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Frequently Asked Questions

PROCOLOMBIA´s publications contains interesting information on topics related to exports, investment, business, opportunities, tourism, seminars and general aspects that highlight the image of Colombia abroad.

Market Selection

Choosing the market to export requires precise and reliable information gathering.

Where to export my product?

The decision to export is accompanied by a series of steps that allow the decrease in export risk and increase in the possibilities for the international operation to be successful. To know each of the steps and how PROCOLOMBIA can help you in the process, Read more.

Which countries buy my product and which ones have the best potential to export it?
  • Consult Colombia's export portal where you will find information on markets (countries) and Colombian export sectors, in order to facilitate the initial investigation process.
  • Present high purchase volumes.
  • They are growing and it is foreseen that they continue doing it.
  • Present favorable conditions in terms of market access.

Analyze the value imported by each country:

  • Current suppliers (countries of origin)
  • Market concentration (there are dominant suppliers or not)
  • Quantity, implicit prices, etc.

Additionally, in publications about Potential Products, you can find the result of a complete analysis of the Colombian offer against international demand for a wide range of products.

Where can I obtain economic and foreign trade information for the country (s) of my interest?

Publications is a guide that offers you information on foreign trade, socio-economy, transport logistics from Colombia and links of interest to web pages, which allow to deepen the information required about a specific country.

¿Cuál es el valor del flete para el transporte internacional (marítimo, aéreo, terrestre) desde Colombia hasta un destino específico?

Las tarifas de transporte de carga entre dos puntos varían en función del tipo de carga, el volumen, el modo y el equipo de transporte o unidad de carga y de la empresa transportadora.

Para conocer con exactitud los fletes aplicables desde Colombia al destino requerido, es recomendable que consulte directamente a la compañía transportadora que cubre la ruta de su interés. Los Agentes de Carga y las Compañías de Intermediación aduanera pueden también suminístrale esta información.

Así mismo PROCOLOMBIA, a través del servicio de información sobre transporte puede suministrarle fletes de referencia para los diferentes modos de transporte en las distintas rutas internacionales. Lo encuentra en la Página Web de PROCOLOMBIA.

What is the most appropriate mode of transport for my product?

The definition of the transport mode to export a product is linked to:

  • Type of product to be exported.
  • Product Weight.
  • Load Weight
  • Product value and shipment.
  • Point of origin and point of destination requested by the buyer.
  • Type of packaging and packing.
  • Buyer requirements in terms of frequency, speed, availability and accessibility in the different modes of transport.
  • It is important to note that each mode of transport has its own characterization; for example, air transport is not suitable for mass loads or maritime for urgent loads.
Service Exports

Doubts about service exports can be solved in the Information Center of Foreign Trade Services.

What are services?

Services are benefits that, in contrast to goods, can not be seen, touched or stored.

How to start exporting services?

Go to the Information Center (Foreign Trade Service Information Center, +57 (1) 560 0100, ext 3023, Street 28 # 13ª-15) where they will provide information on procedures, markets, products, etc.

To export services I have to register as an exporter?

Yes. It is necessary to register with the General Directorate of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

Other Questions of Interest - Exports

If you want to be successful in your work of exporting, know the details of this activity.

How are Rules of Origin consulted?

When a group of countries signs a trade agreement, they grant tariff preferences that favor their members against third countries. In order to benefit from these preferences and avoid non-members of the agreements to enjoy them, the Rules of Origin were established, which ensure that the imported products originate and come only from the countries that signed the agreement. Therefore, to consult this information, access the Ruta Exportadora Web Tool

How do I find Colombian companies that produce, commercialize or export a certain product?

In response to your request, we indicate that you can verify the list of Colombian exporters through the following means:

  1. Consult via Internet in Colombia Trade.
  2. Through the Colombian Catalog of Exporters of Publishing. You can inquire in a physical way at our Zeiky foreign trade advisory center located in the city of Bogotá at 28th Street No 13a - 15th floor 1 local 8 during the hours of: Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
How do I find data bases of companies in Colombia that export or import, foreign trade data bases, and import and export statistics?

The Business Business Center - Zeiky-, has on-line databases and tools with the assistance of professionals in Foreign Trade willing to help you in the use of these. BACEX, is one of our databases, which provides you with statistics on Colombian imports and exports and Colombian companies that carry out these operations. To make these inquiries, we invite you to visit our Information Center, located at 28 Street No. 13A-15 First Floor Local 8 with a schedule of Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Conference Continuá , and on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Remember, if you are not in the city of Bogotá, PROCOLOMBIA offers you a complete network of Regional Zeikys, where you can receive more information about it, as well as a broad portfolio of services to enter the international markets. For more information, contact the Contact Center: nationally (01900) 331-0021 - Bogotá (571) 419-9450.

