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Colombia

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 28 October, 2020

General Information

The government has unveiled around USD 3.7 billion (1.5% of GDP) in measures to counter the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. These include additional cash transfers for the most vulnerable, VAT rebates for the poorest, tax deferrals for companies, and financing support for SMEs.

March 11: the Colombian president announced a package of economic measures to mitigate the effects on the tourism and aviation sectors. The Government has also opened a new credit line for the tourism and aviation sector.

May 6: The Colombian Government announced the extension of the economic, sanitary and health emergency up to August 30th, 2020.

Tax measures – Direct and Indirect

(e.g. payment deferrals, rate reductions…)

Click here to see a comprehensive summary of jurisdictional tax measures and government reliefs in response to COVID-19.

Employment-related measures

(e.g. state compensation schemes, training…)

Labor measurements

  • The Ministries of Health, Labor and Transportation issued the Joint Circular Letter 000003 of April 08 by means of which the government defined the protection measures, recommendations and actions of the personnel, as well as the responsibilities of contractors, contracting entities and interveners associated with the personnel who works in transportation and infrastructure projects that are underway during the health emergency.
  • Ministries of Health and Social Protection, Labor, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and Information and Communication Technologies issued the Joint Circular Letter 015 establishing preventive sanitary and mitigation measures were established for the commerce, industry, tourism, technology and communications sector and specific measures that must be taken by companies that provide home service, messaging and digital platform operators.
  • Decree 558 of April 15 – Ministry of Labor: The National Government stated the temporary reduction of the pension contribution to provide greater liquidity to employers and dependent and independent workers, and measures were also established to protect retired under the programmed withdrawal modality.
  • Ministry of Labor issued Decree 565 of April 15 by means of which a temporary measure was implemented in order to protect the rights of the beneficiaries of the complementary social service, called periodic economic benefits BEPS.
  • Ministry of Health and Social Protection issue Decree 538 of April 12 by means of which, among other things, it was established that no default interest would be caused by the contributions to the General Social Security System which are paid out of time, during the term of the health emergency.

The Ministry of Labor indicated that they will not grant authorizations for collective dismissals or suspensions of employment contract, in cases that require their authorization by law.

Although the Ministry of Labor will not authorize collective dismissals, it is worth noting that dismissals without fair cause proceed, provided that the limit imposed by law is respected so as not to be classified as collective dismissal.

The Government through the Ministry of Labor, by means of Circular 0033 of April 17th, indicated the employment protection measures in the new mitigation phase of COVID-19. Among the measures are:

  • Compensable paid leave.
  • Modification of the working hours and agreement on salaries.
  • Modification or suspension of the extra-legal benefits.
  • Agreement on conventional benefits.

The Ministries of Health, Labor and Transportation issued the Joint Circular Letter 000003 of April 08 by means of which the government defined the protection measures, recommendations and actions of the personnel, as well as the responsibilities of contractors, contracting entities and interveners associated with the personnel who works in transportation and infrastructure projects that are underway during the health emergency.

The Ministry of Labor published on May 4 the draft Circular-Letter associated with the guidelines to be followed by employers and employees of private sector for work at home associated with occupational hazards, working hours, harmonization of working life with personal life.

With the issuance of the Decree 639 of 2020, the formal employment support program was created, which seeks to support and protect the country’s formal employment during the COVID-19 pandemic through monthly monetary contribution of a state nature.

