Guide to Sending Parcels to Colombia

Colombia stretches to twice the size of France and features geographic extremes: 1600 km of beautiful coastline along the Pacific ocean and the Caribbean Sea, backstopped by the high Andes, and parts of the Amazon rainforest.

This varied terrain is populated by 50 million ethnically and linguistically diverse hardworking people. And though they take time to savour their delicious coffee, their energy has created a growing, mixed, and emerging economy.

Colombians' enthusiasm for using the internet and shopping on-line shopping is supported by having Latin America's only Ministry of E-commerce. And this may explain the forecasted 8% per year growth of e-commerce until 2022.

Information for this page has been taken from Colombian Customs and Colombian Government Information Services government websites.

Shipping Rates

Easily compare the best and cheapest shipping options to Colombia through a variety of carriers using Secureship

find the cheapest way to ship to Colombia from Canada
Secureship provides safe and affordable shipping from Canada to Colombia. Whether you are an everyday shopper or a business, you can easily save up to 50% on your international shipping costs by way of accessing our group buying power.
Get an Estimate

Easy Tracking Information

Shipments through Secureship come with full, easy to read tracking information to Colombia

Full tracking information for parcels to Colombia is available with Secureship
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
Oct 24, 2020
8:49 am
La Chorrera, LA, CO
Delivered
Oct 23, 2020
7:18 am
El Encanto, EL, CO
In transit
Oct 22, 2020
9:03 pm
Leticia, LE, CO
International Clearance
Oct 22, 2020
8:14 am
Bogotá, BO, CO
In transit
Oct 22, 2020
12:17 am
Toronto, ON, CA
In transit
Oct 21, 2020
4:30 pm
Ottawa, ON, CA
Pickup Scan

Disclaimer!

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, Customs laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult a licensed broker in Colombia before shipping any goods.

Types of Shipments

Not all types of shipments are created equal. Shipping a television will require different paperwork, duties, and taxes than shipping an accounting statement, for example.
Shipping Documents Only Image to Colombia

Documents Only

Generally, to ship documents to Colombia without duties and taxes being charged the shipment's weight cannot exceed 10 kg. A few exceptions are noted in the table below.

Typical document shipments include:

  • Advertising literature
  • Blueprints and drawings
  • Brochures and pamphlets
  • Calendars
  • Catalogues and price lists
  • Computer print-outs
  • Driver's licences
  • Graphs
  • Greeting cards and invitations
  • Labels
  • Magazines, newspapers, periodicals, and publications
  • Newsletters (company)
  • Manuscripts and technical manuals
  • Maps
  • Negatives
  • Seismic data
  • Passports and visa applications

Documents of the following nature have restrictions as shown below.

Document type Restriction
Airline tickets Blank; shipment less than 10 kg
Airline tickets (validated) Shipment less than 5 kg
Annual reports Shipment less than 20 kg
Bids Shipment less than 20 kg
Charts Shipment less than 5 kg
Cheques Shipments of blank cheques prohibited; cancelled cheques allowed up to a shipment weight of 5 kg
Credit cards Shipment less than 5 kg
Envelopes Must be blank and weigh less than 20 kg
Forms Must be blank and weigh less than 20 kg
Intercompany mail Shipment less than 20 kg
Photographs and sepia drawings Shipment less than 5 kg
Proposals Shipment less than 20 kg
Slides Shipment less than 5 kg
Specification sheets Shipment less than 5 kg
Stationery Must be blank and weigh less than 20 kg
Transparencies Shipment less than 5 kg
Traveller's cheques Prohibited if unused; used cheques allowed if less than 5 kg

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Shipping Gifts to Colombia

Shipping Gifts

There are no duty or tax exemptions on gifts shipped to Colombia from Canada.

Shipments from Individual-to-Individual

Shipping a gift to someone in Colombia from Canada will incur duties and taxes.

Shipments from Business-to-Business

Shipments to or from a business are not considered to be gifts, so duties and taxes would have to be paid. Gifts sent to an individual care of a business address will also incur taxes and charges regardless of the value of the gift.

Shipments from Business-to-Individual

A business in Canada cannot ship a gift to an individual in Colombia without incurring duties and taxes.

