Mistakes in Description of Merchandises
By means of Decree 993 of May 15th 2015, new rules were set up regarding description of merchandises in import declarations. The new rules grant the importer the opportunity to legalize the merchandises in respect of which mistakes were made in its description in the import declaration, provided that the seizure of goods shall not have occurred.
The new regulation enables the importer to redress the description of the merchandise in the import declaration without payment or with some minimal ransom payment. The amendments to the description of the merchandises in the import declaration are permitted as long as the mistakes do not involve the nature of products to be imported to be different from the one described in the import declaration.
In addition, the new regulation adds the following new cases as feasible to carry out legalization of merchandises: (i) When examining the goods surpluses of cargo are found; (ii) when differences between the goods described and the ones to be imported are found; and (iii) in order to complete a long term import modality.
The following is the procedure in case of mistakes or omissions in serial numbers, or in case of partial or incomplete descriptions of merchandises:
(i) During customs inspection in the import process: Within five (5) days after the customs inspection is finished a legalization return can be filed in order to rectify the errors in the description of the merchandises.
(ii) Customs Authority’s subsequent control: Within ten (10) days after the action of the authority is completed a legalization return can be filed by the importer, by paying 15% of the merchandise value as ransom payment.
In our opinion, the measures set out in Decree 993 of 2015 represent an important step in the right direction to facilitate foreign trade operations in Colombia.