  • Resolution 000666 of April 24: Ministry of Health and Social Protection adopted the general biosafety protocol to mitigate, control and carry out the proper management of a pandemic associated with COVID-19.
  • Resolution 000675 of April 24: Ministry of Health and Social Protection adopted the biosafety protocol for the management and control of COVID-19 in the manufacturing industry.
  • Resolution 000677 of April 24: Ministry of Health and Social Protection adopted the biosafety protocol for the transportation industry.
  • Resolution 000681 of April 24: The biosafety protocol was adopted for the gambling sector.
  • Resolution 000682 of April 24: The Ministry of Health and Social Protection adopted the biosafety protocol for the construction sector. 
  • Legal Opinion 129721 of April 1: It was clarified that the measures adopted in Decree 488 of March 28, 2020 (withdrawal of severance and notice of vacation) do not apply to employees of the public sector.
  • Circular 0035 of April 23: The Ministry of Labor stated that the validity of all training certifications, issued to employees who perform tasks at heights with risks and falls, which have expired on March 12 of this year, will be extended for up to one month after the date of overcoming the health emergency.
  • Resolution 686 of April 28: The Ministry of Health and Social Protection regulated Decree 558 of 2020, regarding the rates of pension contributions (3% or 16%).
  • Resolution 678 of April 24: The biosecurity protocol for the coffee sector was adopted.
  • Resolution 679 of April 24: he biosecurity protocol for the transport infrastructure sector was adopted.
  • With Resolution 1003 of 19 June, the Ministry of Health adopted measures aimed at the environments where there is a large influx of people. Public or private events involving agglomeration may not be enabled during the end of the health emergency.
  • With the issuance of Decree 639 of May 8, 2020, the Formal Employment Support Program – PAEF (as per its acronym in Spanish) was created. It is a social program of the State, which will grant legal entities that meet the requirements a monthly monetary contribution of a state nature, in order to support the country´s formal employment.
  • Circular Letter 30 of May 08: The Ministry of Health and Social Protection made clarifications on remote work in people over 60 years of age.
  • Resolution 738 of May 9, 2020: The Ministry of Health and Social Protection defined the biosafety protocols for the activities of (i)manufacturing electronic components and boards, (ii) computers and peripheral equipment, (iii) manufacturing of consumer electronic devices, (iv) photographic equipment, (v) manufacture of motor vehicles, (vi)trailers and semi-trailers, (vii)manufacture of other types of transport equipment, (viii)manufacture of furniture and mattresses.
  • Decree 676 of May 19: Government modified the scope of occupational diseases to include COVID-19 as a direct disease when it is contracted by employees in the health sector.
  • Decree 677 of May 19: The National Government amended Decree 639 (through which the PAEF was created) and ordered additional measures.
  • Resolution 1129 of May 20: The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit regulated the PAEF program, specifically the methodology for calculating the decrease in income of the beneficiaries of the PAEF.
  • External Circular No. 001 of May 20: The Pension and Payroll Taxes Unit (UGPP as per its acronym in Spanish) established the standardized form for the application to the PAEF, together with the Certification of Compliance with Requirements.
  • Resolution 796 of May 20: The biosafety protocol was established in the agricultural sector.
  • Resolution 749 of May 13: Biosafety protocols were defined and to be applied in the wholesale and retail trade of food, beverages and tobacco, as well as in hotel and restaurant accommodation, cafeterias and mobile food services activities.
  • Resolution 797 of May 20: The biosafety protocols to be applied in the mining and energy sector were defined.
  • Concept 20307 of April 22: The Ministry of Labor pointed out that an employer cannot claim the health emergency as a fair cause of the dismissal, and in principle they should not be endorsed by the Ministry, at least not without exhausting other measures.
  • Communication of May 28: The National Government indicated that they will cover 50% of the June semiannual bonus for employees who receive up to a minimum wage. In addition, it was indicated that companies that have lost more than 20% of their income may defer payment of the semiannual bonus through an agreement between employee and employer.
  • Resolution 1200 of June 01: The National Government amended Resolution 1129 of 2020 that had regulated the benefit associated with the Formal Employment Support Program – PAEF (acronym in Spanish).
  • Circular 0041 of June 02: The Ministry of Labor established guidelines regarding work at home for employers, private sector employees and occupational risk entities.
  • Decree 770 of June 03: The National Government adopted the following measures in labor matters: (i) protection of the unemployed, (ii) successive work shifts that allow operating without a continuity solution every day, (iii) alternatives for the first payment of the semiannual bonus through a payment agreement between the parties, (iv) the Semiannual bonus Support Program – PAP (as per its acronym in Spanish) is created.
  • Decree 771 of June 03: The National Government ordered that while the health emergency is in force, the employer must recognize the value established for transport aid as aid for digital connectivity to employees who earn up to two (2) minimum wages and carry out their work at home.
  • Decree 815 of June 04: The National Government modified provisions of the Formal Employment Support Program – PAEF.
  • With Resolution 898 of 10 June, the Ministry of Health established the biosecurity protocol for the construction sector and works to be carried out in qualified households and institutions. This protocol is a complement to the one set out in Resolution 666 of 2020 and both are mandatory.
  • Resolution 1585 of June 24: Resolution 1296 of 2020 was partially modified regarding the suspension of the procedures for issuing ordinary and executive passports and the processing of visa applications for foreigners staying outside Colombian territory.
  • Resolution 1431 of June 16: Migration Colombia adopted the protocol for the entry of Colombian citizens and resident foreigners who are abroad and wish to return to the country through the border between Colombia and Ecuador.
  • Resolution 1361 of July 02: The National Government determined the method to be used to calculate the decrease in income of the beneficiaries, the process and the conditions to which the financial entities involved, the UGPP and in general all the entities participating in the Support Program for the payment of the semiannual bonus must fulfill.
  • With Resolution 1066 of 1 July, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection established the health requirements for the manufacture, marketing, adequacy and adjustment of products and services to prevent, mitigate, control and treat the spread and effects of COVID-19.
  • With Resolution 1068 of July 1, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection amended Resolution 914 of 2020 associated with the rates that will be cancelled by UCI. Resolution 1068 amended the procedure to procure payment.
  • With External Circular No. 003 of July 6, the UGPP standardized the PAEF application form for July 2020 and the PAP.
  • The Ministry of Labor with legal opinion 2020744100100000302 indicated that the effects of the temporary suspension of the employment link, does not refer to the service premium and therefore cannot be discounted by the employer.
  • With Resolution 1248 of 3 July, the Ministry of Labour indicated that those offering complementary training programmes in safe working at heights should comply with biosafety protocol measures. The trainings can be carried out in person in the enabled spaces, guaranteeing social estrangement. It is also allowed to extend the validity of quality certificates that expire during the health emergency.
  • Through Resolution 1388 of July 6, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit ordered FOME to pay and transfer, through financial institutions, the state contribution of the Support to Formal Employment – PAEF Program to the beneficiaries who met the requirements.
  • With legal opinion 000016 of 30 June the Ministry of Labour clarified that in cases where, for reasons beyond the will of any of the parties (worker and employer), it does not make use of the endowment, and taking into account that the purpose of the endowment is for the worker to use it in the work contracted, the supply during the health emergency by Covid-19 would be meaningless.
  • With Resolution 001155 of 14 July, the Ministry of Health established the biosecurity protocol in the provision of health services, including administrative, support and food activities. This protocol is complementary to Resolution 666 of 2020.
  • By Resolution 1294 of 14 July, the Ministry of Labor decided to partially lift the suspension of terms from 21 July 2020, for, inter alia, the following matters: (i) cancellation of trade union registration; (ii) complaints of conventions, trade union agreements or arbitration awards; (iii) mediation in collective bargaining processes; (iv) work authorization for adolescents; (v) authorization of Temporary Services Companies; (vi) permission to work overtime; (vii) certification of workers in a capacity of disability; (viii) management, subscription and monitoring of employment formalization agreements in a virtual manner; (ix) preventive inspection actions.
  • By Decree 1161 of July 15, the National Government established the health services and technologies that make up the baskets for the care of the Covid-19 pandemic and also regulates the advance of basket resources to make payments for the availability of beds in intensive and intermediate care.
  • With Resolution 1260 of 8 July, the Ministry of Labor established that the health benefits, pension and monetary share associated with unemployment benefit will be for three months. In addition, it stated that those who request the reactivation of the benefit will enter the waiting list and be awarded according to the availability of resources.
  • By Resolution 1262 of 10 July, the Ministry of Labor established the procedure for identifying beneficiaries and delivering the unconditional money transfer related to the Workers' Assistance Program in Contractual Suspension or Unpaid Leave. Likewise, this Resolution adopts the operational manual of that program.
  • Resolution 1159 of 15 July, the Ministry of Health indicated the biosecurity protocol in the conduct of cleaning and domestic grooming activities. This protocol is complementary to Resolution 666 of 2020.
  • By Resolution 1182 of 22 July, the Ministry of Health amended Article 3 of Resolution 1172 of 2020 to expand health services on the basis of which a temporary economic amount will be recognized.
  • With Resolution 1375 of 23 July, the Ministry of Labor amended article 4 of Resolution 1262 of 2020, associated with the operating manual to be issued by the Ministry of Labour relating to the Workers' Assistance Program in Contractual Suspension or Non-Remunerated Leave.
  • Resolution 1285 of July 27: The Ministry of Health established the biosafety protocol for hotel accommodation services and activities; accommodation in resorts; rural accommodation; other types of visitor accommodation; camping areas and park activities for recreational vehicles; hourly services and other types of accommodation.
  • Resolution 1375 of July 23: The Ministry of Labor established new features related to the procedure and verification of beneficiaries in the aid program for employees in contractual suspension.
  • Resolution 1554 of August 04: The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit orders the payment and transfer, through financial entities, of the state contribution of the Formal Employment Support Program – PAEF.
  • The Ministry of Health, through concept 1001711 of June 7 indicated that the municipalities are autonomous in the imposition of sanctions for the failure of the community to comply with biosafety protocols.
  • Legal Opinion 20201340278951 of May 06: The Ministry of Transport indicated that, for the movement of people, in the framework of the state of sanitary emergency, does not require prior authorization or permission from the competent authority.
  • Resolution 1313 of August 03: The Ministry of Health established the biosafety protocol for training and physical conditioning centers. This protocol is complementary to what is established in Resolution 666 of 2020.
  • Decree 1109 of August 10: The National Government created the Sustainable Selective Testing, Tracking and Isolation Program – PRASS (acronym in Spanish) for the follow-up of cases and contacts associated with COVID-19.
  • Legal Opinion 273341 of June 24: It was specified that the non-subsistence of employees of free appointment and removal is due to the discretionary power of the nominator, which should be based on the need to improve the service and on the right to choose their collaborators.
  • The Constitutional Court, in ruling C -205 of July 25, declared Decree 539 of 2020 enforceable, by which biosafety measures were adopted to mitigate, prevent the spread and carry put the proper management of the pandemic.
  • Resolution 1461 of August 11: The Ministry of Labor ordered the payment and transfer of the resources of the aid program for suspended employees or unpaid leave to the beneficiaries for the months of April and May 2020.
  • Resolution 1324 of August 04: The Ministry of Health modified Resolution 4245 of 2015 regarding to the extension of the deadline for complying with the requirements for obtaining the Certificate “Buenas practices de elaboración de radiofármacos”.
  • Resolution 1314 of August 03: The Ministry of Health adopted guidelines for conducting rapid tests outside the clinical laboratory for early detection of HIV, Hepatitis B and C.
  • Resolution 1408 of August 14: Ministry of Health established the biosafety protocol for the activity of cinematographic exhibition and presentation of scenic art works under the modality of auto events, movie theaters and theater.
  • Resolution 1359 of August 10: Ministry of Health established the biosafety protocol for localized gambling operators.
  • Resolution 1462 of August 25: The Ministry of Health and Social Protection extended the health emergency caused by Covid-19 throughout the national territory until November 30, 2020.
  • Legal opinion 340451 of July 28: The Administrative Department of the Public Function indicated that vacations could be granted informally to employees who, according to the nature of their functions, cannot work from home or are not required for adequate provision of the service, as long as they have caused the right to the respective rest.
  • Resolution 1421 of August 21: The Ministry of Health adopted biosafety protocols in the activities of amusement parks, botanical gardens and nature reserves. These protocols are complementary to those established in Resolution 666 of 2020.
  • Resolution 1414 of August 19: The Ministry of Health assigned new compulsory social service positions to reinforce health care.
  • Resolution 1443 of August 24: The Ministry of Health established the biosafety protocol in the activities of tour operators and in tourism services provided in tourist areas and attractions.
  • Resolution 1438 of August 21: The Ministry of Health modified Resolution 2388 of 2016 in relation to “Planilla O – Planilla de obligaciones” determined by the UGPP.
  • Decree 1174 of August 27: The Ministry of Labor added a chapter to Decree 1833 of 2016 in order to regulate the “Piso de Protección Social” for people who earn less than a current legal monthly minimum wage.
  • On September 2, the Ministry of Labor made clarifications on Decree 1174 of 2020 through which the "social protection floor" was regulated for those earning less than a minimum wage.
  • The Ministry of Labor by means of Legal Opinion 43465 of 19 August indicated that on the occasion of Decree 488 of 2020 that the worker, subject to compliance with the requirements, may withdraw from his accounts in the basket funds the amount that guarantees his constant income, clarifying that the measure will only be in force as long as the declared health emergency is maintained.
  • Resolution 1547 of September 04: The Ministry of Health adopted the biosafety protocol in establishments and building with swimming pool.
  • Resolution 1517 of September 01: The Ministry of Health indicated the biosafety protocol applicable to domestic flights.
  • Resolution 1538 of September 03: The Ministry of Health established the biosafety protocol for the return to beaches.
  • Legal Opinion 42788 of August 25: The Ministry of Labor indicated that the measures adopted with Circular 21 of March 17, associated with the different alternatives that employers could apply to protect employment and that indicated in Circular 22 of April 17, related to compensable paid leave, modification of working hours and salary agreement do not generate changes to the internal labor code.
  • Resolution 1569 of September 07: The Ministry of Health adopted the biosafety protocol for the consumption of alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants.
  • Resolution 1590 of September 08: The Ministry of Labor removed the suspension of terms associated with administrative procedures, investigations and disciplinary processes that was established in Resolution 784 of 2020.
  • Resolution 1566 of September 01: The Ministry of Labor defined the operation of economic assistance to the unemployed population.
  • The Ministry of Labor by means of Legal Opinion 57424 of 24 August indicated that if a worker is diagnosed with Covid -19 but the treating physician considers that it is not necessary to generate an incapacity, taking into account the physical conditions of the patient, they will be prioritized to perform telework or work at home, during the term of compulsory isolations.
  • The Ministry of Health with Resolution 1627 of September 15 established the biosafety protocol for international commercial flights. This protocol indicates the conditions for both travelers departing and/or entering the country.
  • Resolution 1628 of September 15: The Ministry of Health determined the integration and operational regulations for the coordination and advisory for access to safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19.
  • Resolution 2223 of September 16: Migration Colombia resumed some of its procedures.
  • Resolution 1681 of September 21: The Ministry of Health reported on biosafety protocols for business fair activities.
  • Legal Opinion 2409 of August 18: The Ministry of labor recalled that according to Decree 771 of 2020, the employer must recognize the value established for the transportation aid as digital connectivity aid for the duration of the health emergency declared because of COVID-19.
  • Ruling C-324 of August 14: The Constitutional Court declared the enforceability of Decree 770 of 2020 through which measures to protect the unemployed were adopted, alternatives with respect to working hours, the PAP was created and the aid program for employees with a suspended employment contract.
  • Resolution 2518 of September 25: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lifted the terms of suspension of procedures for resignation and recovery of Colombian nationality.
  • Legal Opinion 32480: The Ministry of Labor indicated that the 14-day preventive isolation measure for an employee presenting symptoms of COVID 19 is not considered inability to work.
  • Resolution 1757 of October 02: The Ministry of Health modified Resolution 1161 of 2020, extending the term for payment for availability of intensive and intermediate care beds, which will be extended for 5 months.
  • Resolution 1763 of October 05: The Ministry of Health modified some requirements and conditions associated with the biosafety protocols that must be met in touristic activities.
  • Resolution 1764 of October 05: The Ministry of Health issued the biosafety protocol applicable to beauty centers, cosmetology, beauty institutes, SPA.
  • Resolution 1766 of October 05: The Ministry of Health defined the prioritization criteria for the allocation of FOME resources to investment projects in infrastructure or provision of biomedical equipment to meet the needs of care for COVID 19.
  • Resolution 1774 of October 06: The Ministry of Health defined the parameters for economic recognition, occupational profiles, the methodology for calculating the amount and the transfer mechanism by the resource manager of the System of Social Security.
  • Resolution 1774 of October 06: The Ministry of Health defined occupational profiles for one-time economic recognition in favor of human talent in health that provides services to patients with suspected or diagnosed Covid-19, the methodology for the calculation the amount, and the turning mechanism.
  • Resolution 1746 of October 01: The Ministry of Health established the biosafety protocol that must be adopted in movie theaters, theaters, drive-in cinema, drive-in events. This resolution repeals 1508 of 2020.
  • Law 2060 of October 22: The Colombian Congress extended: (i) the temporary validity of the Formal Employment Support Program – PAEF until March 2021 and (ii) The validity of the PAP for the December 2020 semi annual bonus.
  • Circular 0064 of July 10: The Ministry of Labor made recommendations related to psychosocial aspects and for the harmonization of working life with personal and family life.
  • Resolution 1808 of October 13: The Ministry of Health modified article 7 of Resolution 1463 of 2020 in relation to the expansion of the ADRES consultation sources to verify municipalities and non-municipalized areas without laboratories endorsed for Covid-19.
  • Resolution 1844 of October 15: The Ministry of Health modified Technical Appendix 2 and 5 of Resolution 2388 of 2016 in relation to the modification of the payroll type “O – Payroll obligations determined by the UGPP” and the addition of the payroll type “Q – Payment agreements made by the UGPP.”
  • Resolution 1840 of October 14: The Ministry of Health published a new biosafety protocol applicable in sports practices.
  • Decree 1374 of October 19: The National Government adopted measures to optimize the PRASS by defining its structure and determining the roles and responsibilities of the SG – SST personnel in relation to the program and repealing Decree 1109 of 2020.
  • Announcement of October 22: The Ministry of Health reported on the launch of the National Contact Center for TELEPHONE Tracking of Covid-19.

Economic stimulus measures

(e.g. loans, moratorium on debt repayments…)

Measures to activate the economy

  • In order to activate the economy, the government has authorized the continuity of the construction and manufacturing sectors. These industries will be able to continue their operations after complying with the correspondent validation procedure before the authorities.

Administrative measures

Administrative terms suspension

  • At the date of publication of this newsletter, some entities, such as the General Control Office, the Financial Superintendence, the National Agency of Mining, the Ministry of the Interior, among others, had not changed the deadlines for the suspension of terms and administrative actions that we had previously. However, it is expected that for our next newsletter the dates initially indicated will be amended as of April 27th , 2020, at least
  • The Superior Council of the Judiciary by means of the Agreement PCSJA20-11581 of 27 June ordered the lifting of the suspension of judicial terms from 1 July 2020. The following terms remain suspended: (i) constitutional court terms to decide on claims of unconstitutionality and possible review of guardianship actions until July 30, 2020 and (ii) term s of the judicial offices of Leticia and Puerto Nariño (Amazonas).
  • Pursuant to Resolution 00055 of 29 May, the DIAN decided to partially lift the suspension of the terms of administrative or jurisdictional actions as of June 2nd, 2020 in order to guarantee the effective provision of the Tax Service.

Depending on how the extent of the pandemic develops these measures are likely to be extended.

Other measures and sources

New codes applicable on importations

  • The Customs Authority added new codes that will allow to apply the customs benefits states during the national emergency generated by COVID-19. In these cases, the importers of records will have to apply the codes C10L, C20L, C30L or C50L depending on the modality of importation. These codes might apply as long as the regulations generated as a consequence of COVID-19 remain in force. Immigration measurements.

International procurement of medical equipment

  • The General Code of Public Administration for Procurement wont be applicable; therefore, the public law regulation does not apply for the acquisition of goods to foreign individuals or foreign legal entities.
  • Legal entities abroad, will not require a local domicile in Colombia or the constitution of a mandate in order to celebrate procurement negotiations in the national territory during the preventive insolation.
  • These dispositions will apply from April 16th, 2020, and while the sanitary emergency lasts.

Immigration and transportation measures

  • The entry of foreign passengers with air connection purposes is prohibited with certain exceptions.
  • The limitations regarding the time restrictions for the operation of airport runways are suspended.
  • Private ports, may attend cargo operations related with the supply of essential goods of communities within the area.
  • Transportation of goods (import and export) during the preventive isolation are allowed.

These measures will remain in force until the sanitary emergency lasts (May 30th,2020.)

Visa, passport and nationality procedures

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through Resolution 1296 of April 21st, suspended the of visa, passport and nationality procedures terms. Such suspensions will be in force until the end of the health emergency.

Companies’ general assembly meetings

With the issuance of Decree 637 of 2020 and the extension of the economic, sanitary and health emergency up to June 5th, 2020 the deadlines for holding the annual corporate meetings were revised.

Bearing in mind that, by means of the Decree 434, 2020, the regular assembly meetings for the 2019 year may be held until within one month following the end of the health emergency declared in the national territory, those meetings can now be held no longer than July 5th, 2020.

Visa, passport and nationality procedures

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through Resolution 1296 of April 21st, suspended the of visa, passport and nationality procedures terms. Such suspensions will be in force until the end of the health emergency.

Companies’ general assembly meetings

With the issuance of Decree 637 of 2020 and the extension of the economic, sanitary and health emergency up to June 5th, 2020 the deadlines for holding the annual corporate meetings were revised.

Bearing in mind that, by means of the Decree 434, 2020, the regular assembly meetings for the 2019 year may be held until within one month following the end of the health emergency declared in the national territory, those meetings can now be held no longer than July 5th, 2020.

Bankruptcy regulations

Decree 560 of 2020 establishes a transitional bankruptcy regime for 2 years, autonomous and different from the traditional procedure of Law 1116 of 2006. The scheme is intended for companies affected by the reasons that motivated the government's response measures to COVID-19, but leaves out those affected by the measures themselves as is the case with quarantine. As main measures taken by the National Government, the following stand out:

