The Nicaraguan government has restricted the entry of photographic and video cameras into the country, as well as lenses, lights and accessories for recording images and sound, according to a Customs memo issued on Wednesday.
"The entry of photographic or cinematographic television cameras, digital cameras or camcorders into the national territory is restricted under the traveller regimen," the DGA memo, from January 16, states.
Opposition media countered that the measure seeks to enforce political control by Daniel Ortega's government and impede the work of journalists and documentary filmmakers visiting the country.
Last October, the National Assembly passed a law stipulating that la Cinemateca Nacional, or the National Film Archive, will have to approve all film production, even at the pre-production stage.
"The traveller must obtain, prior to entering the national territory, a guarantee from the la Cinemateca Nacional, which will be presented to the customs authority," states the memo published on the DGA's website (www.dga.gob.ni).
It adds that "the customs authority will proceed to register the entry of this type of goods under the temporary import regime with re-export in the same state of the customs computer system."
"The traveller at the moment of entry into the country may only introduce as part of his luggage, one photographic apparatus and one pair of long-sighted binoculars. Quantities in excess of those permitted will be subject to compliance with the applicable tax obligations," the memo states.
In the same memo, the DGA said that the entry of night-vision binoculars is prohibited because in Nicaragua they are for the exclusive use of the army and the police.