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Unlocking Opportunities: Understanding Changes in Foreign Trade Regulations

Introduction

In recent legislative developments, the landscape of foreign trade regulations has undergone significant shifts. This article delves into the amendments introduced in Title V – FOREIGN TRADE, with a primary focus on the repeal of Law No. 25,626. Additionally, we explore key modifications within Chapter I of the Customs Code (Law No. 22,415), analyzing the implications of the altered Article 37 and its impact on individuals and entities engaged in the import and export processes.

Repealing Law No. 25,626

Title V – FOREIGN TRADE has witnessed a pivotal change with the repeal of Law No. 25,626. This marks a strategic move to streamline and enhance the efficiency of foreign trade operations.

Empowering Individuals and Entities: Amendment to Article 37

Article 37 – Streamlining Customs Processes

The amended Article 37 of Law No. 22,415 (Customs Code) brings a paradigm shift in the management of merchandise clearance and destination. It stipulates that individuals or legal entities, excluding customs transport agents, retain the right to handle customs processes, barring specific functions reserved for such agents. Notably, this includes responsibilities inherent to ship captains, aircraft commanders, or any other transportation mode operators.

Enhancing Accountability: Amendment to Article 41

Article 41 – Qualifications for Customs Brokers

The revised Article 41 of Law No. 22,415 introduces stringent qualifications for individuals seeking to become Customs Brokers. The following disqualifications are outlined:
1. Conviction for customs-related offenses or minor smuggling infractions.
2. Involvement as an unlimitedly responsible partner, director, or administrator in a convicted society or association for offenses mentioned in point 1.
3. Conviction for an imprisonable offense, with exceptions for crimes against individuals, honor, honesty, and civil status, subject to conditional execution of the penalty.
4. Judicial processing or summons in customs jurisdiction for offenses outlined in points 1 and 3 until provisional or definitive dismissal or acquittal by a firm sentence or resolution.
5. Conviction with an accessory penalty of disqualification from public office until rehabilitation.
6. Bankruptcy or civil insolvency, with a post-rehabilitation disqualification period of two years. For culpable or fraudulent bankruptcy, the disqualification extends to five or ten years post-rehabilitation, respectively.
7. In a state of preventive or resolutive bankruptcy until receiving a clearance letter or proving complete compliance with the respective agreement.
8. Judicial inhibition from administering or disposing of assets.
9. Debtor of an enforceable customs tax obligation or obligations resulting from a firm customs patrimonial penalty, or involvement as a partner, director, or administrator in a debtor society or association.
10. Former or current customs agent, with a post-cease disqualification period of one year.
11. Discharged from a position in the national, provincial, or municipal public administration until rehabilitation.
12. Engagement in repeated misconducts or a serious offense during the exercise of duties, rendering continued service incompatible with customs security.

Streamlining Sanctions: Changes to Article 47

Article 47 – Customizing Penalties

Article 47 is modified to empower the customs service to apply varied sanctions to customs brokers based on the severity of the offense, potential harm, and the broker’s history. These sanctions include a warning, suspension, or prohibition from acting as a customs broker before the Customs Directorate.

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Strengthening Oversight: Amendment to Article 51

Article 51 – Administrative Proceedings

In the framework outlined in Article 47(b), the administrator of the customs where the offense occurred initiates an administrative summary. Following a thorough investigation, the involved party is granted ten days to present a defense and provide supporting evidence.

Simplifying Procedures: Changes to Article 92

Article 92 – Unrestricted Access to Customs Operations

A notable alteration in Article 92 allows both individuals and legal entities to engage in customs operations and request customs destinies without mandatory registration in any registry.

Conclusion

The amendments discussed in Title V – FOREIGN TRADE bring a fresh perspective to customs procedures, emphasizing efficiency, accountability, and streamlined operations. Stakeholders in foreign trade must stay abreast of these changes to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape effectively.

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