Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce Hails New Import-Export Tools, Rules
The Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce (Cámara de Comercio Colombo Americana) on October 20 hailed recent advances in the “Plan Vallejo” regulatory and reporting scheme that covers imports and exports into-and-out-of Colombia.
According to the group (which also calls itself “AmCham Colombia”), the Vallejo Plan now features more-efficient electronic reporting, eases import of capital goods, and enables users to tap the Special Systems Export-Import (SEIEX) system as well as the Single Window for Foreign Trade (VUCE) system for registration formalities and licenses.
Currently, fresh-lowers, fruits, perfumes, textiles, sugar and cocoa are some of the export products that benefit most from these trading tools, according to AmCham Colombia executive director Camilo Reyes.
The organization recently hosted a meeting of the Committee of Foreign Trade to analyze the new regime for better utilization of the Vallejo Plan, he explained.
Meeting participants heard presentations by Luis Fernando Fuentes from the Ministry of Foreign Trade; Andres Forero from the law firm of Forero Medina; Ricardo Lopez from the firm of Araujo Ibarra; Pablo Angel from the law firm of Posse Herrera Ruiz; Ingrid Diaz of PWC consultants; and Sandra Rozo of retail and manufacturing giant Corona, he said.
The Vallejo Plan first launched in 1959 during the government of former Colombian president Alberto Lleras Camargo, aiming to encourage exports, Reyes noted.
“The plan allows the entry into the national territory of raw materials, inputs, capital goods and spare parts — free of customs duties and other taxes — in exchange for making exports for the same value,” Reyes explained.
The new, revised scheme for the Vallejo Plan is included in Decree 1346 and Resolution 1649 of this year, according to CCAC.
The plan covers raw materials and inputs, capital goods and spare parts, and replacement of raw materials. It also benefits the import of machinery and equipment for the expansion of productive capacity when at least 70% of the resulting output increase is targeted for export.
As of August 2016, 464 new programs were being developed under the Plan, including 433 projects involving raw materials and 31 for services.
Today, the main export products that benefit from the plan are thermal coal; flowers/roses; bananas; doors, frames and windows; polypropylene; sugar and cocoa, perfumes and lotions; tampons; chocolates; candies, knit-wear; and dentifrices, according to AmCham Colombia.
According to the organization, the main advances in the new regime include:
• Submission of documentation through the electronic reporting, rather than manually.
• Import-export requests decided within a month, which previously took three to six months.
• A new legal report for control and reporting of wastes resulting from production processes.
• Business associations are now among potential beneficiaries of programs for capital goods and spare parts imports.
• An “Evaluation Committee” has been reactivated to enable a second-instance review of some cases.
• Breaches of obligations can result in reprimands and suspension of imports.
• Import-export projects may be canceled as a result of fraudulent behavior including fictitious exports, false documents or using irregular means for paperwork.
• Large users of the Special Systems Export-Import (SEIEX) system can now show their commitment to export with a certificate signed by a legal representative and an external auditor.
Large users also can use the “rotary quota” under the Single Window for Foreign Trade (VUCE) system for registration formalities and import licenses.
• Control of import quotas will be done electronically.