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Costa Rica Closes Border to Nicarguan Trucks

The measure was applied at the Peñas Blancas border on Tuesday

Costa Rica has prohibited Nicaraguan cargo trucks from entering its territory, as a reciprocal measure for the US$50 charge that is being applied to any carrier from the Central American region that enters Nicaragua, denounced members of the trucking sector.

The closing of borders for Nicaraguan carriers that intend to cross the border to Costa Rica became effective as of midday Tuesday, March 19.

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The measure was confirmed by Marvin Altamirano, president of the Asociación de Transportistas de Nicaragua (Association of Carriers of Nicaragua), who believes that Nicaragua should apply reciprocity measures and close the border to the Costa Rican trucks, in case it does not reopen the borders asap.

“Everyone must work on equal terms, nobody can be above the other (…), the cost for us is higher than theirs”, mentioned Altamirano, who emphasized that the cost for Nicaragua for the passage of cargo transport is the highest in the entire region.

On February 28, Nicaragua, through the General Directorate of Customs Services, agreed that as of March 18, the means of transportation of cargo that enter Nicaragua “transporting merchandise,” in “international transit or empty,” will be recorded in the customs administrations for vehicles located at the borders, an initiative of the Nicaraguan Government that obliges Central American carriers to pay US$50 for the “Declaración Única de Tránsito (DUT)” – Single Transit Declaration.

“Actually we are going through a situation in which the transport sector has years of asking the Government to apply reciprocity measures to Costa Ricans because all the charges there are higher,” Altamirano demanded.

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Speaking of losses at this time, according to Altamirano, it could be “minimal” in comparison to the millions (of dollars) that Nicaraguan carriers have paid for years.

According to Altamirano, Nicaraguans must pay approximately US$236 to travel through Costa Rican territory.

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“If we pay a little more than US$200, then why Costa Rica is only going to pay US$6 for the fumigation of vehicles and containers and will force us to take our transportation contracts because we drivers do not have visas, if Costa Rica also signed the Central American integration documents,” said Altamirano.

The measure imposed by Costa Rica, according to Altamirano, causes a deep concern, since it would cause total chaos at the Peñas Blancas border, where more than 800 transport trucks cross every day.

“Neither one should be establishing charges and if they set them they should be the same (…) we had told the Government that the Ticos (Costa Ricans) do not like to pay and that they complain a lot. Faced with this situation, we have asked the Government to close the southern border and the northern border, because they are all over Central America,” Altamirano warned.

The president of the Association of Carriers of Nicaragua said that he agrees that Nicaragua should eliminate the charge, but he expects the same response from the Costa Rican authorities.

Source El Nuevo Diario

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