Local May 7, 2015 | 7:47 am

Dominican Republic Customs says couriers ‘stole’ US$455M

Santo Domingo.- Customs Agency director Fernando Fernandez on Wednesday said he’s opposed to the bill recently passed in the Senate which he affirms aims to weaken it economically and legally, and accused the courier companies of “stealing US$455.0 million.

"The new law aims to weaken Customs’ legal framework, eliminate it, mutilate the Dominican customs autonomy, suffocate it economically, financially and there put tax breaks for sectors such as couriers," the official said.

He said the initiative approved in the Senate 29 April isn’t a customs law for the country, and what has been approved in the Senate represents “an act of savagery against the Dominican Republic instead,” for which he cannot agree with it.

"We must ask the senators who approved the law" Fernandez said when asked if courier companies have more power than the government in the Senate.

Fernandez reiterated that the couriers would benefit from the proposed legislation. "Well, they are putting their exemption there, what we’ve been discussing, which they didn’t deserve, that they hadn’t had, with which they stole RD$20 billion (US$455.0 million) from the State, which they are now putting into the Customs law, which effectively means that they didn’t take that money lawfully, and now want to put it in the customs law."

Fernandez spoke in a seminar together with US ambassador James W. Brewster and other officials and business leaders, including State of Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield.

The event sought to bolster cross-border trade, which lauded the one-stop window implement for the sector.


Dominican Couriers Association (Asodec) director Jose Martinez said they agree that the newly adopted Customs Law should be revised, adding that the recently approved initiative doesn’t mention their companies.

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