How do I obtain Information about MCR and Events?

Macrorruedas (MCR) are large-scale events that bring together buyers and sellers from a specific sector of the economy in one place to generate business opportunities.

If you wish to consult the programming, please enter to Macrorruedas.

Keep in mind that to participate in this type of activity, you must have the elements and knowledge necessary to achieve a successful development in this type of event.

What is a Market Research for a specific product?

The information contained in each market research shows the dynamics of the sector, the demand and consumption, the competitive situation of the products, the structure and characteristics of the marketing and logistics of market access, it is a contribution and an invitation to deepen and know aspects that allow us to advance in the realization of business in international scenarios, therefore, we invite you to expand this information here: Market Studies.

How can I check in what procedure is my determination of origin?

To know the status of your determination of origin should contact the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism to PBX 6067676 option 3 EXT 2156

How is the Tariff Classification made?

The tariff heading is a 10-digit code where the merchandise is described in order to facilitate its identification in international trade and determine the requirements and taxes payable, this coding can be consulted in Decree 4589 of December 27, 2006, through the website of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, mincit, in regulations-decrees year 2006.

How is an Import done?

To make an import, it is necessary to take into account the following steps, among others:

  • A market and economic feasibility study of the import.
  • The price of the product in the international market.
  • International transport costs.
  • Nationalization costs and other expenses that may arise.

Taking into account this information it is important that you know the process in detail, which is why we invite you to consult the guide on how to import, available in mincit in information services.

How is the tariff heading located?

To locate the tariff subheading of your product, you have two options:

  1. 1. Through the customs tariff directly, which can be consulted in the ZEIKY.
  2. 2. Reviewing Decree 4589 of December 27, 2006.

It is important to clarify that DIAN is the only authorized entity to determine the tariff classification, according to Decree 2685/99 Art.236 and Resolution 4240/00 Art. 154 to 157 of the DIAN - Division of tariffs, tel. 6079999 Ext. 2128/2129. Cost: average minimum salary per product.

What data and conditions should a refund of currencies have?

The Exchange Statute in Colombia obliges that any turnaround for the importation of goods must be channeled through the intermediaries of the foreign exchange market, its non-realization is sanctioned by the DIAN. In principle, all imports must have a currency exchange unless it corresponds to a non-refundable operation duly justified in accordance with Decree 3803 of 2006, article 15.
When making the payment abroad (currency reimbursement) it is important to bear in mind that the declaration of change No. 1 must be filled out before the intermediary of the exchange market. The maximum legal term to make the foreign transfer is six (6) months counted from the date of the shipping document, otherwise it is constituted in an external debt operation, which must be previously informed to your intermediary.

How is an Import of services made?

To register with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism the contract or invoice for the provision of a service abroad, you can do the procedure directly or authorize a SIA or special attorney:

  1. If you are going to carry out the process directly, you must acquire the Digital Signature before CERTICÁMARA in Bogotá address: Av. Calle 26 Nº. 68D-35, 5th floor. Telephone: (1) 3830671, or in Bucaramanga and Cali; To request your username and password you must send to the email: email, the Company Name, RUT, Name of the legal representative, email address, telephone number, fax, address and city of domicile, which you will receive through of your email. Subsequently, it must complete the registration of technology import contracts Form O3 prior to the payment of corresponding royalties through VUCE through the module F.U.C.E. (unique form of foreign trade). Finally, transmit the technology import contract or the invoice (s) for the provision of services scanned as attachments. In case the annexes can not be scanned, they must be physically filed with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism or sent by certified mail, addressed to the Technology and Trade Services Group.
  2. If you wish to carry out the process through an SIA or special attorney, you must authorize them through an authenticated power of attorney in a notary. You can complement this information by consulting the external circular 027 of 2009, as well as in VUCE, clicking on help, then by the option FUCE and Registration of Technology Import Agreements - Form 03.
What products require a prior license?

It is in the regime of Prior Licenses the articles controlled by narcotics, the non-reimbursable imports, the legalizations, the ones that request exemption of tariff encumbrances, the ones that cover merchandise used, imperfect, repaired, reconstructed, restored, remanufactured and balances of inventory ; those that use the annual license system; those presented by official entities with the exception of gasoline, urea, contemplated in Decree 3803 of 2006, article 15, chunks of chicken, plastic waste, weapons and ammunition, among others.