  • The Superintendence of Companies does not review the debtor's documents or financial information that are included with the application for admission.
  • Payment of inheritances representing less than 5% of the external liability will not require the approval of the Superintendence of Companies . There are no rules on income-splitting fraud. For this purpose, fixed assets not affected by the ordinary transfer of business without authorization may be sold, except injunctive measures or guarantees.
  • Reorganization agreements may include these special operations.
    • Capitalization of liabilities
      • They are considered negotiable investments for financial institutions
      • They must be sold for the term of the agreement (with the right of preference, in public or private offering);
      • May give preferential economic and/or political treatment;
      • Equity increase without registration tax;
    • Risk Bonds
      • They are an instrument of wealth;
      • They are paid after the external liability and before payment to shareholders (in liquidation);
      • Further regulations on this matter are still pending;
    • Subordinated Debt
    • Discharge of liabilities
      • Where the liability exceeds the company's valuation as a running business, the difference may be discharged from the liability;
      • Approval by more than 60% of non-internal or linked creditors;
      • No labor liabilities can be discharged;
      • Involves the cancellation without consideration of membership rights;
    • Sustainable Debt Pacts
      • Debt restructuring with financial institutions, rather than full payment;
      • Approval of 60% of financial creditors;
  • Incentives are established to the financing of the debtor, allowing him to acquire debt without prior approval of the Superintendence of Companies:
    • Payment as administration expense.
    • In the event that it does not obtain funding, the Superintendence of Companies may authorize:
      • Provide collateral with unseized assets or on future assets;
      • Grant second-degree warranties;
      • Provide first-degree guarantees on assets already taxed with the authorization of the secured creditor (becomes subordinate). If there is no authorization, the Superintendence of Companies may authorize it, if it is demonstrated that the creditor will continue to remain "reasonably protected" (understanding this as advance payment, asset replacement, periodic payments, among others);
    • Creditors may submit less burdensome financing alternatives.
      • For implementing agreements, payment fees for April, May and June are frozen.
      • They will not be deemed expired until July 2020.
      • There is no breach of the executed agreements unless it is extended for more than 3 months and is not rectified.
      • The possibility of requiring an emergency negotiation from the judge is included.

Terms suspension regarding administrative actions

  • The Superior Council of the Judiciary by means of the Agreement CSJ-20-11546 issued April 25th, extended the measures for the suspension of terms from April 27th up to May 10th 2020 with the same exceptions considered in previous opportunities (v.gr. guardianship actions, habeas corpus, constitutional control of Legislative Decrees and exception of terms of certain civil cases)
  • Depending on how the extent of the pandemic develops these measures are likely to be extended.

Lease agreements measures

By means of the Decree 579 of 2020, it was declared:

  • The suspension of eviction actions between April 16th and June 30th 2020.
  • The annual adjustment of the effective lease fees since April 16th to June 30th 2020 is postponed. After that, the adjusted monthly payments will be paid.
  • The parties to the lease contracts must reach agreements for the monthly payments covered between April 16th and June 30th, 2020. These agreements shall not include default interest, penalties, or sanctions. If no agreement is reached, the lessee will pay under the following conditions:
  • The landlord may not charge late interest, penalties or penalties between the April 16th and June 30th 2020.
  • The lessee shall pay the lessor current interest equivalent to 50% of the Current Bank Interest Rate in the mode of consumption and ordinary, during said period.
  • Contracts which expire during the Economic Emergency shall be deemed to be extended until 30 June 2020.
  • Contracts in which the delivery of the property has been agreed during the Economic Emergency shall be deemed to be suspended until June 30th, 2020.
  • The aforementioned measures shall apply to:
    • Urban Housing leasing
    • Lease agreements governed by the Civil Code or the Commercial Code concluded on commercially used properties in which the lessee is a natural, micro, small or medium-sized business person.
    • Lease agreements in which the lessee is a non-profit legal person registered within the Ministry of the Interior.

Main sources of information

New deadlines for financial statements and other reports

The Superintendence of Companies, by means of Circular Letter 100-000008 of April 24th, modified the deadline for presentation of the following:

  • Financial statements reflecting the companies’ exercise up to December 31st, 2019.
  • Report 42 regarding sound business practices up to December 31st, 2019.
  • Consolidated financial statements up to December 31st, 2019.
  • Financial information up to December 31st, 2019 for business entities which do not comply with the existing business hypothesis or are carrying out a voluntary liquidation procedure.
Columbia - Financial statements
Columbia - Report 2 and tables

Bankruptcy regulations

Decree 772 of 2020 issued new regulations in bankruptcy, specifically stablishing:

  • A special regime for small insolvencies: an abbreviated reorganization process and a simplified judicial settlement process were established to serve all debtors targeting the insolvency regime contained in Law 1116 of 2006, as a single and exclusive mechanism, provided that their assets are equal to or less than 5,000 monthly minimum wages.
  • Measures for the prompt processing of insolvency proceedings: these measures (i) reduce formal admission requirements, (ii) allow the use of technological tools and the implementation of electronic formats as part of the application for admission; and (iii) provide for the lifting of precautionary measures in executive or coercive collection proceedings on goods other than the recordable persons, for the direct delivery of seized resources by the judge.
  • Mechanisms to maximize the value of the debtor's assets and the protection of homebuyers: measures to, inter alia, maximize the value of the debtor's assets in the event of a liquidation, the use of the electronic hammer, the protection of homebuyers in such a way as to comply with contracts and the payment of benefits directly to the financiers by the debtor.
  • Tax benefits: capital discounts, fines, penalties or interest made by creditors with their debtors, as part of any corporate reorganization agreement, shall be considered for debtors as an occasional gain for the years 2020 and 2021, which may compensate with ordinary or occasional losses.
  • Extension and suspension of rules and other measures: additional determinations are made such as: (i) the two-year suspension of the loss-dissolution cause for all corporate types; (ii) the possibility of recovery procedures before the Chambers of Commerce being carried out by categories of creditors; (iii) the creation of a mechanism to facilitate access to credit in insolvency and (iv) the suspension of the subsidy for non-asset settlements for better use of these resources in the insolvency proceedings of the Superintendence of Companies given the conjuncture of COVID-19.

