Haiti export ban starts today, but trucks enter anyway
The ban on 23 Dominican products for land export ordered by the Haitian government begins today, Thursday 1 October 2015, El Dia reports. Sea and air exports are not affected by the ban.
The announcement from the Haitian government affects 88% of Dominican trade with Haiti, which is worth an estimated US$467.86 million.
A news story in Haiti Sentinel revealed that the measure could have been introduced to please business groups that import products from the United States and Brazil but otherwise find it difficult to compete with the lower costing goods coming in over the border with the Dominican Republic.
The products affected by the ban are wheat, cooking oil, crackers and cookies, foam containers, powdered detergents, plastic home utensils, pasta, corn flour, powdered juice, butter, snacks, washing soap, cakes, soft drinks, mattresses, PVC pipes, iron rebar and heavy construction equipment.
The European Union is advising the Haitian government to rethink the measure because it will considerably increase the cost of consumer goods for the Haitian people.
The Haitian government, nevertheless, says that the land border remains open to passenger flow from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. Also, the restrictions will not affect textile imports used for the free zone manufacturing by Grupo M (Codevi) in Haiti near the border with the Dominican Republic.
The president of the Federation of Traders’ Associations in Dajabon, Freddy Morillo told El Dia that the measure would increase the flow of contraband because Haitian traders will try to move merchandise to Haiti in any way possible.
He said that while the measure will have an adverse effect on both countries, it would mostly hurt poor and middle class Haitians who will have to pay for the increase in the cost of goods imported by air or sea. He pointed out that there are 14 bi-national markets at the three main border crossing points at Dajabon, Elias Pina and Jimani providing a livelihood for 200,000 traders, 75% of whom are Haitian and 25% Dominican.
The president of the Fenatrado trucking association in Dajabon, Giovanny Escoto, told El Dia that the movement of goods prior to the ban had quintupled. He said that on Wednesday, 30 September 2014, around 200 trucks laden with cement crossed the border, when the usual number is about 40. He said that under normal conditions around 5,000 trucks cross to Haiti per week.
Source: DR1, Eldia
Oct 1, 2015
Category: DR News |