After decreeing a 19-day curfew to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Colombian government dispelled the confusion by confirming that foreign trade activities through ports, airports and border crossings can continue to operate without interruption. Likewise, transport, storage and logistics for the import and export of goods and necessary domestic transport by air will be allowed for the transfer of goods.
In addition, with the exceptions indicated in Decree 457 on curfews, planting, harvesting, production, packaging, import, export, transport, storage, distribution and marketing of agricultural products can continue, as well as production in the petroleum, bioenergy and mining sectors.
The current ministerial decree 457 of March 22, 2020 can be accessed by clicking here. The government also issued the following stipulations regarding foreign trade during the curfew, initially scheduled until April 13:
- International trade is essential to be able to meet the country’s supply needs and, given its dynamics, it requires action to be taken to ensure its sustainability.
- Likewise, it is not possible to select specific products in the cargo arriving at the port or airport, in accordance with the exceptions contained in Decree 457 of March 2020.
- The storage capacity of ports, airports and border posts is limited and foreign trade activities must continue.
- For control purposes, the import, export and customs transit operation may be accredited upon presentation of a copy of the supporting documents for the foreign trade operation, such as the import declaration, customs export or transit, or shipping or transfer form, as appropriate.
- Copies of these documents will be required by the Police Force and by the Directorate of Traffic and Transport with powers of control over the country’s highways, to verify compliance with the restriction measure.
- The cargo import operation which is authorized during the 19 days that mandatory administrative segregation will be in effect, includes the movement of goods from ports, airports or border crossings to its destination, whether it is a public or private deposit. activated, or the warehouse, plant or plant of the importer. For any reason, the said goods can be mobilized or distributed in additional places for its marketing, with the exception of the goods forming part of the exceptions provided for in article 3 of Decree 457 of 2020.
- The mobilization of cargoes other than those covered by a foreign trade operation or those classified as basic necessities or those necessary for the provision of health services is not authorized.
- The mobilization of import and export goods can be carried out in any type of vehicle allowing the transport of goods.
- The biosecurity protocols developed by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection for the performance of each of the unloading, storage and transport activities will be mandatory.
The National Government, in coordination with local governments, will continue to work to mitigate the effects of the emergency on productive activity, essential both for the maintenance of the national economy and for the supply of the population.