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Carchi merchants ask to reactivate the cross-border commercial basket

The merchants are waiting for President Guillermo Lasso to consider this initiative that would help their economic rehabilitation.

Faced with the imminent opening of the borders between Ecuador and Colombia announced for this Wednesday, December 1, one of the demands to face the economic impact that it will mean for Tulcán and Carchi is the rehabilitation of the cross-border commercial basket.

This binational trade tool was suspended after the pandemic and the unilateral closure of the Rumichaca international bridge, decreed by Colombian President Iván Duque, on March 17, 2020.

This initiative came into force for the second time on June 1, 2019, applying seven and a half months. It was approved for two years, this time it increased the number of beneficiaries and the number of products.

Roger Estrada, leader of the Popular Shopping Center, which groups more than 800 businesses, points out that this border commercial tool should be rehabilitated since there are still thirteen months for its real fulfillment.

This artisan also states that several inputs that they use, which do not exist in Ecuador and are manufactured by Colombia, should be included, which would lower production costs.

On the other hand, Genaro Pozo, from Economic Reactivation 04, suggests that one of the platforms of the Rumichaca bridge should be enabled, where more than 4,000 small businesses must present the ID (04) and vaccination card with the complete doses to enter the Colombian articles .

The announcement to reopen the border with Colombia creates expectation in carriers, but concern in Tulcán businesses

This government decision benefits more than six thousand Carchi merchants, who are registered. The basket has an amount of 20 million dollars and will be applied for 24 months, according to the document signed in the government of former President Lenín Moreno.

The commercial basket includes 58 duty-free products that include items such as televisions, printers, blenders, computers, cell phones, toiletries, microwaves, among others.

Import quotas are assigned based on the level of annual sales registered in the SRI, within the fiscal period prior to the issuance of Resolution No. 013-2019.

Álex Chamorro, president of the Tulcán Chamber of Commerce, maintains that it would be a viable option, but recalls that the prices of various electrical appliances with the elimination of tariffs are similar to those of Colombians.

The advantages of buying in Ecuador is that the goods are nationalized and legalized, there is no risk that they will be apprehended by customs, and they have spare parts and technical service throughout the territory.

Amounts set for the commercial basket

Merchant turnover for 2019 Quota of the commercial basket
Less than $ 20,000 Up to $ 27,000
Greater than $ 20,000 and less than $ 160,000 Up to $ 11,000
Greater than $ 160,000 Up to $ 8,000

Merchants, after making their purchases in Colombia, must present the invoice, identity card and the Single Taxpayer Registry (RUC) at the Customs offices, located on the Rumichaca international bridge.

The National Customs Service will carry out the capacity of the merchandise and proceed to issue the customs clearance, then the beneficiaries must cancel the clearance at a bank window located in that sector and remove the merchandise.

As part of the socialization of the application of the basket, the Tulcán Customs District has carried out training sessions to inform merchants of the benefits it entails.

The creation of the commercial basket was born in the regime of former President Rafael Correa and was added to other economic policies promoted to reactivate the economy of Carchenses.

Traders are waiting for President Guillermo Lasso to take into consideration this initiative that would help, according to them, the post-COVID-19 economic rehabilitation that has hit all economic and productive sectors hard.

Following the decision of the leaders of both countries to reopen the border areas, the National Committee for Emergency Operations drew up the biosecurity plan to control the passage of people to and from Ecuador.

Yaco Martínez, governor of Carchi, who participated in the table in Quito with the presence of the ministries of Health, Transportation, Government, Chancellery, Production, Police, Army, among other institutions, pointed out that the document will be disseminated to the population immediately .

The representative of the Executive in the border province announced that the reopening will be orderly and progressive to avoid crowds in the international viaduct, in addition, a mandatory requirement will be the presentation of the vaccination card. (I)

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