Empowering Change: Webb Fontaine and PBS Consortium Lead the Way in Costa Rican Customs Transformation

November 28, 2023, was the kick-off of the Integrated Customs Administration System by the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica marked a pivotal step towards a revolutionary era in customs management. The esteemed gathering included key figures such as Minister of Finance Nogui Acosta Jaén, Director General of Customs of Costa Rica, Mr. Warner Quesada Céspedes, and other influential stakeholders.

This ambitious Digital Finance project, financed by the World Bank, encompasses critical pillars: Tax Administration, Customs Administration, Financial Administration, and human talent. The project’s crown jewel, the Integrated Customs Administration System, entrusted to the PBS-Webb Fontaine Consortium, signifies a groundbreaking shift towards international best practices in trade facilitation, stringent goods traffic control, and enhanced tax collection.

Cristhian Barquero stated that: “Today we are marking a milestone in customs management, we are marking a before and after, this milestone is very important because we are acquiring a management tool that will help us improve our processes, this project is not only technology, we are focusing on automation and simplicity of procedures.”

For his part, Cristhian Sánchez,  legal representative  of the PBS-Webb Fontaine Consortium  highlighted that “international trade occupies a place in the global economy, for the PBS-Webb Fontaine consortium, it is a privilege to participate in the transformation of customs processes to make them more efficient, safe and at the forefront of technology, This new system will represent a crucial milestone in the effort to modernize and streamline trade operations by making the leap towards simplifying and optimizing customs processes that will benefit all parties involved.”

The Director General of Customs pointed out  that “more than technology is going to be the human resource, the attitude of each of the officials, those of us who participate in this process, is crucial for the success of the new computer system that we are going to adopt, the participation of officials from the environment of the foreign trade ecosystem of this country is fundamental because we have a clear interrelationship between the private sector and the public sector to foreign trade operations, that is what can probably guarantee us success, I have no doubt that in a joint work between the private sector and with the leadership of the public sector of the General Directorate of Customs, this new process will be a success.”

The Minister of Finance, Nogui Acosta Jaén, pointed out that “we are going to be able to implement within our administration the best in the world and that is where I believe that it is up to all of us, the directors, the officials, the operators who are behind it to say what is better and to be better means to change.”

In closing, the legal representative of the PBS-Webb Fontaine Consortium highlighted the consortium’s extensive experience, boasting over 58 years of expertise, a global presence across 25 countries and three continents, and a two-decade history in trade facilitation. The consortium stands poised to bring forth a new era of efficiency, transparency, and innovation to Costa Rican customs operations.