Market Reports/Tariffs
Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods

Colombia

Import Tariffs
Documentation/Procedures
Restrictions
Standards
Labeling
Intellectual Property Rights
Market Information

Last updated on 06/10/2014

If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Richard Stetson at the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-3400 or click here for e-mail access.

**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**


Import Tariffs - Colombia
The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) was signed on November 22, 2006 and the Agreement entered into force on May 15, 2012. For more information on the agreement, see the OTEXA Free Trade Agreement webpage.

Colombia is a member of the Andean Community (CAN) along with are Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Although CAN has a common external tariff (CET) that applies to imports from third countries, it is a phased tariff structure that reflects the similar orientation of each members' tariff policies. The CET does not appear to be harmonized for textile and apparel products. Import duties are quoted ad valorem on the c.i.f. (cost, insurance and freight) value of shipments.

Colombia: Ad valorem Tariffs on Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
HS Chapter/Subheading
Tariff Rate Range (%)
Yarn
-silk
5003-5006
5 - 10
-wool
5105-5110
5 - 15
-cotton
5204-5207
5 - 15
-other vegetable fiber
5306-5308
5 - 10
-man-made fiber
5401-5406/5501-5511
5 - 15
........................
Woven Fabric
-silk
5007
5
-wool
5111-5113
5 - 10
-cotton
5208-5212
5 - 10
-other vegetable fiber
5309-5311
5 - 10
-man-made fiber
5407-5408/5512-5516
5 - 10
........................
Knit Fabric
60
5 - 10
........................
Non Woven Fabric
5603
5 - 10
........................
Industrial Fabric
59
5 - 10
........................
Apparel
61-62
15*
........................
Home Furnishings
including: bed, bath, kitchen linens, etc.
63
5 - 15*
........................
Carpet

Footwear

Travel Goods
57

64

4202
15

10 - 15*

15
* Effective March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2014, the ad valorem tariff will be replaced with an ad valorem tariff plus a specific per unit rate. For HS chapters 61, 62, 63, and HS 6406 the tariff will be 10% plus $5 per kg and for HS chapter 64 the tariff will be 10% plus $5 per pair/kg. (Decree 74/2013)

For more detailed tariff information, see the Direccion De Impuestos Y Aduanas Nacionales - DIAN website or the Current Situation of Schedules of WTO Members on the WTO website.

Minimum Import/Reference Prices--Colombia applies a minimum value on some footwear, which triggers an additional tariff.

Additional Import Taxes and Fees--The Government of Colombia applies a 1.2% "Special Customs Service Tax" on all imports (with the exception of certain public sector imported items, imports from certain countries that extend reciprocal benefits, and Plan Vallejo imports).

Most imports are subject to a 16-percent value added tax (VAT) assessed on the c.i.f. value of the shipment plus import duties. Exceptions for textile and apparel products are silkworm cocoons, raw silk, wool and animal hair, raw cotton and cotton linters, raw and processed flax and ramie, vegetable fibers such as hemp, abaca, jute, sisal and hehquen (excluding wastes), jute, hemp, and sisal gaskets, baby diapers, and bags and sacks of vegetables fibers.

Municipalities such as Bogota, Medellin, and Cali may impose their own consumption taxes on foreign merchandise.

Cotton products fee--A fee has been established as a financial contribution of a parafiscal nature on the production/transformation of cotton and/or imports of cotton fibers, yarns and blended yarns toward the development of cotton in Colombia. Fees are as follows: 0.5 percent on the f.o.b. price per kilogram of cotton fiber imports; 0.25 percent on the f.o.b. price per kilogram of cotton yarn imports; and 0.25 percent on the f.o.b. price per kilogram of cotton fiber content in blended yarns.

Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs)--The Colombian government maintains TRQs for raw cotton and certain other Ag products (Decree 430 of 2004), and requires that importers purchase local production in order to import under the TRQ. Under the CTPA, the Colombian government committed to ensuring that access to the TRQ in-quota quantity will not be conditioned on the purchase of domestic production.

Temporary Entry/Samples--Short term importation allows for the entry of merchandise for a specific purpose during a period of time that should not exceed 6 months. One 3 month extension can be requested and approval must be obtained before expiration of the initial authorization. Short term imports are not subject to import duties, but a guarantee equivalent to 10% of the corresponding import duties must be presented to obtain approval.

For information on how to determine tariff rates, see the Export.gov webpage on Tariffs and Import Fees.

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Import Documentation/Procedures (Colombia)

Licenses--All imports must be registered with the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Trade - MINCOMEX in the form of a specific application known as "Registro de Importacion," which serves as an import registration and license. Imports are classified into three major categories: those that do not require a prior import license (Free Import List); those subject to an import license (Prior Import License List); and those on the Prohibited List.

The importation of most textile and apparel products are approved automatically upon presentation of the Registro de Importacion. Imports of old or used clothing, closeouts, off-season clothing, irregulars, rags, and scrap cordage of textile material wastes are subject to prior import license approval. In practice, approval is not granted, therefore, the importation of these items may be considered prohibited.

To improve the Government's control over money laundering activities, which utilize undervaluation of imported merchandise and other malfeasances, the Ministry of Foreign Trade checks the declared prices as stated in the import documents with the corresponding prices in the international market. Some exporters have encountered problems due to different interpretations of these resolutions by Customs officials and local importers, causing needless delays and additional costs.

Certificate of origin--In general, only imports from countries with trade preferences (i.e., G3, ALADI, the Andean Community, etc) are required to have certificates of origin. However, because Colombia maintains quotas on certain textiles and apparel products from China, Panama, North Korea, and Taiwan, a certificate is used to identify the country of origin for such imports into Colombia.

Certification of the document by a recognized chamber of commerce is required. It is also strongly recommended that the certificate of origin also be legalized by the consulate. Additional copies of the certificate of origin may be required by the importer for exchange purposes.

Goods of foreign origin imported and processed or manufactured in the United States before being shipped to Colombia must have been transformed as a result of processing or manufacturing in the United States into a product substantially different from the imported material in order to be considered of U.S. origin. Unless products are substantially different in form, they will not be considered of U.S. origin.

Phytosanitary, mercerization and other certificates--Phytosanitary clearance is required, as well as permits required by government entities, when importing raw cotton, cotton yarns, and other vegetable fibers. A certificate of disinfection issued by a sanitary authority in the country of origin is required for used clothing and for used sacks in which merchandise is shipped.

For more information on local customs rules and regulations:
Direccion De Impuestos Y Aduanas Nacionales (Colombian Tax and Customs DepartmentColombian Tax and Customs Department) - DIAN

Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo
La Ventanilla de Comercio Exterior – VUCE

For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the Export.gov webpage on Common Export Documents.

For more information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the Country Commercial Guides (CCG) in the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library (enter your country of interest in the "country" field, and enter "Country Commercial Guide (CCG)" in the "Report Type" field. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Export.gov.

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Import Restrictions (Colombia)
Based on AC Decision 331, Colombia does not permit the importation of used clothing. Importers of used goods may apply for licenses to bring products into Colombia under limited circumstances (Resolution 001 of 1995). U.S. industry reports that in practice authorities do not grant such licenses, resulting in an effective import prohibition of these products.

Although not explicitly on the prohibited import list, no import licenses are approved for used or irregular clothing, clothing closeouts, used bags and sacks, sacks of vegetable fibers, rags, and scrap cordage of textile material wastes.


U.S. Export Restrictions:

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction

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Standards - Colombia
The Colombian Technical Standards Institute, (Instituto Colombiano de Normas Técnicas y Certificación - ICONTEC) is the main standards development organization and the Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio - SIC is the national accreditation organization. The Superintendent of Industry and Commerce (SIC), oversees the National Standardization, Certification, and Metrology System - SNNCM. SIC accredits and supervises the certification entities, as well as testing and calibration laboratories that are incorporated in the National Standardization, Certification, and Metrology System for compliance to existing standards and technical regulations. The Delegated Superintendent for Consumer Protection - SDPC is composed of the technical standards, metrology and consumer protection divisions.

The Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos - INVIMA is the responsible organization regarding sanitary, medicines, biological products, food, beverage, cosmetics, and medical devices and products related to human health.

Colombian technical standards referenced in regulations are available at Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo, República de Colombia (Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, of the Republic of Colombia) - (MINCIT) ---click on “Vice Ministerio de Desarrollo Empresarial – Regulación Industrial y Comercial”.

Interested firms can review draft technical regulations and comment on them before the review period expires. For more information, go to the MINCIT website and click on “Vice Ministerio de Desarrollo Empresarial – Regulación Industrial y Comercial”.

Local standards organization and other resources:
Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism - ) -(MINCIT)

Instituto Colombiano de Normas Técnicas y Certificación - ICONTEC

Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (Superintendent of Industry and Commerce) - SIC

The National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce provides information on U.S. and foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures for non-agricultural products. NCSCI staff responds to requests for information by identifying relevant standards and regulations, and by referral to the appropriate standards-developers or private-sector organizations. Under copyright restrictions, NCSCI cannot provide copies of standards, but NCSCI does provide sources for accessing standards.

