The island businessmen request that customs controls be put into operation at the two airports of Tenerife and that they be reinforced in the main ports of the Tenerife province. It is the requirement of the Canary Islands Supermarkets Association (Asuican) and the Federation of Urban Areas of the Canary Islands (Fauca) to end «The economic burden» that means that Tenerife North and South have inoperative the Border Inspection Posts (PIF), With which the import and export merchandise must necessarily pass through the Gran Canaria airport of Gando, the only one where the Archipelago operates, and they close on weekends and holidays in the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
“It does not make sense that at this point there is only one airport, Gando, with customs controls in an archipelago of seven islands,” says Alonso Fernández, Asuican secretary general. According to the representative of the supermarket sector, the consequence in air transport is that “you have to face a double payment” to be able to receive or send the merchandise, which increases costs at a very delicate time for the commercial sector and the feeding, “the most affected” by this deficiency, according to Alonso Fernández. “The goods should arrive or be sent directly, especially in Tenerife, for which these positions should work or be reinforced,” explained the Asuican representative.
“It makes no sense that there is only one airport in the Canary Islands with merchandise control”
The inoperativeness of border controls of merchandise, both phytosanitary and fiscal, at airports Tenerife South and North causes “the loss and increase in the price of products, both perishable and durable, as well as contracts “, in addition to” conditioning the possibility and ability to diversify the economy, “denounced on Wednesday the regional deputy of the Canary Coalition Rosa Dávila. Although 90% of the merchandise that the Island receives arrives through the ports, the 10% that enters by air has to go through Gran Canaria. This occurs despite the fact that in Tenerife South and North there are facilities adapted as a Border Inspection Post. In the case of the Reina Sofía, the facilities “were enabled years ago but never became operational.” As for Tenerife North-City of La Laguna, the service was stopped when the personnel who attended it – assigned to the Port of Santa Cruz – stopped doing so when their claims were not attended, Dávila denounced.
One of the best in Spain
Alonso Fernández recalls that even the control facilities in Tenerife Sur are “among the best in Spain, but they don’t work », according to the secretary general of Asuican because the state government assures that there is not enough demand, a justification that it does not share. Abbas Moujir, secretary general of the Federation of Urban Areas of the Canary Islands, clarifies that it is “one more problem that adds to the crisis due to the pandemic, the increasingly high costs of electricity or transport problems as a result of Brexit in United Kingdom”. Moujir complains in particular about the damages caused by the ineffectiveness of these customs controls in the commercial sector on dates like the current ones, before Christmas, when the activity multiplies. “The fact of depending on an airport on another island slows down the replacement of goods, which take longer to arrive and lead entrepreneurs to losses at a very inappropriate time.”
Fernández and Moujir specify that the problem is “different” in the main ports of the province. For instance, In the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife the Inspection Post does work, but it is closed on weekends and holidays due to lack of personnel, as they expose. “The existing staff is doing what they can, and they really put in a lot of effort, but it’s not enough to operate on weekends and holidays. On those days, the merchandise is stranded, which is a serious detriment to economic activity. The representative of the association of supermarkets ensures that the powers to implement or strengthen these controls fall mainly on the ministries of Health and Agriculture and Livestock, as well as the Government of the Canary Islands.
«The posts have to operate on the island every day of the year; it’s an old claim »
«It is an old claim of the food sector in Tenerife, the one that uses airports the most for certain goods, “said Abbas Moujir, who agrees with Alonso Fernández in require that these customs controls be activated in Tenerife ports and airports «every day of the year and all the hours that these facilities remain operational for the proper functioning of the commercial activity in a very demanding context ”. “Only one day of delay has economic repercussions on companies,” stressed the Secretary General of Fauca.
The demand for the start-up of the Border Inspection Post at Tenerife South and North airports involves the central Government – through the Tax Agency, Animal Health, Plant Health, Foreign Health and the Official Inspection, Surveillance and Customs Regulation Service (Soivre) – and the Canarian Executive, confirms Rosa Dávila. Sources of the state mercantile society Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (AENA) They assure that their competence is limited to equipping the facilities, confirming that they are “in perfect condition” in Tenerife South, although not in use.