Exporting goods to Colombia, whether it is for the first time, or on a regular basis, can be a challenging experience. There are many elements to consider when shipping to a country such as Colombia. If you are in Canada or the US and not entirely familiar with the Latin American market, you should consider a cargo shipping company that knows the business culture, the language, the customs regulations and has a proven track record of success when it comes to shipping to Colombia.
Regulations in Colombia are not only very different from the ones in the US or Canada, communication methods and business etiquette are also very distinct: ● Corporate culture in Colombia is relationship-driven. Known as warm and friendly people, Colombians are generally recognized for being easy to deal with. They place considerable importance in developing personal relationships, rather than formal business connections which is the norm in the US or Canada. Therefore, it is important to develop easy going business “friendships” before they will consider you trustworthy. Third-party contacts are also a key to business success in Colombia. An established person vouching for you and presenting your company will help you gain trust in the market. ● Flexibility and spontaneity are also common traits of Colombians although in Colombia punctuality is highly valued in business. ● It is also important to consider the language as a possible barrier. Although most highly educated business executives speak English fluently, the average person speaks only Spanish.
Colombia is the 4th biggest economy with the 3rd largest population in Latin America. It offers a unique and dynamic background for companies looking to expand internationally. The country has emerged as a strong economy in the region, taking advantage of its natural resources. Colombia is ranked 1st in Latin America for its ease of doing business (World Bank 2019). There are opportunities for foreign companies across a broad range of industries: Petrochemicals, agrochemicals, forest products, agriculture, etc. Colombia is also known as an important global source of gems, especially emeralds. Over 70% of fresh-cut flowers imported by the United States are Colombian. The new free trade agreements have recently boosted the growth of the Colombian economy. Eight free trade agreements have been signed with different regions of the world and thirteen others are in negotiation. Colombia’s principal trading partners are the USA, China, Europe and some Latin American countries. Colombian growing domestic consumption offers promising opportunities to North American exporters of high-quality consumer goods. The need for shipping to and from Colombia has been increasing exponentially during recent years. With LAC by your side you will reinforce your company’s cargo shipping capability to Colombia. Our experienced professionals are very familiar with the market requirements in Colombia which is very important to avoid delays during the importation process. We provide you with all the necessary tools to break into the Colombian market, headache free.
Every country in every continent offers a unique mix of laws, guidelines, customs regulations, documentation requirements, controlled or prohibited goods lists, communication norms, and cultural biases. If you want to be successful in penetrating the Colombian market, you will need a logistics partner that understands the Colombian culture, the business landscape and speaks the local language as well. Our team of experts offer you superior freight forwarding services and the best rates for your cargo shipping to Colombia. Our combined experience, extensive knowledge; logistics skills and local connections will help you get started on the right foot and make sure that your goods are transported quickly, safely, and worry-free. We have your company’s best interests at heart, if you want to be successful in Colombia, Latin American Cargo is the best freight forwarding company for you.
If you are sending merchandise to Colombia by sea or air for the first time, guidance and support will surely be needed, as there are guidelines, prohibitions and restrictions to consider. Documentation requirements vary depending on the category of goods being shipped, and can get quite extensive. They usually include: Customs import declaration, manifest, declaration of dutiable value, commercial invoice, pro forma invoice, packing list, air / sea waybill, Bill of Lading, Insurance certificate, Certificate of Origin (if required), Single Tax Register (RUT) of importer. To avoid delays or hassles when shipping to Colombia, your packing list must be as detailed as possible. Vague wording like “miscellaneous” attracts negative attention and further inspections. Regulations can be strict on certain categories of goods being imported to Colombia. Prior authorization or special permits may be needed for certain items such as agricultural products, processed foods, pharmaceutical, cosmetics or antiques. Prohibited commodities include certain used vehicles, used clothing and accessories, used tires, certain used machinery and all types of toxic wastes or dangerous residues. Duties and tariffs are usually based on the total value of the shipment in question, and depending on how well-documented the cargo is, those values could be determined by the judgment of Customs Officials on the spot. Shipping cargo to Colombia is easier with LAC as we have overcome these obstacles many times and have developed a thorough understanding of the customs procedures.
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