Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in any country are the major employers. They need access to foreign markets in order to grow, hire more people and better the lives of many.

 

Serpost (Peru) Exporta Facil

The cost of exporting is prohibitive. When the merchandise has a value of less than $1,000US, the cost to export can represent more than 20% of the total. Small MSME initial shipments can transform, over time, into regular and larger shipments and should therefore be encouraged.

Posts in Latin America have done that. They facilitated international trade with “Exporta Fácil” (Easy Export).

Exporta Fácil (Easy Export) is a programme first pioneered by Brazil in 1999 and later implemented by other South American countries. The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has launched the UPU Easy Export Programme to replicate the already tested methodology and model, with necessary adaptations, in other regions.

Between 2002 and 2008, Exporta Fácil (Easy Export) enabled over 10,000 small businesses in Brazil, which had never previously exported, to access international markets. Brazil has exported more than $200 million dollars by this system.

In Ecuador, Exporta Fácil (Easy Export) tripled the value and volume of exports over a two-year period.  Today,”Exporta Fácil” (Easy Export) has expanded to several South American, Central America and Caribbean countries – Uruguay, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Honduras, Venezuela, Columbia, Argentina, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Exporta Fácil (Easy Export) is considered one of the model projects that brings together the participation of public and private institutions at a national level in several countries to boost exports.

Benefits of Implementing Exporta Fácil (Easy Export)

With the implementation of an Exporta Fácil (Easy Export) program, several important benefits can be defined:

  • Increasing exports and foreign exchange income;
  • Strengthening the competitiveness of MSMEs and their positive impact on employment;
  • Increasing the volume of parcels sent by the Post Office taking into account that the postal business is transferring from letters to parcel transport around the world. In this global framework it is essential to generate policies that will expand that market and will also boost sales abroad;
  • Promoting e-commerce from the country of origin to the world.

An analysis of the Exporta Fácil (Easy Export) case by the Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL), concluded a clear export trend, noting that Brazil had an average annual export growth rate of 26.3% in the period from 2000 to 2013; Colombia 63.3% in the period from 2010 to 2013; Ecuador 67.5% from 2012 to 2013; Peru 18.4% from 2009 to 2013 and Uruguay from 24.6% from 2009 to 2013. The main destinations of the merchandise are the United States, Europe, Chile and Hong Kong.

 Process to Implement Exporta Fácil (Easy Export)

Depending on the country, implementing the programme should involve several government ministries or agencies. The ministry responsible for the postal sector (infrastructure, transport or communications) should take the lead and involve other groups: the ministry responsible for the promotion of trade and small enterprises; international trade agencies; customs authorities; ministry responsible for foreign affairs; ministry of cultural heritage; national anti-narcotics directorate; ministry of revenue; etc.

The ministry responsible for the postal sector should also involve MSME institutions and associations supporting small businesses and artisans as well as trade and economic development organizations.

General Principles of Exporta Fácil (Easy Export)

Generally, the MSME can ship one or several parcels of up to 30 kilos each with an FOB value of no more than US $5,000 (varies) using a Simplified Customs Declaration (SCD). They also enjoy a preferential tariff or a discount (i.e. 15%).

The MSME must first register and obtain an MSME certificate number. The MSME fills out the SCD, produces an invoice, includes a packing list in each box and depending on the merchandise, may have to obtain the permits or accompanying documents that are required for customs clearance in the country of destination. Pricing is usually by Zones. The shipping cost will also vary based on whether it is being sent by Standard or Express means.

The Caribbean is Poised for Growth with Exporta Fácil (Easy Export)

MayaBags, Belize

The Caribbean region is the next area poised for export growth in the international marketplace.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency plays a key role in export development and is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group. It was established in 1996 by an Inter-Governmental Agreement as the trade promotion Agency of the 15 Member States of CARIFORUM.

 

 

Many types of MSMEs can benefit: designers of fashion; manufacturers of clothes; makers of jewellery and personal luxury items; producers of jams, jellies, chutneys, sauces; manufacturers of design or hand-made bags and purses; producers of spices; manufacturers of maternity and baby products; manufacturers of home decor and accessory items; makers of garden decorations; producers of beauty, aromatherapy, botanicals and spa items; producers of organic foods, dried organic fruits, rum cakes, honey or other specialty foods; producers of pottery, leather or wood carving goods; makers of hats; artists of paintings; artisans of wood carvings or ceramics as well as all their employees and their families.

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