Securities Regulations

  • Decree 817 of June 4, set out special conditions for the issuance of securities on the second market by affected companies under the pandemic situation.
  • The Superintendence of Companies through Resolution 202001286393 of June 23 established the new regulation governing the business recovery procedure before chambers of commerce, introduced by Decree 560 of 2020 (emergency negotiation regime in the Superintendence of Companies to serve debtors affected by Covid-19). The regulation defined the particularities of the recovery procedure, as well as the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve disputes between debtors and creditors and the arbitral proceedings.
  • With Circular 39 of 17 June, the Financial Superintendence temporarily extended to the maximum period for registrations to the management companies of transaction registration systems. Thus, infrastructure providers should provide what is necessary for their affiliates to report information on stock operations carried out on the counter market (OTC).
  • The Committee on energy and gas regulation (CREG) with Resolution 118 of 12 June extended the transitional rules defined by resolutions 058, 064 and 108 of 2020 relating to the payment of the value of the invoice for the public home electricity service to regulated users of the electricity service in the non-connected areas (ZNI). The measures apply to invoices for consumption in May, June and July.
  • By Circular 022 of 30 June, the Financial Superintendence requested the legal representatives and tax reviewers of credit institutions to adopt a program to establish structural payment solutions by redefining the terms of the claims of debtors who have an impact on their income or their ability to pay as a result of the situation caused by Covid-19, financial viability for the debtor of the Debtor Accompaniment Program and incorporate additional prudential measures on credit risk.
  • By Circular-Letter 15 of 1 July, the Superintendence of Social Economy indicated that mutual fund resources should be invested only in high-liquidity investments, so it is not possible for such resources to be placed in financial instruments such as the credit portfolio, since the loan portfolio does not meet the condition of being highly liquid.
  • With Circular Externa 009 of July 8, the Superintendence of Transport indicated that transport companies must ensure that they will be able to comply with the contract of carriage, for which they will verify whether there is any restriction in the municipality of destination so that (i) the vehicle can enter and/or (ii) passengers can descend. This circular repealed Circular 006 of 2020.
  • The Superintendence Companies by means of Legal Opinion 220-96411 of July 17 indicated that mixed-economy companies may decide in extraordinary assembly on their dissolution and liquidation since, in force of Decree 434 of 2020, the deadline for meetings in their own right is the first business day of the following month when the economic emergency declared by the National Government ends. On the other hand, it specified the Superintendence of Companies, regardless of the type of meeting at which the dissolution of the company is approved, if the majorities established in the corporate rate corresponding to these will have effects.
  • The Superintendence of Companies with the legal opinion 220-97885 of 24 June stated that the suspension to energize the cause of loss dissolution established in numeral 3 of Article 15 of Legislative Decree 560 of 2020, operates from the date of its enforcing date and for 24 months. After the suspension period, the term to energize the dissolution cause, if it has not yet been energized, will continue to run for the period of time remaining to complete it.
  • By means of Decree 1068 of July 23, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism regulated Article 144 of Law 1955 of 2019 and added a chapter to Decree 1074 of 2015. Among the relevant te following outstands: (i) competence to declare the dissolution of non-operating companies; (ii) presumption of non-operability for the purpose of renewal of goodwill; (iii) presumption of non-operability for the absence of the sending of financial information; (iv) procedure for declaring the dissolution of non-operating companies; (v) evidence to undermine the presumption of non-operability; (vi) statement by the Superintendence of Companies; (vii) recording of the declaration of dissolution; (viii) reactivation; and (ix) transition period.
  • Among the tools provided by the National Government to address the economic and financial challenges generated by the Covid-19 pandemic are some recently regulated liquidity mechanisms for Simplified Corporations (SAS): (i) Liquidity in the stock market and (ii) Liquidity by releasing the legal reserve.

Customs measures

Import measures

The Customs Authority has taken new measures regarding manual import procedures executed by the internal working groups. Specifically, on the subject of manual routing procedure (“proceso de enrutamiento manual” in Spanish) that has been carried out by the internal working group on imports of the Management Division of Customs Operations in Bogota (“División de Gestión de Operación Aduanera de la Dirección Seccional de Aduanas” in Spanish).

Taking into account the terms suspension in some foreign trade operations, the Customs Authority adjusted the customs informatic system (SYGA) in order to allow the continuity of the clearance process and avoid possible penalties regarding the expiration of terms. Therefore, the importer of records will be able to continue with the process of importation, through the electronic service, regardless of the expiration of terms on the matter.

Authorized Economic Operators – AEO

The Customs Authority has clarified certain aspects regarding the compliance of the customs obligations by AEO. In this sense, (i) the users won´t require the constitution of a guarantee, (ii) the customs authority will have to verify the quality of the operators in order to determine the application of the guarantee exception, and in case of specific guarantees, (iii) the special treatment recognized on the customs regulation must be applied.

Habilitation of additional areas as warehouses

The Customs Authority will be able to allow additional areas as warehouses or/and customs deposits while the sanitary emergency lasts. Additionally, the regulation clarifies that the suspension of customs terms won´t include administrative procedures required for the extension of these areas as warehouses or/and customs deposits  or the authorization of global guarantees.

Special systems of importation and exportation (“Plan Vallejo” in Spanish).

The government clarifies that the users of special import/export systems must comply with the activities indicated on their corporate purpose. In case of requiring additional measures, they shall request and inform the correspondent activity before the Ministry of commerce, industry and tourism.

Suspension of terms

Recently, the regulation has clarified that the suspension of customs terms will not affect (i) requests from the AEO users, (ii) activities related with the habilitation of provisional areas as ports, stocks or deposits, (iii) Global guarantees procedures, (iv) emission of customs classifications, functional units or advance resolutions, (v) Exporter certificate, among others.

