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April 18, 2023

Nicaragua National Assembly approves creation of Foreign Trade Platform

  • A new law and accompanying regulations in Nicaragua create the Foreign Trade Platform (in Spanish: Ventanilla Única de Comercio Exterior — VUCEN), aiming to facilitate and simplify management of foreign trade proceedings through a technological platform that brings together various proceedings required for the export and import of goods.
  • Export documents that VUCEN's predecessor (CETREX) had authorized before the new regulations entered into force will remain valid.

The Nicaragua National Assembly has enacted Law No. 1147 and its Regulations, creating the Foreign Trade Platform (VUCEN). The Law and Regulations were published in the Official Gazette, issue No. 59 on 30 March 2023 and No. 60 on 31 March 2023, respectively.

The VUCEN is a tool aimed at facilitating and simplifying the management of foreign trade proceedings. Through a technological platform, the tool manages applications for pre-customs import permits, export documents, port proceedings and other documents required for export or import, authorized by the corresponding institutions.

Article 11 of Law No. 1147 establishes the fees to be paid for the use of VUCEN's services:


Procedure or service

Central American pesos


Export processing service according to FOB* invoice value

10.00 — 45.00


Replacement of VUCEN export documents



Rectification of VUCEN export documents



Use of the VUCEN technological platform for the management of pre-customs import permits, VUCEN export documents and port procedures


* Free on board (FOB)

These fees are shown in Central American pesos (one Central American peso is equal to one US dollar). To proceed with the payment, the local currency must be used according to the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN).

Both Law No. 1147 and its Regulations have entered into force as of their publication in the Gazette. Export documents that had already been approved by CETREX (VUCEN's predecessor), prior to the entry into force of the new Regulations, will continue to be valid.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young, S.A., San José, Costa Rica

Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor