Changes have been made to the rules governing “free zones” (zonas francas) as established in Colombia under decrees issued in 1999 and in 2016.
Decree 659 (2018) modifies Decree 2685 (1999) and Decree 2147 (2016) in an effort to streamline the procedures and simplify the regulations that govern the free zone regimes.
Some of the changes concern the removal or exit of merchandise from the free zones. Other new measures concern the rules for “urgent shipments,” or to facilitate the exit of goods from a free zone to another customs territory for repairs. There are new guidance items concerning the industrial processes that can be conducted in free zones, and the import customs clearance measures for goods that are needed for industrial activities (if they remain in the free zone facilities).
The new measures in Decree 659 have an effective date of 17 April 2018 and will continue to apply until such time that the tax and customs authority (DIAN) launches its new customs computing system (expected in November 2019).
Read a May 2018 report (Spanish) prepared by the KPMG member firm in Colombia
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