  • The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism through Resolution 522 of 8 May related the subsectors and chains to which, within the framework of the numerals 22, 38, 29 and 40 of Decree 636 of 2020, the right of movement is permitted for: (i) wholesale and retail marketing of materials in the production chain, sourcing, storage, repair, maintenance and transport of motor vehicles trailers, semi-trailers, motorcycles, furniture, mattresses and box springs; (ii) manufacture, maintenance and repair of computers, peripheral equipment, electrical and optical communication equipment; (iii) retail marketing of books, newspapers, stationery and desk materials and items, wholesale trade in household furniture and equipment, and (iv) delivery laundry service. In order to operate, they must comply with the general and specific biosecurity protocols imposed by the National or Local Government.
  • With 4 draft decrees, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism seeks to adopt transitional measures in matters of: (i) foreign trade operations, tourism and free zones; (ii) special import systems – export, consumer, tourism and free zones; (iii) partial modification of the customs tariff for the importation of ethylene; and (iv) partial modification of the tariff for the importation of goods essential for medical care, treatment and containment of COVID-19.
  • The DIAN on  May 18th, reported that users with operations covered by specific guarantees must extend their final validity for the term of the suspension (Resolution 30 and its amendments), unless during the term of the suspension the obligation to terminate the regime or operation secured on the date initially established without application of the suspension is fulfilled. This process can be carried out through the DIAN Computer System.
  • By means of the legal opinion 100208221-582, the DIAN indicated that in coherence with the Decree 463 the transitional measure of zero percent (0%) tariff, is applicable for the importation of the necessary products that are listed on the Decree 463. Therefore, products that are imported that do not comply with the purpose of this decree shall pay the general fee.
  • By Decree 686 of 22 May, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism established the following provisional measures: (i) the terms established for the presentation of the demonstration study by Users of Special Import Systems - Export of commodities and inputs, of capital goods and spare parts and export of services, are extended by 6 months for those studies to be submitted in 2020, (ii) For replacement programs for the filing of import declarations the term is extended by 6 months and (iii) the Permanent Free Zones, Special Permanent Free Zones, Operating Users, Industrial Users of Goods and/or Services and Commercial Users shall submit a single report corresponding to the performance of activities and commitments under their care during the period January to June 2020 until July 30, 2020
  • By means of the legal opinion 100226368-0906 of 20 May the DIAN clarified that in order to obtain the VAT exemption stablished in Decree 551 of 2020 it is necessary that the import, sale and delivery of the goods, be carried out within the validity of the health emergency, regardless of whether each of these actions are carried out at different times and times.
  • By means of the legal opinion 100227342-19-562 of 28 May, the DIAN clarified that: (i) Article 1 of Decree 551 of 2020 listed 211 products for which the VAT exemption benefit operated; (ii) all products corresponding to the name of one of the 211 goods are armed by the standard; (iii) for those products for which the legislature expressly indicated in the standard the scope of the description, only those products may be beneficiaries of the exemption; (iv) the tariff subheadings contained in the document are indicative only.
  • With Resolution 00055 of 29 May, the DIAN resumed terms from 2 June covered by Article 8 of resolution 000030 of 29 March 2020, and its amendments. Suspended terms will start running again, taking into account the days required at the time of suspension to comply with the corresponding obligations, including those established in months or years. In customs matters, the following shall remain suspended: (i) storage term; (ii) the end of temporary importation for re-export in the same state of goods which have met their period of stay during the term of the state of health emergency provided that it can be demonstrated that it is impossible to re-export; (iii) the term for the processing of applications for qualification, registration, authorizations and modifications of customs records, authorizations of OAS, only in cases where it is expressly stated within the term to respond, that it is not possible for it to comply with the requested by compulsory isolation; (iv) the term for the process of loss of authorization, authorization or registration covered by Article 139 of Decree 1165 of 2019, when expressly stated within the term that it is not possible to respond due to mandatory isolation; (v) the term for resolving competing resources of the Customs Management Directorate, the Sub-Directorates of Customs Registry Management and Customs Technical Management, only when it is expressly stated that it is not possible to provide the documentation, due to mandatory isolation; and (vi) the end of the origin verification processes and for the issuance of the permanent value adjustment resolution when expressly stated within the term in order to respond that it is not possible to respond to it due to mandatory isolation.
  • With Circular 000018 of 2 June, the Directorate of Control Management of the DIAN established guidelines for DIAN officials for the continuity of the investigation processes as a result of the lifting of the suspension of terms. The guidelines include: (i) instruction on term counting; (ii) audit activities; (iii) signature of administrative acts; (iv) notifications; (v) workloads.
  • By means of Decree 881 of 25 June, the National Government took the following measures: (i) suspend for 6 months the obligation of international marketing companies associated with the export of goods within 6 months of the date of issue of the corresponding certificate to the supplier, accordingly, sanctions relating to this obligation do not proceed; (ii) Goods located in ports or warehouses consisting of bulk cargo, oversized cargo and vehicles that have entered between 18 March and 30 June may be transferred to other warehouses or free zone users, subject to certain conditions; (iii) the importation under the form of postal traffic and urgent shipments of the goods listed in Annex 1 to Resolution 457 of 2 April 2020 shall not be subject to the conditions and limits provided for in numerals 1 and 3 of Article 254 of Decree 1165 of 2019 until the sanitary state of emergency is maintained until 31 October 2020 , whichever happens first.
  • By means of Decree 822 of June 25, the National Government established: (i) 0% tariff on the importation of products classified by subheadings: 1001.11.00.00; 1001.19.00.00; 1001.91.00.00; 1001.99.10.10; 1001.99.10.90: 1001.99.20.00; 1202.42.00.00 for two years (ii) suspend the application of the Andean Price Strip System for wheat classified by certain subheadings for two years; (iii) unfold subheading 2832.10.00.00, which in any case will maintain the 0% tariff.
  • With Resolution 000062 of 11 June, the DIAN indicated that, until the end of the declaration of health emergency, the following terms are suspended: (i) term of storage of the goods; (ii) term of permanence of goods under temporary importation under certain conditions; (iii) procedure for enabling, recording, authorizations and modifications of customs records and authorizations of OAS in certain cases and under certain conditions; (iv) the term for the procedure for the loss of the authorization or registration covered by Article 139 of Decree 1165 of 2019 where the customs expressly states that it is not possible to respond as a result of the isolation; (v) the term for resolving competition resources of the Customs Management Directorate, the Sub-Directorates of Customs Registry Management and Customs Technical Management, when the appellant expressly states that he cannot respond due to mandatory isolation; (vi) the end of the verification of origin processes and the term for the issuance of the permanent value adjustment decision where the person obliged states that it is not possible to respond due to compulsory isolation; and (vii) the sanction for the closure of the establishment covered by Article 657 of the Tax Code.
  • By Decree 804 of 26 June, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism partially amended the customs tariff. In this regard: (i) a tariff of 0% was decreed for two years to 24 tariff subheadings and (ii) excluded from Article 1 of Decree 272 of 2018 to 16 tariff subheadings.
  • With the issuance of the legal opinion 2-2020-017148 of 26 June, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism responded to consultation related to Decree 463 of 2020. In this regard, the Ministry considers that, from a tariff point of view, the tariff of 0% provided for in Decree 463 applies to all products classified under the subheadings listed in Article 1, without making any distinction.
  • With Concept 100208221-668, the DIAN clarified that the terms associated with temporary imports were suspended from 19 March to 1 June 2020. It also clarified that: (i) the term for the completion of the temporary import modality for re-export in the same state, for imports whose term is fulfilled in the sanitary emergency and demonstrates the impossibility of re-exporting the goods, is suspended; (ii) the other obligations subject to the time limits of that import modality are not suspended; (iii) the importer must constitute the guarantee, as a requirement for the authorization to release the import declaration under the method of temporary importation, proceed to modify the guarantee initially constituted, extending the term of validity, in order to ensure that the obligations covered are covered.
