As port infrastructure improves technically, the operating standards certification of companies using it has gained in importance.

Camilo Delgado Montenegro
General Manager
Astinave EP
Javier Moreira C.
BASC Ecuador

How has your presence in Ecuador evolved over the years?

CAMILO DELGADO MONTENEGRO Notable construction of the Ecuadorean Naval Shipyard began in 1972, and since then we have evolved in step with technological advances and with the needs of the Ecuadorean Naval fleet. Initially, we provided 80% support to the Navy and 20% to the private sector. This ratio has since then reversed entirely.

A key event of recent years was the adoption of the Organic Law on Public Companies, which allows for state participation in the so-called strategic sectors of the national economy. Since the adoption of the new law we have been under the Ministry of Defense's purview, as a strategic company for national development. This move clearly broadened our scope of activity with other key sectors of the economy, such as electric energy and oil. Today, we have a broader scope of activities driven by our 2015 development strategy, incorporating new business lines such IT system integration for households, a segment based on our experience in IT technology for warships.

JAVIER MOREIRA C. BASC was founded in 1995, under the original name of the Business Anti-Smuggling Coalition, and was wholly focused on smuggling. After September 11, 2001, we focused our global strategy and changed our name to Business Alliance for Secure Commerce (BASC) given our much broader remit. We have 12 participant countries with local representation, and I represent Ecuador and am currently Vice-President of the World BASC Organization. We have four offices in the country: in Quito, Guayaquil, Manta, and one in Cuenca, all headed by BASC Ecuador.

How could you expand to different sectors?

CDM We are concentrating on the offshore business, especially the gas industry, as we predict its greater relevance for Ecuador. Additionally, we plan to develop offshore infrastructure to provide 24/7 services to the industry. We would also consider international agreements and partnerships to expand our regional knowledge base and experience.

JMC Reaching 10,000 importers is a major challenge. I see much growth potential, and we deliver specific training programs, and have signed agreements with the Chamber of Commerce and the customs houses. Many companies have approached us for inductions, and we no longer consider ourselves an exclusive club, but rather one that is open to all.

Will a free trade agreement (FTA) with the US impact BASC directly?

JMC If Ecuador signs an agreement with the US, then yes, because the BASC culture is shared by US companies. In 2012, we had the opportunity to support US Custom and Border Protection (CBP) in certifying C-TPAT. The US is trying to cut some of its costs and instead of having 500 C-TPAT auditors, BASC itself can validate C-TPAT certification.

What role will business partners play in the Posorja Shipyard project?

CDM The new shipyard project marks a new stage in our development by introducing large ships. We are currently seeking a partner with experience of running this type of shipyard at the international level, from a construction and technology angle. The government has very ambitious plan for Astinave EP in the context of changing Ecuador's production matrix. The time is right; the Panama Canal will soon be expanded, Ecuador is poised to have its own oil refinery, and the offshore industry is gaining importance. We need to strengthen the presence of a public company in national defense matters, especially in terms of providing the right ship repair and maintenance services to our industries.

How does BASC work with such a diversity of companies?

JMC We work to ensure that companies are compliant with all BASC standards. Where a company is not compliant, we revoke its certification. In countries such as Colombia, where BASC is more established, a company must able to work with other BASC certified companies. We are trying to make this a standard part of the culture among the 530 companies that are part of the system in Ecuador. Part of the process for all issues related to port authorities is BASC certification.