Logistics companies of the ZLC are certified OAS
The existing restrictions for the movement of containers by road affect the development of Panama as the largest logistics center in the region.
Beginning in 2017, the National Authority of Customs (ANA) officially announced the three companies certified as Authorized Economic Operator (OAS), which come from the Colon Free Zone (ZLC) in its entirety.
Demóstenes Pérez, general manager of Logistics Services, a company that provides added value to important transnational companies since the ZLC, said that for the company this certification “represents to the outside the consolidation of its image before our customers, internally a milestone already That to achieve it we had to go through a long process that involved previous certifications like BASC and ISO 9001-2015 that is still in process. “
“For our customers represents a guarantee that our internal processes are carried out following safety standards, which are not only audited internally, but also by the ANA,” he said.
He stressed that it is very important to note that the three logistics operators that obtain this certificate are companies located in the ZLC.
The designation as OAS offers benefits for certified companies, among which we can mention: Categorization in a low-risk channel in ANA’s risk analysis system; Priority in the application of customs controls and in inspections selected by risk analysis or other risk management bodies; Priority following an incident of closure and reopening of customs or border offices, possible international mutual recognition. Regarding this last aspect, ANA has not yet subscribed any.
When Perez was consulted about the benefits that Logistics Services would receive from being an OAS, he replied: “We expect the company to benefit from faster customs control processes, the biggest beneficiary is our customer, since its customs processes in the countries that have Approved to Panama under OAS standards will have efficient and rapid import processes. “
Finally, Pérez said that the requirements demanded by Customs to be OAS “are adjusted to those we handle in the company and we have spent a lot of time and resources in strengthening the internal management systems, security and controls, this process was handled under the same Parameters of other previous audits “.
According to Article 4 of Executive Decree No. 988 of 2013, those interested in obtaining OAS certification must comply with a number of requirements, including: Initial self-assessment; Preconditions for existence, registration and licensing of stakeholders; Satisfactory history of customs, tax and judicial compliance; Protection and security measures, among others.
The ANA has reiterated that being an Authorized Economic Operator is not mandatory, it is a voluntary decision of the interested party to certify. The validity of the OAS certificate shall be valid for three (3) years at the request of the interested party.