Gift Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • The words 'Gift Shipment' or 'Unsolicited Gift' are included on the commercial invoice, even if the shipment is sent at Christmas time (see sample)
  • List the items in the parcel and write the value of each
  • Sending more than one gift in the parcel? Wrap and tag each one individually.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift Shipment: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $79.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $79.99
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge


Multiple Gifts in One Shipment

Be sure to wrap and tag each gift individually.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Unsolicited Gift: Consolidated Gift Package

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift - Roger: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $39.99
1 Each Gift - Erica: Handwoven French Canadian Catalogne Blanket

CA $49.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $89.98
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US


Shipping personal effects/belongings to Colombia

Shipping Personal Effects

When shipping personal effects to Colombia from Canada, they may include household goods such as appliances, furniture, and accessories normally used in a home.

Moving temporarily will not incur duties whereas a permanent importation will be charged a 15% tax on the value of the goods.

Moving Temporarily

Students

No information regarding students living temporarily in Colombia is available at this time.

Non-Students

You may ship to Colombia items for your professional and personal use duty free providing:

  • They leave Colombia after 6 months from their entry date (may be extended for another 6 months)
  • You have lived outside of Columbia for at least 24 months - continuously or discontinuously - during the immediate 3 years before arriving in Colombia
  • You declare your personal effects when you enter Colombia

Sample of Personal and Household Items:

  • Sports equipment
  • Television and radio
  • Children's toys
  • Baby paraphernalia
  • Tools
  • Kitchen utensils, glassware, and crockery
  • Books

Moving Permanently

If you move permanently to Colombia from Canada, you may bring your personal effects and household goods without registering them or obtaining an import licence.

You will be charged a 15% tax based on the customs value of the goods.

You must be able to show that you have lived outside of Colombia for the 5 years immediately prior to your arrival in the country.

Household goods include:

  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Kitchen utensils and accessories
Personal Effects Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • State clearly 'Personal Effects' on the commercial invoice (see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided
  • Any above listed items

Sources:
https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/co/Documents/legal/comercioexterior/2019/agosto/primerasemana/DIAN%20-%20Resoluci%C3%B3n%20No%20000046%20de%2026%20de%20julio%20de%202019.pdf
http://www.ccmpc.org.co/ccm/contenidos/129/preguntas_frecuentes.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address.

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
5 Pairs Personal Effects: 5 pairs of various types of shoes

IN $40.00
1 Each Personal Effects: Arc'terix Winter Jacket

CA $478.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Personal Effects
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $678.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Food, Chocolate, Candies to Colombia

Food, Chocolate, Candies

Items of food, chocolate, and candies may be shipped to Colombia from Canada providing they are not of a commercial quantity, i.e. no more than 10 of the same item. Although the government reference material isn't clear, it is assumed that commercial quantities are taxed at the regular rate.

Food, Chocolate, Candies Checklist
  • Clearly indicate 'Food' on the commercial invoice in the General Description or Remarks section (see sample)
  • Ensure that your food, chocolate, or candies may be imported into the country
  • You are not shipping commercial quantities (for any duty & tax exemption)
  • Check with your carrier that they will accept food shipments

Sources:
https://www.dian.gov.co/aduanas/Documents/Nueva%20Regulaci%C3%B3n%20Aduanera%20en%20Colombia.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Food, Chocolate, Candies

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Food Shipment - Assorted chocolate bars in their original manufacturer's packaging

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Nestle Chocolate Bars in original packaging expiring May 2021 (shelf life of 6 months or longer)

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent / Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Promotional Material to Colombia

Samples

Product samples are shipped to encourage sales of goods. When they enter Colombia from Canada, samples will be duty and tax free. All samples, whether they have commercial value or not, must be cleared by Colombian customs.


The following goods are prohibited from entering Colombia as samples:

  • Coffee
  • Gold, silver, and platinum, and any items made from them
  • Emeralds
  • Human plasma and organs
  • Items of national heritage - artistic, historical, archeological

Commercial Sample Checklist
  • Clearly indicate 'Commercial Samples' on the commercial invoice in the General Description & Detailed Description of Goods (see sample)
  • The item shipped has tearing, perforation, slashing, defacing, or has permanent marking clearing indicating the item as commercial sample
  • The samples must abide by Columbia's phytosanitary and sanitary requirements

Sources:
https://www.dian.gov.co/aduanas/Documents/Nueva%20Regulaci%C3%B3n%20Aduanera%20en%20Colombia.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Commercial Sample - Advanced reading copy of Dan Brown's novel.

