Glitches with a new computer system used by El Salvador Customs to process trade
and confusion surrounding new vehicle and cargo X-ray machines deployed at land border checkpoints is causing delays in imports and exports, according to the Spanish-language paper La Prensa
The instability in the system since the start of the week, as well as the surprise faced by truckers at having to pay a new $18 processing fee, has led to wait times of up to 35 hours in some cases, the paper reported. The new system is designed to automate the review of customs declarations and make risk determinations about potential smuggling or security violations, flagging shipments that should be checked with imaging devices.
Some truck drivers complained that El Salvador Customs was only able to scan three or four trucks an hour. Problems were reported on the borders with Nicaragua and Guatemala. Some of the delays have occurred because the owners of the trucks have refused to pay the fee for inspection services, La Prensa
Customs has already had some success with the equipment. It found a young boy inside one truck heading to Guatemala and another van carrying vegetables instead of the paraffin candles listed on the manifest.