SAT Highlights 40% Reduction in Customs Contraband in the Country 

The data were reported during an ordinary session of Coincon.

by Pamela Contreras

Guatemala City, by Julio Morales -AGN.- The Interinstitutional Council against Contraband and Customs Fraud -Coincon- achieved a 40% reduction in customs contraband between 2020 and 2022.

According to the Superintendency of Tax Administration -SAT- authorities, the reduction has been achieved through interinstitutional commitment and public-private cooperation.

The results also reflected a 55% increase in collecting foreign trade taxes at customs.

According to the impact analysis conducted by CABI, the lack of revenue from illicit trade was:

  • USD 185 million in 2020
  • USD 138 million in 2021
  • USD 89 million in 2022

The Commission for the Defense of Formal Trade -Codecof- explained the impact of customs contraband on the country’s different economic sectors.

In this regard, a land donation will be used to establish a new permanent Interinstitutional Control Post -PCI- in Pajapita, San Marcos.

The objective is to have control of goods, persons, and means of transport that transit through the national territory, which have avoided customs controls.

The Strategies

The SAT superintendent emphasized that inter-institutional commitment and cooperation have been fundamental in achieving significant results in contraband reduction. 

Among the actions promoted are:

  • Creation of an information system on customs fraud and contraband (seizure application)
  • Electronic tag tracking center
  • Radiofrequency identification system
  • Private sector cooperation in working groups
  • Execution of the National Policy to Prevent and Fight Customs Fraud and Contraband 2018-2028
  • Interinstitutional operations at customs offices and strategic routes
  • Searches coordinated by the Public Ministry within Coincon’s framework
  • Binational operations in the High-Level Security Group
  • Equipment and technology providers in the fight against contraband.
  • Establishment of sections against customs violations.
  • Installation of interinstitutional control points.


SAT has estimated the internal use of the level of distortion between the foreign trade statistics of the main trading partners to obtain positive results in the fight against contraband.

Also, estimating  the level and trajectory of customs fraud and contraband is necessary.

It has managed  support and technical cooperation with international organizations to consolidate work models.

Finally, the authorities confirmed that the effects of the fight against this scourge have led to an increase in the collection of foreign trade taxes at customs.

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