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Commercial Sample
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Sending Promotional material to Colombia

Advertising Material

Advertising materials that enter Colombia from Canada are duty and tax free provided the value is $5,000 USD (about $6,500 CDN) or less.

They are expected to be:

  • An occasional shipment
  • Aimed for fairs and exhibitions
  • Used to promote products
  • Not for sale

Advertising Material Checklist
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'Promotional Material - Not for Resale' (see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided
  • The above conditions are met

Sources:
https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/co/Documents/legal/comercioexterior/2019/agosto/primerasemana/DIAN%20-%20Resoluci%C3%B3n%20No%20000046%20de%2026%20de%20julio%20de%202019.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Promotional Material: Not for Resale. Product pamphlets to hand out at trade show.

CA $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Promotional Material
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Have your goods warranty repaired in Colombia

Repairs

A piece of equipment may be shipped to Colombia from Canada for repairs without the payment of taxes for a maximum period of 6 months.

Items Under Warranty

No GST will be charged for equipment and items under warranty that are repaired in Colombia and returned to Canada.

Items No Longer Under Warranty

GST will be charged if an item is sent to Colombia for repairs and is no longer under warranty. GST will be applied to the value of the repair work plus any parts added for the repair, and on any duties charged.

Sending Product for Repairs to Colombia

Equipment sent to Colombia for repairs, including parts, will be exempt from duties providing they are returned to Canada within 6 months.

Returning Repaired Product to Colombia

Repaired equipment being returned to Colombia will not incur duties or taxes.


Repair Checklist

Sources:
https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-91-31/page-1.html#h-934277
https://www.sic.gov.co/recursos_user/documentos/normatividad/Dec2685_1999.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Fossil Watch being sent for repair - Model E5, serial # 789456FG7E2 - Repair Cost $76.00

US $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Warranty Repair
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Temporary Imports / Exports for shipments to Colombia

Temporary Imports

Generally, goods may be temporarily imported into Colombia without the payment of duties for a period of up to 6 months. This may be extended another 3 months by making an application with customs authorities.

It is expected that these goods will undergo no changes except for normal wear and tear.

Capital goods (goods that are used in producing other goods), along with the parts and accessories required for normal operation, may be imported for up to 5 years.


Temporary Imports Checklist

ATA Carnets

Colombia does not accept temporary importation of goods with an ATA carnet, however, using an ATA carnet will help you return your goods to Canada.

While ATA Carnets and are beyond the scope of this article, information can be obtained at your local Chamber of Commerce. More information is available here: http://www.chamber.ca/carnet/

Sources:
https://www.sic.gov.co/recursos_user/documentos/normatividad/Dec2685_1999.pdf
https://www.atacarnet.com/carnet-countries

 

Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 box Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment

CA $1032.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Temporary Imports
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1032.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge



Permanent Goods / Sold To an individual or business within Colombia

Permanent/Sold Goods

All goods sold to Colombia must be registered with the Ministry of Foreign Trade using the form called Registro de Importacion.

If you sell goods regularly to Colombia, we recommend the use of a Colombian customs broker.

Sources:
https://santandertrade.com/en/portal/international-shipments/colombia/customs-and-transportation

Sample Commercial Invoice for Permanent/Sold Goods

Ship To Invoice
Rogelio Salmona
Torres del Parque
Cl. 30 #No. 31-374
Bogotá
Colombia

Phone: +57 317 4182055
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Permanent/Sold: Parts and accessories for Canon B78n camera

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Oct 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
15 Each Camera Lenses: Canon EF 50mm, Canon EF 85mm & wide-angle lenses.

CA $132.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent/Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1980.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Required Documents


Shipping packages internationally requires a lot of documentation. This process alone can be confusing and time consuming. So we’ve narrowed down what documents you might need and ranked them based on likeliness of being needed.

