cargoes and without cargoes there are no logistics,” said the also president of Frederic Schad.
He added that now some movements are taking place with goods that used to be produced in China and now the Americans want them to be produced in this region.
“That is benefiting us with many, many production lines that are coming to free zones in our country,” Schad said.
He considered that in order for the sector to make that economic leap that the Customs director pointed out, there must be better communication of the potential that the Dominican Republic has.
“We say that we do not want to be the best kept secret, we want everyone to know,” he said.
Then, he added: “There is a communication plan driven by the National Trade Facilitation Committee, which has significant amounts to get that message across (…); really, we lack a lot, promotion”.
Sanz Lovatón, in delivering the opening remarks of the event, assured that certifications continue to grow, currently at 97%.
“I urge you to take advantage of the opportunities that this certification offers you, and develop your full potential. The Dominican Republic is taking the right steps to streamline and secure foreign trade and, thus, continue on the path to becoming a world-class logistics hub,” he said.
Lovatón explained that, for the first time, the application for AEO certification and recertification has been automated, in accordance with the government’s Zero Bureaucracy program.
He said that Dominican Republic Customs has aligned AEO certification requirements with the U.S. Customs CTPAT program, compiling its best practices and, at the same time, including elements of ISO standards, including Anti-bribery, Quality and Supply Chain Security.
At the event, Customs deputy director general Lucía Zorrilla stressed that the AEO program acquired the status of law in August 2021, with the enactment of the new General Customs Law number 168-21, which gives more legal force to accreditation.
“The AEO program has a total of 596 companies, of these, 384 are International AEO and 212 Simplified AEO and more than 150 companies recertified,” said Zorrilla.
In this activity, certificates were given to different companies, new, revalidated and simplified, which meet the minimum security requirements and are subjected to a rigorous process of purification and validation to receive their certifications, so they represent confidence and security for Customs.