  • With legal opinion 100208221-667 of 9 June, the DIAN clarified that the obligation of international marketers associated with the duty to export the purchased goods within 6 months of the issuance of the supplier's certificate was not suspended through Resolution 022 and its modifications.
  • By Decree 982 of 8 July, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development establishes a transition period for the dismantling of the regime provided for in Decrees 527 and 820 of 2020 and other provisions are made in relation to fuel alcohol. Decree 527 will remain in force until 8 August, the date on which all its effects will cease; and the conditions for the free importation of fuel alcohol for the whole national territory will be re-established.
  • With Concept 460 of 3 July, the DIAN welcomed the interpretation of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Trade with respect to the applicability of Decree 463 of 2020 for all goods established there, whether or not intended for the mitigation of COVID-19.
  • With Resolution 00076 of 10 July, the DIAN establishes the mandatory submission of the operations of the Customs Transit regime through electronic information services within 15 common days following the publication of this resolution in the Official Journal.
  • The Ministry of Transportation through its strategic safety and mobility July indicated that from 17 to 20 July 2020 and 7 August 2020, the restriction on the mobility of cargo vehicles weighing 3.4 tons or more will not apply to ensure the transport of cargo throughout the national territory , except for the restrictions covered by Decree 990 of 2020.
  • With Resolution 00076 of 10 July, the DIAN establishes the mandatory submission of the operations of the Customs Transit regime through electronic information services within 15 common days following the publication of this resolution in the Official Journal.
  • By means of Legal Opinion No. 2-2020-018478 of July 13, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism recalled the requirements for the importation of non-medical face masks and digital thermometers. The concept clarified that it requested INVIMA to indicate the requirements. In this regard it was clarified that both goods require health registration for importation, however, as a result of Covid-19 they have been considered as vital medical devices not available and should only be complied with for importation as indicated in Resolution 522 of 2020 associated with the intention to import, for which the INVIMA generated the "Diligence Guide for Import as Vital As Unavailable, Medical Devices, Biomedical Equipment, Medicines and Diagnostic Reagents in vitro, required for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, monitoring of COVID-19“.
  • By Concept 810 of 7 July, the DIAN stated that, in accordance with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, as interpreted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism associated with the possibility of exporting products covered by Decree 462 of 2020 and that in principle they are restored, provided that such export is accredited through the trajectory of historical exports, sworn declarations and other similar or approved documents that prove the existence of export commitments.
  • With Legal Opinion 812 of 7 July, the DIAN indicated that imports made through the form of postal traffic and urgent shipments the VAT responsible is the recipient of the goods and not the intermediary.
  • By Decree 1085 of 3 August, the National Government unlogged tariff subheadings 0804.40.00.00 and 6307.90.30.00 and restored the tariff to fifteen% (15%) subheading 6307.90.30.00 associated with protective mask. Likewise, this Decree creates a National Supplementary Note in Chapter 63 of the Customs Tariff.
  • By Decree 1086 of 3 August, the National Government established a 0% tariff for the importation of electrical accumulator separators. This Decree shall be valid for 6 months.
  • By Decree 1100 of 10 August, the Trade Agreement signed between Colombia and Israel entered into force. Immediately, 99% of Colombia's industrial exports to Israel are duty-free.
  • The DIAN released on 18 August the draft Resolution by which it would be allowed until 30 March 2021 that the term of permanence of the cargo subject to direct shipment can be extended for a period of 15 days or more in exceptional situations, as a result of the impact that air transport has suffered in terms of capacity and connectivity. Comments may be submitted until 24 August 2020.
  • The DIAN by concept 881 of 21 July clarified that Customs Agencies may not represent domestic or foreign firms to market products as not this is an activity that can be considered as complementary to their main social object.
  • The National Government by means of Decree 1148 of 18 August indicated the transitional health requirements for the manufacture, import and marketing of medicines, raw materials, reagents and diagnostic tests in vitro, medical devices, biomedical equipment, cosmetic products and household hygiene products that INVIMA declares to be vital are not available and to control, diagnose and treat the spread and effects of COVID-19.
  • The classifications of Permanent Customs Users (UAP as per its acronym in Spanish) and Highly Exporting Users (ALTEX as per its acronym in Spanish) extended the validity of the policies until November 30th and these new policies must be filed to carry out activities with these classifications.
  • The DIAN adopted measures for the physical and documentary inspections of the goods as consequences of Covid-19.
  • By Decree 1206 of 1 September, the National Government adopted transitional measures for the temporary importation of aircraft and provides for the entry into force of the Eligible Users figure. As topics to highlight we find: (i) completion of temporary imports of aircraft that as a result of the Covid-19 are located outside the country -this measure is effective until 31 October 2020-; (ii) Users considered to be Fit by the DIAN may, among other things, make consolidated payment of their customs taxes and (iii) electronic notification in tax matters shall be made in accordance with Article 566-1 of the Tax Code.
  • All permits and authorizations that were previously required in applications for registration and import license were informed by the Foreign Trade Directorate through Circular 018 of September 03 for those entities that participate in the Single Window of Foreign Trade (by its acronym in Spanish VUCE).
  • Everything associated with quotas for exports of scrap metal waste, iron or steel smelting and scrap iron or steel ingots is regulated, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism in its resolution 0925 of September 7, establishes In which cases the quota will not apply and likewise the procedure to prove said situation.
  • The DIAN)recalled that as a result of resolution 055 of 2020, the term of storage continues suspended, but the term of rescue of a merchandise was resumed on June 2, 2020.
  • The DIAN with Resolution 91 of 11 September added, as a result of Covid19, a transitional paragraph to Article 502 of Resolution 046 of 2020. This paragraph allows until 31 March 2020 that the term of stay of the cargo subject to direct transshipment be extended up to 10 days from the date on which it was authorized and provided that the additional period is requested within the initial transshipment term. In addition, longer periods may be authorized for the stay of cargo in the conveyor facilities.
  • The INVIMA established that the temporary declaration of Vital Medical Device Not Available for masks and / or face masks with indication for use in hospital care or those for medical use ends. Therefore, for its import, manufacture and / or commercialization in the country, it must have its respective Sanitary Registry. Importers who have import licensing procedures in progress at the Foreign Trade Single Window will have 30 calendar days to complete their import and manufacturing approval processes. Once this transition period is over, it will not be possible to import or manufacture these Medical Devices without their respective Health Registry.
  • Civil Aeronautics lifted the suspension of foreign passengers disembarking by air for the purpose of entering or connecting in Colombian territory as of September 16th . For disembarkation, airlines, airport operators or operators and travelers must comply with the provisions of biosafety protocols. Faced with a negative variation in the epidemiological behavior associated with the survey, it will be without effect.
  • The DIAN through Resolution 93 of September 28th temporarily modified article 651 of Resolution 46 of 2019 related to the favorable concept for the export of cast iron or steel scrap, iron or steel scrap ingots, and scrap and scrap of copper, aluminum and lead during the health emergency.
  • The DIAN, through Resolution 096 of October 5th, established the technical specifications for the exchange of information in the fulfillment of obligations by the users of the free zone, related to the arrival of the merchandise to the National Customs territory.
  • By Legal Opinion 905012 DIAN stated that from 8 August the tariff applicable to subheadings 6307.90.30.10 and 6307.90.30.90 has a 15% tax, not 0%. The tariff associated with subheading 6307.90.30.00 was 0% until 16 September.
  • DIAN published a draft resolution adding a transitional article to Resolution 046 of 2019 to allow the introduction of household items from residents abroad entering the country to fix their residence in the country, the minimum stay of 24 months abroad is not required and provided that the importer is shown to be resident abroad.
  • The National Government, through decree 1371, adopted transitory measures applicable to access and fulfillment of export commitments in the Special Import Systems programs - Export of raw materials and supplies, capital goods and spare parts and export.

Contact us

Tax: Ricardo A Ruiz – ricardoaruiz@kpmg.com
Legal: Zulay Pérez – zulayperez@kpmg.com