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We once had artisan certification. In Ecuador, that means you don´t have to collect VAT tax, you only have to file taxes bi-annually as opposed to annually as a business, and your municipal fees are lower. As a small business owner and artisan chocolatier in Ecuador, anything we can do to be more competitive counts. Ecuadorian chocolate is not cheap, even here, and if we can save a dime, we will. But we had lost our artisan certification a few years ago.
The process to get an official artisan certification entitling us to the benefits meant taking a lengthy course, filing multiple documents, and time, lots of time. I must now applaud the Ministry of Productivity for removing the onerous burden it was to maintain an artisan certification, and taking control of the process away from the Mafia it was that ran it. You can now go online, download the necessary forms, gather your documents and hand them over to the Ministry and wait for a decision.
It´s the most transparent, easy process I´ve yet seen with the government here. Two weeks ago we handed in the folder of documents and required photos. We now must wait approximately one more week. The secretary explained the documents would be scanned and sent out to a virtual committee, who will review them and then render a final decision. I don’t know that it’s all that transparent of a process as I have no idea what the exact criteria are for qualifying us or disqualifying us, but as a chocolate maker in Ecuador, it was cost-free and easy. Stay tuned! Your chocolates might just become a little bit cheaper!