By means of Decree 278 of March 15, 2021 the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism amended Decree 2147 of 2016 in order to modernize and improve the competitiveness of the free trade zones in Colombia by simplifying the requirements and by strengthening the institutional framework.
The main amendments to the free trade zone regime include the following:
- Intangible assets can be considered to fulfill with the investment commitment until 20% of the total new commitment.
- The new regulation allows the recognition of free trade zones for the development of projects related to airports, ports and railways infrastructures.
- The maximum extension term for permanent free trade zones and for special permanent free trade zones will be thirty (30) years.
- Job creation and investments made as of the filing of the request for recognition of a free trade zone can be considered for the fulfillment of the commitments without exceeding 20% of the commitment legally set.
- The number of requirements for the recognition of free trade zones was reduced from 57 to 24 requirements.
- The minimum area requirement was removed from the regulation for permanent free trade zones dedicated exclusively to provide services given that free trade zones are located in municipalities or districts having population of less than 1 million people.
- Free trade zones can obtain the amendment of the authorization to operate as special free trade zones for the provision of services to operate as permanent free trade zones dedicated exclusively to provide services. This amendment will require the free trade zone to authorize the operation of industrial users to provide science, technology, innovation, culture and other services.
- The job creation and investment commitments can be reduced for industrial users of special permanent free trade zones that carry out export operations effectively channeled through the Colombian exchange market.
- In order to promote e-commerce, industrial users are allowed to use courier services.
- The Technical Committee of Free Trade Zones is established within the Competitiveness and Innovation National System.
Author: Diana Ramírez I [email protected] I Foreign Trade, Logistics & Customs