Trade barriers

Government authorities

What government office handles complaints from domestic exporters against foreign trade barriers at the WTO or under other agreements?

The Permanent Mission representing the Colombian government at the WTO and the MCIT: www.mincit.gov.co/mincomercioexterior/inicio.

Complaint filing procedure

What is the procedure for filing a complaint against a foreign trade barrier?

There is no formal investigation process for such complaints.

Grounds for investigation

What will the authority consider when deciding whether to begin an investigation?

The authority addressing a complaint will likely take into consideration the complaint’s merits and the evidence presented to support it, the interest of other Colombian importers or exporters, the broader political relationship between Colombia and the country or territory in question, and the available remedies to address the barrier.

Measures against foreign trade barriers

What measures outside the WTO may the authority unilaterally take against a foreign trade barrier? Are any such measures currently in force?

Colombia, as a member of the WTO, is obliged to followed its dispute settlement procedure in order to impose any global measure against trade barriers. However, the government is entitled to determine and impose certain measures in the event that international trade causes harm to any sector of the Colombian economy.

Private-sector support

What support does the government expect from the private sector to bring a WTO case?

In principle, the private sector may not provide support for the specific cost of a WTO case. However, the government will expect domestic private sector interest in providing relevant economic data and other evidence to support the complaint.

Notable non-tariff barriers

What notable trade barriers other than retaliatory measures does your country impose on imports?

As a general rule, all goods are authorised to be freely imported. Some of them require registration or approval at the time of importation for SPS reasons. Exceptionally, some goods require prior licensing, such as goods that are used in the production of narcotics. It is not mandatory for the goods to be deposited in a warehouse prior to carrying out the import process, but importers can do this if they wish while they obtain all the documents for importation.