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Web Alert: Venezuela restricts commercial trade to the Netherlands Antilles in an effort to strengthen anti-smuggling efforts

17 January 2018
In January 2018, the government of Venezuela announced its decision to ban commercial trade to the Netherlands Antilles, namely Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire.
 
It is understood that the trade boycott is a response to the lack of basic commodities that Venezuela has been facing for many years now. The restriction aims at combating smuggling of strategic products from Venezuela to the Dutch Caribbean islands. Whilst it appears that the definition of ‘strategic products’ largely includes perishable goods, such as foodstuffs and medicine, the wording used in the government notice is understood as extending the restriction to all vessels carrying products from Venezuela to the Netherlands Antilles.
 
The trade restriction has prompted several reactions from the Dutch authorities and it now appears that constructive talks are currently ongoing in order to strengthen the anti-smuggling efforts.
 
Members calling Venezuela with the intention to trade to the Netherlands Antilles should therefore be alert to these developments and are encouraged to seek further advice before calling Venezuela. The club continues to monitor developments and will provide the necessary support to our members intending to trade in this region.

Should any questions arise, members are encouraged to contact their usual club contact or the author of this web alert.