U.S. companies can register for the Notify U.S. service to learn about and comment on proposed changes to foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures that may affect U.S. access to global markets.

Additional resources:

Examples of voluntary formaldehyde labeling programs

American Apparel and Footwear Association's Restricted Substances List

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)


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Labeling - Colombia
Labeling of apparel and home furnishings is addressed in Resolution No. 1950, dated July 17, 2009 - “Por la cual se expide el Reglamento Técnico sobre Etiquetado de Confecciones” (On Issuing the Technical Regulation on Labelling of Garments). Information required for labels on textile products include the name of the producer and importer, the country of origin, the textile care instructions, and the percentages of fiber content. Labels and illustrations cannot be inaccurate or misleading. This regulation defines the necessary information that must be included on the label for these goods to be used or sold in Colombia.
COL86_add_4(spanish).pdf

The Colombian Import Code states a preference, but not a requirement, for metric description of imports. Clothing sizes are identified by European size numbers and by small, medium, large, extra-large, etc.

Labeling of footwear and travel goods is addressed in Resolution No. 933 dated, April 21, 2008 - “Por la cual se expide el Reglamento Técnico sobre etiquetado de Calzado y algunos Artículos de Marroquinería” (On Issuing the Technical Regulation on labeling of shoes and leather goods).
COL102(spanish).pdf

INCOMEX (Colombian Foreign Trade Institute) mandates compliance with certain Colombian Technical Standards (CTSs) for a variety of products. In all cases, the specific CTSs met should be specified clearly, both on the product itself and on the product label.

The Colombian Ministry of Environment has introduced an official eco-label for the products sold in the country. A contract has been signed with the national agency for certification (ICONTEC), which will be responsible for delivering of the eco-labels. The ICONTEC will be solely responsible for the eco-labels delivery. However, the Government is planning to accredit other certification agencies. The government has subjected 3 categories of products to eco-labeling (paper, detergents, and related products). Eco-labeling is not compulsory and the requirements are the same for imports and domestics.

For more information about Colombian standards, contact the Instituto Colombiano de Normas Técnicas y Certificación - ICONTEC .

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Intellectual Property Rights - Colombia
The Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio - SIC (Office of the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce) acts as the Colombian patent and trademark office. The Ministry of Justice is in charge of the issuance of literary copyrights, see the National Copyright Directorate.

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement provides for improved standards for the protection and enforcement of a broad range of IPR, which are consistent with both U.S. and international standards of protection and enforcement, as well as with emerging international standards. Such improvements include state-of-the-art protections for digital products, such as U.S. software, music, text, and videos; stronger protection for U.S. patents, trademarks, and test data, including an electronic system for the registration and maintenance of trademarks; and further deterrence of piracy and counterfeiting, including by criminalizing end-use piracy.

For additional information on IPR, see the China IPR Toolkit on the STOPFAKES.gov website.

For information on protecting your trademarks, patents and copyrights:

Export.gov --Protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Abroad

StopFakes.gov


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Market Information - Colombia

For information on promoting the use of U.S. textile components in local production for export, see Andean Trade Program and Drug Eradication Act - ATPDEA.

Government Procurement-- See Global Procurement Opportunities for U.S. exporters.

The State Contracting Information System (Sistema de Información de Contratación Estatal - SICE) is a database to register and provide certificates for foreign and domestic suppliers of all types of commodities and services

Under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA), Colombia agreed to provide U.S. goods, services, and suppliers with national treatment. U.S. firms will have access to procurement by Colombia’s ministries and departments, legislature, courts, and first-tier sub-central entities, as well as a number of Colombia’s government enterprises, including its oil company. Once the CTPA enters into force, Colombia will not be able to apply Law 816 of 2003, which mandates preferential treatment to bids that provide Colombian goods or services, to procurement covered by the CTPA. Colombia is not a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.

U.S. companies may contact the U.S. Commercial Service for information and personalized counseling at every step of the exporting process. Find a U.S. Export Assistance Centers near you or contact an international office.

Other sources for market information and data:
Textiles and Apparel (November 2012)

OTEXA Export Market Report (U.S. export data for textiles, apparel, footwear and travel goods)

Export.gov Trade Data & Analysis webpage

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Department of State - U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions and
U.S. Department of State Country Background Notes

U.S. Office of the Trade Representative

Local Industry and Trade Associations

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Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA)
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230
Phone: (202) 482-5078  |  Fax: (202) 482-2331
OTEXA@trade.gov