What products require import registration?

You must present the import register before the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism when the goods of free import require a requirement, permission or authorization from a governmental entity. This request must be made electronically, through the web - Ventanilla Única de Comercio Exterior-VUCE. VUCE

It is understood by requirement, permit or authorization, the previous procedures required by the competent authorities for the approval of import registration applications of:

  • Fishing resources.
  • Surveillance equipment and private security.
  • Radioactive isotopes and radioactive material.
  • Garments deprived of public force.
  • Hydrocarbons and gasoline And of those subjected to:
    • Sanitary control aimed at preserving human, plant and animal health.
    • Compliance with technical regulations.
    • Certificate of emissions by dynamic test.
    • Vehicle homologation.
    • Control to guarantee the protection of the environment under treaties, conventions or international protocols.
What is the procedure to import samples with no commercial value?

The importation of goods as samples without commercial value is subject to the payment of customs duties and can be carried out under two modalities.

No import license: applies for:

  1. Import for promotional and advertising purposes, for experimentation, technical and scientific tests as prototypes of products not intended for commercialization.
  2. When the unit value of the merchandise does not exceed US $ 50 USD $ 50 and maximum limit of up to 10 units per shipment.

In the case of larger quantities, the goods must be marked on the original packaging or sample as a Sample without Commercial Value.

The total of the shipment can not exceed 1000 US dollars USD $ 1000.

With import license: When the goods do not meet the above requirements.

How is the digital certificate acquired?

Bearing in mind that the company CERTICAMARA established two forms to request the purchase of the Certificate: Company Representation and Membership in the Company, the following should be taken into account:

  1. If the legal representative is the person in charge of signing the documents that the company will process electronically, the certificate must be processed only for him, through the CERTIFICATE OF COMPANY REPRESENTATION form.
  2. If within the company is authorized to sign the legal representative and another person who will do his or her absence, a digital certificate must be processed for each one, because it is personal and non-transferable. The request for the signature of this person will be made through the form for CERTIFICATE OF BELONGING TO COMPANY.
  3. If the signature is authorized only for the authorized person (s) and that is not the legal representative, the certificate must be processed through the CERTIFICATE OF BELONGING TO THE COMPANY form.
What is a digital certificate?

It is a digital identity document issued in the name of natural or legal persons. The issuance is under the responsibility of a certification entity duly authorized by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (Law 527 of 1999, articles 29-34). The certifying entity guarantees the data contained in the aforementioned document relating to a person, whether natural or legal. This digital document is the equivalent of an identity document, license, passport or business card. Through a set of keys associated with an identity, a certificate serves to identify itself to third parties and prevents identity spoofing on the Internet; This fact makes it a key tool for the identification of contracting parties in electronic commerce.

A Digital Certificate can be requested by any company or merchant (or its representative) attached to a National Chamber of Commerce.

A digital Certificate contains the following information:

  • The identifier of the entity issuing the certificate.
  • The unmistakable name of the owner.
  • A specific attribute of the owner, such as his address, ability to act on behalf of a company, solvency, NIT number or other tax identification code, or the existence of payment guarantees or specific licenses and attributions.
  • The beginning and end of the validity period of the certificate.
  • The unique code of the certificate.
  • The digital signature of the entity that issues the certificate.
  • The limits of use of the certificate, if applicable, and The limits of the responsibility of the certification service provider and the value of the transactions for which the certificate is valid.
  • The public key of the certificate subscriber. (Law 527 of 1999, articles 35-38).

Obtaining a Digital Certificate allows to secure the entrance (authentication) to restricted sites in the World Wide Web (replacing the dangerous access controls through user and keywords), to sign messages assuring its origin and authorship, to encrypt the communication in a way that only the recipient can see it.

The Digital Certificates that are issued are considered as High Security, that is, a physical identification of the applicant and a thorough verification of the data provided.

¿Cómo se Inscriben los importadores que actúan a través de una SIA?

En esta categoría de usuarios se consideran las personas naturales o jurídicas que hacen el trámite de solicitud de registros o licencias de importación a través de las SIAs o de apoderados debidamente acreditados.

Para realizar su registro ante la VUCE, la persona natural, el Representante Legal o a quien otorgue poder, debe acercarse al Ministerio de Comercio Industria y Turismo (Grupo Operativo, Direcciones Territoriales o Puntos de Atención), suministrar el número de RUT de la empresa importadora o persona natural que va a consultar los trámites que le sean radicados a nombre de él.

