NO LATER THAH JUNE 20TH, 2023 THE CONGRESS SHALL ISSUE A NEW
REGIME OF CUSTOMS PENALTIES
By means of ruling C-441/21 the Constitutional Court declared numeral 4° of article 5 of Law 1609 of 2013 unconstitutional. In accordance with numeral 4° previously mentioned, the Regime of customs penalties and the seizure of goods from a customs perspective, along with the applicable proceedings, must be stated in the Decrees issued by the National Government pursuant to the referred framework law.
According to the ruling, the mentioned regulatory power is not included within the Government powers in accordance with article 150.19 subparagraph c) and article 189 numeral 25. These powers correspond to amendments to the tariffs and other provisions related to the customs regulations aimed at achieving commercial policy objectives.
Furthermore, the Constitutional Court pointed out that the provision denounced as unconstitutional neglects the principles of legality and prior definition of offences that comprise due process (article 29 of National Constitution), given that passed to the Government openly and irregularly powers of exclusive competence of the legislator.
Lastly, the Court noted that the immediate overruling of numeral 4° of article 5 of Law 1609 of 2013 could be a potential risk to the preservation and respect of the Customs Regime. As a result, the Court declared the norm unconstitutional with delayed effects until June 20th, 2023. In this timeframe the Congress must issue the ordinary law regulating the regime of customs penalties and seizure of goods, along with the applicable administrative proceeding.
Author: Diana Ramírez I [email protected] I Foreign Trade, Logistics & Customs