“A lot of expectations were generated in the market regarding changes in imports”: Cristian Galarza, ASAP
2 minutos de lectura
(City of Buenos Aires, SoloAzar Exclusive).- Cristian Galarza, director of ASAP Américas, an Argentine logistics company for foreign trade, was interviewed by SoloAzar about the recent changes in import and export regulations in Argentina. He also discussed the company's activities and plans and its upcoming presentation at ICE London.
What changes has the new Argentine government introduced to the import and export rules for gaming equipment?
Immediately after taking office, the new government implemented measures that made imports and, to some extent, payments more flexible. Firstly, the SIRAs (import authorizations) that in the recent past were managed on a discretionary basis by the Ministry of Commerce were annulled. In particular, the gaming sector was one of the most punished, due to the low probability of approval of these licenses. The disappearance of the SIRA's gave rise to the creation of the SEDI (Statistical Import System) which, far from being continuous, returns predictability to the import market, with automatic approvals for the vast majority of merchandise. Basically, the system approves presentations within 24 hours, unless the merchandise requires intervention from third parties. In the case of this industry, most requests are authorized immediately.
Regarding payments abroad, current regulations divide operations into two large categories:
- Payments corresponding to official customs clearances BEFORE 12/13/23
- Payments corresponding to operations after that date.
Regarding gaming, most new imports can be paid for 180 days from the date of import clearance. For debts prior to 12/13/23 there are alternatives that must be evaluated in each case, due to their complexity. Such is the case of Cash with Settlement, the new bonds launched by this government (BOPREAL), debt assignments, guarantee systems, etc.
What is your opinion about the new measures? How do they affect your activity?
One of the big problems we have lived with in recent years was the lack of predictability. We have seen that the rules were constantly changed, and many times their application was retroactive. And what is worse: many times what was written was just a statement that was not applied in reality. Therefore, any measure that gives transparency to the market and allows business planning is positive.
Beyond how the measures affect my activity, it is important to highlight that the new measures positively affect the gaming sector in general. Until December, the sector faced two serious problems. The first was the difficulty in obtaining import licenses. The second, make payments abroad. With the advent of the new rules, the first problem disappeared, and the second is a problem only for “old” debt. It is true that the new payment system has only been in effect for a few days, but what we see at the moment is that the established deadlines are respected (as they should be).
Did customers ask you any questions about the new measures?
Absolutely. The new rules began to be published immediately after the change of government, and consultations did not take long to arrive. The market was (and is) eager to learn about the new measures and discover how they affect their businesses. In that sense, at ASAP we provide support to clients by permanently advising them to get the most out of the changes that have been generated.
Have you seen any change in activity in recent months?
In general, companies have requested (and obtained) new import permits (SEDI's). And they have obtained them (as I said above, these permissions are now auto-resolving). But of course these orders are not yet reflected in specific shipments because, as you can imagine, there are commercial, productive and logistics processes that take time.
What plans does ASAP have for 2024 and what objectives has it set out to achieve?
For all that has been explained, what has just begun is a year of challenges in Argentina. After years of restrictions that have generated shortages, the market is preparing to return to normal. And at ASAP we are prepared to provide the support that our clients require, with permanent advice and excellent service that allows companies to focus on their businesses without worrying about shipping logistics.
But business in Latin America is not limited to Argentina, and that is why ASAP continues to have a regional presence through its own offices in Bogotá (Colombia), Lima (Peru) and Miami (USA), and specialized agents throughout the region.
How do you prepare for ICE London?
A lot of expectations were generated in the market regarding the changes in imports, and since the conditions are favorable to the sector, I expect a show with a lot of interest on the subject, and with new inquiries from new players to bring their products to Argentina.
If anyone wants to coordinate a meeting with us, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Región: South America
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