El funcionario del Ministerio de Comercio Industria y Turismo

  • Verifica la inscripción de la persona natural o jurídica en el RUT de la DIAN o en el RUE de la Cámara de Comercio, y confronta la información, con la suministrada por el usuario.
  • Ingresa al sistema la información del usuario.
  • Le entrega al usuario el documento de condiciones de uso al usuario y contraseña de acceso al sistema.
  • El usuario firma el documento de condiciones de uso como usuario del sistema y la devuelve al funcionario de Mincomercio quien se encargará de archivar la copia firmada.
  • Con el usuario y la clave suministrada por el funcionario del Mincomercio el usuario debe ingresar al VUCE VUCE y cambiar su contraseña por seguridad y puede consultar todas las solicitudes que radique la SIA o un apoderado a su nombre.
  • El funcionario del Ministerio de Comercio Industria y Turismo (Grupo Operativo, Direcciones Territoriales o Puntos de Atención), crea un listado de los usuarios registrados en el sistema durante el día. A medida que va creando usuarios en el sistema va tomando nota en Excel de los siguientes datos:
    • Cedula o Nit
    • Nombre del usuario

Este listado lo envía al final del día al correo electrónico correo, para que el administrador del sistema le asigne los perfiles de seguridad correspondientes a cada uno.

¿Cómo se inscribe un Importador que realiza importaciones superiores a USD 1000?


Estos usuarios deben presentarse a las oficinas del Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo (Grupo Operativo, Direcciones Territoriales o Puntos de Atención), con el propósito de registrarse ante el sistema y poder realizar la operación del registro o licencia de importación, para lo cual deben presentar el siguiente documento:

  • Cédula de ciudadanía o RUT

El funcionario del Ministerio de Comercio Industria y Turismo

  • Toma una foto de la persona que se inscribe, la cual va a reposar en las bases de datos de inscripción.
  • Verifica la inscripción de la persona natural o jurídica en el RUT de la DIAN o en el RUE de la Cámara de Comercio y confronta la información.
  • Ingresa al sistema la información del usuario.
  • Le entrega al usuario el documento de condiciones de uso, usuario y contraseña de acceso al sistema y el documento de establecimiento de responsabilidades y autorización al Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo para asegurar las transacciones electrónicas realizadas como importador.
  • El usuario firma el documento de condiciones de uso como usuario del sistema y el documento de establecimiento de responsabilidades y los devuelve al funcionario del Mincomercio quien se encargará de archivar la copia firmada junto con una impresión de la fotografía.
  • Con el usuario y la clave suministrada por el funcionario del Mincomercio el usuario debe ingresar a la VUCE VUCE y cambiar su contraseña por seguridad y puede consultar todas las solicitudes inferiores a 1000 dólares en línea.
  • El funcionario del Ministerio de Comercio Industria y Turismo (Grupo Operativo, Direcciones Territoriales o Puntos de Atención), crea un listado de los usuarios registrados en el sistema durante el día a medida que va creando usuarios en el sistema va tomando nota en Excel de los siguientes datos:
    • Cedula o Nit del RUT
    • Nombre del usuario

Este listado junto con los archivos electrónicos de las fotografías debidamente nombradas con el Nit del importador las envía al correo electrónico correo, para que el administrador del sistema le asigne los perfiles de seguridad correspondientes a cada uno.

How do you register Importers, SIAS, UAPS, ALTEX?

This type of Users must not personally register with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (Operating Group, Territorial Directorates or Points of Service), their registration must be done by email as indicated.

These users must perform the following steps:

  1. Obtain the digital certificate before a certifying entity authorized by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (see Instructions for the acquisition of a digital certificate).
  2. Inform the email: mail the following data:
    • No. of the RUT.
    • Company name.
    • Name of the Legal Representative of the Company.
    • Email address for system notification.
    • Telephone No., Fax No., Address, Address City.
    • Note: This information must match the one that appears on the digital signature certificate.
  3. Acquire the VUCE application in the offices of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

    The SIAs or special attorneys-in-fact must have the documents through which the importers or exporters they represent grant them the power to carry out the procedures before the Single Foreign Trade Window. At the time deemed necessary, the Ministry may request it.

    Functions of the System Administrator:

    • Verify the registration of the natural or legal person in the RUT of the DIAN and the RUE of the Chamber of Commerce and confront the information, with that provided via email by the importer.
    • Create the user and assign a password.
    • Send an email informing the user and password for access to the system, which must change for security.
    • Send via email the document of conditions of use and commitments as a user of the system.
  4. The Importer returns via email the digitally signed conditions of use document to the email address, email.
  5. The Importer enters the import module and registers the digital key (token) online, on the page VUCE (see instructive token registration).
  6. Once these steps are completed, the importer will be able to carry out the procedures online through the VUCE importations.
What is VUCE and how is it used?

