The Safety and Security industry in El Salvador represents a growing market for US exporters, as security concerns have become an important factor for private companies, public institutions, and Salvadorans in general. There is no significant local production in El Salvador, making the industry more attractive for US products. US companies need to identify a local agent, representative, or distributor. Selling to government agencies implies participation in public bidding processes.
Sub sectors covered in this report are: intrusion alarm systems, access control systems, CCTV systems, and fire detection systems, among other security related products.
Safety and Security is a primary concern in El Salvador, due to the general perceived increase of crime perpetuated by gangs. According to the 2011 Organization of American States’ security report, El Salvador has the second higher homicide rate in Latin-America. According to local statistics in 2011 there were 4,354 homicides; with an average of 12 murders daily. As of March 2012, crime has dropped approximately 40%, due to what the Salvadoran government calls a “gang truce”. No details regarding this truce have been provided, but from an average of 16 murders in 2012, the number drop to 5 per day; between March - September 2012 the homicide rate has decreased to 24 per 100,000 habitants.
While homicides have been decreasing in 2012, robbery and theft in general have been increasing. Theft has increased to more than 800 cases per month (as of September 2012). Citizens recognized the lack of resources of the Civil National Police (PNC) to protect property, and have increase the use of alarms and other security devices in personal homes, properties, companies’ facilities, etc.
The demand for security equipment and services is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, both in the public and private sector. The imports of security products have increased 16% from 2010 to 2011; and according to local distributors the market is expected to increase between 3 - 5 % in 2013. According to the Salvadorian National Private Enterprises Association, approximately 10% of a company’s revenue is spent on security products or services.
All security equipment is imported into the country. There is no local production, except for low technology products such as mounting assemblies for CCTV’s, and services such as the installation and maintenance of alarm systems.
Statistics for safety and security industry are difficult to obtain since most products are classified under general harmonized codes. The statistics considered in this report are of products covered by the following Harmonized Tariff System codes:
HTS CODE Description
8424.1 Fire extinguishers, whether or not charged
8471.5 Digital Processing Units (access control)
8471.6 Input or output unit (access control)
8471.8 Other units/devices of data processing (access control)
8521.1 Reproducing Apparatus (DVR's) magnetic tape type (CCTV Systems)
8521.9 Other reproducing apparatus (DVR's category 2) (CCTV Systems)
8523.52 Cards incorporating electronic integrated circuits ("smart cards")
8523.59 Proximity cards and tags
8523.8 Other: readers, instruments, apparatus, data recorders, etc.
8525.5 Transmission Apparatus/devices
8525.6 Transmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus
8525.8 CCTV Cameras
8528.72 Color video monitors
8528.73 Black and white and other monochrome monitors
8530.8 Electrical signaling, safety or control equipment
8531.1 Burglar or fire alarms and similar apparatus, smoke detectors
8531.2 Indicators panels incorporating LCD's or LED's
8531.8 Horns, sirens, alert devices
8531.9 Other: conventional control panels, detectors.
8536.5 Magnetic contacts, switches
8541.4 Photosensitive semiconductor devices (PIR Detectors)
9022.19 Apparatus based on the use of X-rays, for other uses