Document Type When? Details
Shipping Label / Bill of Lading Always required This is a label provided by the carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Always required because the carrier needs to know the parcel’s destination.
Commercial Invoice Required for all non-document shipments
For all non-document shipments, you will require 3 copies of the commercial invoice (to be included with your shipping labels - These are for customs purposes and need to be included inside a document pouch outside of the box.

When creating a shipment through the Secureship website, the system will help you create this document automatically.

B13a Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good
A B13a is required if your shipment exceeds $2000 CAD or is a controlled good

Learn more about the B13a form here.
Certificate of Origin (COO) Infrequently required

Allows a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Canada has a preferential trade agreement with Colombia. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into Colombia, it will incur a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment has been insured.
Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
ATA Carnet Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.
If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes.

See temporary import section
Packaging List Infrequently required Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good.
Packing list Infrequently required

No specific form is required, but generally includes information regarding:

  • The exporter, importer and transport company
  • Date of issue
  • Number of freight invoice
  • Type and number of packages
  • Contents of each package
  • Marks and numbers
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurements of each package
Import Registration

Required for all sold and imported goods.

see Registro de Importacion for details.

Prohibited & Restricted Imports


Items that are prohibited may not enter Colombia whereas those deemed restricted may enter but with limitations to quantity or other conditions.

Prohibited Items

Restricted Goods


Sources:
http://www.suin-juriscol.gov.co/viewDocument.asp?ruta=Decretos/30036079

Duty & Taxes

Colombia and Canada signed a free trade agreement in 2011 and since then customs duties have been slowly phased out.

When import duties and taxes in Colombia are charged, they are based on the CIF value of the shipment (the total of the customs value, insurance, and freight).

CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

VAT charges are calculated on the customs value of the goods at a rate of 19%.

Thresholds

The de minimis value for imports i.e. the value below which duties and taxes are not charged is $200 USD (about $260 CDN).

Currency Colombian Peso (COP)
Duty* 10% of CIF
Duty Exemption
(De minimis Value)
$0 USD
Duty Calculation Method CIF
TAX (VAT)* 19% of (CIF + Duty)
Tax Exemption
(De minimis Value)
$200 USD (about $260 CDN)
Tax Calculation Method CIF

* When classified in tariff heading 98.07.20.00.00 (i.e. Fast delivery shipments or express courier) of the customs tariff, pay the corresponding taxes. Courier or express shipments with a FOB value higher than US$ 2,000 are subject to payment of duties and value added tax (VAT) depending on the products’ harmonized codes


Duties on Imports

The CETA agreement between Canada and the EU allows preferential tariff rates on goods sold to Colombia from Canada. To take advantage of these rates, rules of origin need to be followed.
Click here for a guide to the CETA rules of origin.



*If shipment is 2 kg or less, 0% duty; if 2 kg or more, 15%

Sources:
https://santandertrade.com/en/portal/international-shipments/colombia/customs-and-transportation
https://www.dian.gov.co/aduanas/Documents/Nueva%20Regulaci%C3%B3n%20Aduanera%20en%20Colombia.pdf [Under '2. Tráfico postal', page 92]
https://www.pwc.com/co/en/publications/Doing%20Business%20-%20English%20version.pdf

Colombia Shipping Insurance


You can purchase insurance through Secureship and it is provided by the carrier that will be transporting your shipment.

Each carrier will charge a different amount per $100 of declared insurance. If you indicate that you need insurance for your shipment our system will automatically include the insurance costs for your shipment.

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable. Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you.

Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:

For more information, please see the carrier's terms and conditions.

Questions about Shipping to Colombia



Can I ship to Colombia?

Shipping to Colombia from Canada can take between 3-8 business days through the fastest carriers available on the Secureship platform. More economical services, such as Canada Post, can take up to 2 months to complete the delivery.

Find out how fast the Secureship trusted carriers can get your shipment delivered to Colombia by getting a quote now.


Does UPS ship to Colombia?

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How long does it take to ship from Canada to Colombia?

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How much is it to send a parcel to Colombia?

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What is the cheapest way to ship from Canada to Colombia?

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How do I send a package to Colombia?

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How can I ship my luggage?

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How do I get a FedEx shipping estimate / FedEx quote to Colombia?

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How do I ship gifts to Colombia?

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