Decree No, 4149 of December 10, 2004, created the Single Window for Foreign Trade - VUCE, in order to allow exporting and importing users the electronic processing of authorizations, permits, certifications or previous good reviews, which require different entities competent to carry out specific import and export operations.

This system guarantees the technological and legal security of the different procedures when integrating the digital signature. Additionally, it makes use of online electronic payment, seeking in this way to speed up the payment of the procedure before the entities.

The VUCE system provides the user with the necessary elements so that he can carry out the electronic processing of exports and imports, guaranteeing him: agility, integrity, availability and reliability in the process and most importantly the security of the information with the use of the electronic signature.

For more information go to the website, VUCE, we appreciate using our services, and any additional questions and concerns do not hesitate to contact us.

What is it and how is the payment of records made?

To make the payment of the registration or import license before the Ministry, the importer must have a username and password to access the VUCE System. The payment is made electronically for which the importer must have a bank account in one of the financial entities included in the Electronic Service Provider of the ACH.

The importer must make the payment on the same day he / she makes the transmission of the request; if the payment is not made, the system deletes the transmitted requests and the user must perform the transmission procedures again.

The amount to be paid is automatically charged by the system according to the number of characters filled out in the application for registration or import license. The settlement is calculated in accordance with current regulations.

How is the User Registry done before the VUCE?

To register as a user in the VUCE system, you must be registered in the RUT (Unique Tax Registry). Once you comply with this requirement, you must inform the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism via email. In the system there are three types of users:

  1. Importers or Customs Brokerage Companies, who electronically sign their applications.
  2. Importers who carry out their procedures through an SIA or special attorney.
  3. Natural or Legal Persons that make imports under USD 1000 (One Thousand Dollars) and that do not have a digital signature.

In accordance with the regulations issued for this purpose and depending on the type of user, you must ask the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism to create a username and password to access the system.

Users belonging to the classification of number 3. and who make maximum three (3) imports per year, do not require digital signature; they should only register once before the offices of the Ministry at the national level.

What is a CERT?

The Tax Refund Certificate - CERT, is an instrument to support exports. The competent entity to approve this incentive is the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. The Decrees, Resolutions, Circulars related to this topic can be consulted on the mincit page.

What is an International Supplier?

Legal entities that aspire to be registered and recognized as International Supplier Companies, must submit an application signed by the legal representative, before the Subdirección de Comercio Exterior, Registration and Control Division of the National Tax and Customs Office, complying with the requirements established in article 1. From Decree 093 of 2003; For more information about the procedure it is necessary to consult through the Internet, entering, DIAN, in the option procedures and then Foreign Trade.

What is a Product Input Table?

The Table Input Product, is the document through which the participation of raw materials and inputs imported and used in export goods is demonstrated.

What is the Vallejo Plan?

Plan Vallejo, is the modality that allows to receive merchandise within the national territory under the protection of articles 172, 173 and 174 of Decree Law 444 of 1967, with total or partial suspension of customs taxes, raw materials, capital goods and spare parts, destined to be exported totally or partially within a certain period, after having undergone processing or repair.

What does Article 172 D of the Vallejo Plan say?

Within the modalities of Vallejo plan, you have the option of temporary importation of raw materials and supplies that are to be used exclusively in their entirety, deducting the waste and waste in the production of goods destined for export; In this case, the export commitment is one hundred percent (100%).

What does article 173 B of the Vallejo Plan say?

Within a Vallejo plan program, you can import raw materials and inputs destined entirely to the production of goods, whose export may be partial if the final good is imported and is exempt from the payment of customs duties; In this case, the export commitment will be 60% of the production obtained.
From the Vallejo Plan.

What is Reposition?

Within the plan vallejo program, it is taken into account that whoever exports with the legal requirements goods in whose production used raw materials and imported inputs, by ordinary channels or by replacement, will be entitled to import with the benefits stipulated in Art 179 an amount equal of those raw materials and inputs.

What is a Free Trade Zone?

It is understood by Industrial Free Trade Zone of Goods and Services a geographical area delimited from the national territory, in order to promote and develop, the process of industrialization of goods and services, destined to exempt markets and subsidiary to the national market.

What kinds of Free Zones are there?

A Transitory Free Zone is where fairs, eexpositions, congresses and seminars of international character are held, which are important for the economy and the international trade of the country (Trade fair and convention centers) for example: Corferias.