View of containers in the port of Cartagena (Colombia), in a file photograph. EFE/Ricardo Maldonado Rozo
The Government of Colombia adopted this Saturday an extraordinary and temporary procedure with the purpose of dealing with the contingency that occurs in the main ports of the country, in which thousands of tons of basic products are stranded, due to the cyber attack against the page of the National Institute for Food and Drug Surveillance (Invima).
Through Circular 1000-0001-22, issued by the Ministry of Health, urgent measures are contemplated to speed up the process of nationalization of food, raw materials and other perishable products aimed at companies with a history of low risk, certified as trustworthy and safe for import operations.
“We accompany and support Invima in the measures it is adopting to streamline foreign trade operations and avoid trauma; and through the Facilitators of the Ministry of Commerce, we also support businessmen in the different ports”, indicated the Minister of Commerce, María Ximena Lombana.
In turn, the head of this portfolio explained that commonly for an importer to have the cargo checked and the sanitary inspection certificate issued, he must first cancel through the PSE button, however, this contingency forced enable a single account to collect the amount for security, likewise, he pointed out that this situation is currently being evaluated to enable new financial collection entities, and thus avoid delays in foreign trade operations.
Similarly, the government clarified that companies that meet the established conditions and wish to avail themselves of this treatment must fill out the ‘Contingency Form for Authorization to Transfer Food, Raw Materials, Other Perishable Foods, from the entry site to another site that complies with the sanitary conditions for its storage’, with the purpose of normalizing operations.
“Through the format they commit not to market and distribute the products until they obtain the favorable concept in the physical and documentary inspection, which guarantees that the products meet the required sanitary conditions and that they are fit for consumption,” said the Ministry of Commerce. .
Some unions and businessmen in the country expressed their concern about this contingency, pointing out that products such as food, medicines and cosmetics could become more expensive due to the problems of their nationalization, which would add to the inflation registered by the Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE). ) which placed it at 6.94%.
For its part, Invima reported that it is carrying out a series of measures to contain this contingency and called on businessmen and associations to seek solutions that will minimize the damage caused by this attack, which adds to the country’s economic situation.
“We view this with great concern. What they tell us is that the page was hijacked by a hacker, so it is not working and that has caused many problems. People don’t have much information and don’t know what to do,” said the president of Analdex, a foreign trade association in Colombia, Javier Díaz.
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