Gov't takes action to clear Venezuelan ports, 21th November 2012
The Venezuelan Ministry of Sea and Air Transport is to take special steps until December 29 to clear the ports of La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, ranging from extended business hours in public banks to relaxation of the road transport of containers on Sundays, to the haulage of empty containers to areas outside the port. Vice-Minister and Vice-President of Bolivariana de Puertos, Pedro Castro, informed after a meeting with the members of Asonavieras; the National Customs Intendent, Elpidio Pérez Chirinos, and the Vice-President of the Foreign Exchange Management Committee (Cadivi), Víctor Flores, that beginning on Thursday, state-owned banks of Venezuela, Treasury and Bicentenario will work until 6:00 pm, Mondays through Fridays, and until 3:00 pm on Saturdays. All of these agencies will be open to receive the payments for the appropriate tariffs or taxes and accelerate in this way the nationalization process. Furthermore, an agreement was reached with the Ministry of the Interior and Justice to grant until December 29 the circulation on Sundays of empty containers, "taking into account that shipments will be extended to Saturdays and containers can return to the port of origin on Sunday," Castro elaborated. Castro conceded that presently 10 vessels are waiting their turn to enter the port of La Guaira, and additional 18 in Puerto Cabello. "Increasing imports in the advent of the Christmas season and physical decrease by 35% of the storage capacity in the port of La Guaira, measured at 4,000 containers, have brought about troubles in load management. Therefore, we are implementing these measures." Translated by Conchita Delgado