Some current (and other permanent) issues of Foreign Trade Operator (FTO) qualification – ADA Journal


DATE: 09-10-2023


Fernanda Inga



Our senior associate, Fernanda Inga, published an article in the Asociación de Agentes de Aduana de Guayaquil magazine in which she analyzes recent amends regarding Foreign Trade Operators (FTO), their classification and the procedure to acquire and renew authorizations from SENAE (Servicio Nacional de Aduana del Ecuador).

She explains that, following the approval of the Executive Decree 586, the law distinguishes two types of FTO, those that require an authorization from SENAE, such as customs agents, and those that do not require such authorization. These include importers, exporters, transporters as well as any person “intervening directly or indirectly in a foreign trade operation”, among others.

Fernanda also explains that, regarding changes to the procedure required to obtain and renew the previously mentioned authorizations, the approval procedure is immediate. “A previous inspection is not necessary, and the application must be attended within a maximum period of 45 working days from the admission for review of the procedure”, she explains.

Likewise, she clarifies that the requirements that did not correspond to the customs activity or represented an obstruction to the qualification were eliminated.

In that sense “it is no longer necessary to submit corporate documents, IESS contribution forms, municipal license, fire department operating permit, among others. Nor is it an obstruction to the qualification to have incurred in 5% of regulatory faults over the total operations”.

However, new requirements were also established, such as the implementation of the ISO 9001 quality management system and anti-bribery policies.

“The purpose of these reforms is for the FTO to have access to agile, simplified, and clear procedures. However, it is recommended that applications for authorization or renewal be carried out with the assistance of a professional expert in the technical and legal fields to avoid errors that may delay or hinder the process”, she adds, stating that “the main obstacles faced by the FTO derive from the presentation of erroneous documentation”.

To read the full article, click here (pages 12 to 15): REVISTA_ANIVERSARIO_2023_C.pdf (