Venezualan officials have ordered all customs entry points to undergo detailed examinations of all containers of footwear and textiles. The order came from José Gregorio Vielma Mora, National Tax and Customs Superintendent of the Venezuelan IRS/SENIAT following the publication of a report by the Venezuelan Footwear Chamber (CAVECAL), headed by Estéfano di Loreto.

Vielma Mora stated that SENIAT will be revising all containers and customs codes for footwear and textiles. ‘Even though they might pass through the green channel, all containers of shoes and textiles will be re-directed to the red channel and will be subject to a thorough revision in order to protect national shoe manufacturers who are being prejudiced by technical smuggling and the copying of components’, he added.

During the meeting, the President of CAVECAL, Estéfano di Loreto, presented a technical report to Vielma Mora in which he denounced multiple violations of the labelling laws, the non compliance in customs reference pricing, the falsification of certificates of origin and irregularities in charges applied to prevent dumping.

‘We value the efforts that Superintendent Vielma Mora is making but due to the amount of smuggling involved, 56% of shoe manufactures have simply disappeared in the last three years’, di Loreto explained. ‘At the same time, formal employment in our factories, which represents around 100 thousand jobs, has fallen by 40%.’

In the meeting, the President of the footwear sub-commission, Oswaldo Piñero Azuaje, covered the problems caused by the illegal imports of thousands of pairs of shoes from Panama, China, Indonesia and Malaysia. In this context, di Loreto proposed that SENIAT establish a minimum reference price as the Colombian Customs Authorities (DIAN) had done. CAVECAL’s president explained: ‘It’s just not real that shoes are imported with a price tag of 25 US cents, since these do not exist anywhere in the world.’

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