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The United States is the chief trading partner to the Honduras republic. Their bilateral trade relations have been mutually beneficial to both countries with the US exporting $5 billion worth of goods to Honduras and the Honduras exporting $4.6 billion to the United States.
Both countries also enjoy military collaborations with the US having a military joint task force headquartered at the Santo Cano Air Base. The United States heavily invests in manufacturing, infrastructure construction, textiles, and general commerce to the tune of over $1 billion.
Honduras is accommodating with allowing small quantities of certain items to come through their ports for free. The number is very precise meaning anything above that is either prohibited or will be subject to duty. They include 100 cigars, 200 cigarettes, two bottles of alcoholic beverages, 450 grams of tobacco and a reasonable amount of perfume for personal use.
When it comes to prohibited goods they include plants and their products, illegal drugs, any animals or pets, explosives, fire arms, knives, counterfeit money, counterfeit goods, milk, dairy products and pornographic materials. The government of Honduras mainly restricts two categories of goods from entering the country unless one has a special license: weapons of any kind and pets without the relevant health certificate. The animals will also need an import permit produced by the person receiving it. This permit is from the General Direction for Cattle Breeding and Veterinary Services.
The Honduras has signed a trade agreement with the United States to facilitate easy trade between the two countries. This agreement is known as CAFTA-DR and it also include other Central American countries like the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
US exporters enjoy exemption from customs tariffs and taxes as their goods enter Honduras because of this trade agreement. The exemption makes the goods from the US price competitive in the Honduras saving companies exporting into the country a considerable amount of money.
For the goods to qualify for the tariff exemptions they must have predominantly content or materials from the United States used in its assembly, manufacture or production. They can have some components from other countries but as long as they meet the criteria set for goods to be exempted according to the Rules of Origin found in the agreement.
Please note that one can’t use the NAFTA agreement in place of the CAFTA agreement as the rules of origin are very different under the two agreements.
These are countries where the shipment may pass through from the United States to Honduras. They shouldn’t matter because the goods are protected under international trade law when passing through the intermediate. However, if the shipment is manipulated or processed in the intermediate country it will no longer qualify for the exemption under the CAFTA-DR agreement.
According to the agreement a good(s) that undergoes any production outside the territories of the trade agreement signatories, (in this case the US and Honduras territories) can no longer qualify for preferential treatment. The only handling allowed in the intermediate country is unloading, reloading and transportation to the territory of either signatory.
When exporting to Honduras the customs officials will require the following documents to accompany the shipment:
There are no special requirements needed when it comes to labeling the products to show the country of origin when it comes to general merchandise. However, some foods and pharmaceuticals need labeling requirements to be met before being sold.
The temporary entry law can allow the US exporter to bring in raw materials, capital equipment and parts into Honduras without payment of any customs or consular fees if the final product of the manufacturing process using these components is exported outside Central America.
"Customs duties play an important role in your international shipment. How they're determined and calculated varies from country to country"
Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers