How to export Colombian products abroad?

Currently and although the crisis caused by the pandemic is still ongoing, the world in general is going through a period of change and reactivation. Some industries that remained closed are beginning to reopen and, for this reason, the export of products abroad is beginning to be seen as a viable possibility to  expand the opportunity for a successful reopening.

To venture into the commercial sector, first of all, it is essential to start with the incorporation of a company, although it may sound basic, there are many cases of traders who have managed their business without establishing a company as such, because they are afraid of taxes, however, this requirement is highly recommended when exporting, in future opportunities we will talk more in depth about this topic.

If you already have an incorporated company, the next step will be to register and modify the RUT document before the DIAN, such registration will allow the applicant to operate under the Common Tax Regime and at the same time it will be assigned a range of billing codes, which will be necessary for  subsequent procedures within the process of exporting goods. Additionally, a registration will have  to be made before the VUCE, the Foreign Trade Single Window operated by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, such registration will allow you to go to the electronic window to complete various procedures required depending on the tariff item, among them, the Register of National Producers, the process of prior export authorization, among others.

Once the registrations have been completed, a market selection analysis will have to be made in order to find the countries where your products could succeed. Among the basic factors to take into account when making this decision are the economic indicators, as well as the access conditions, commercial customs, business culture, current commercial agreements and, of course, a due study of the potential clients or partners to whom you wish to export your products, as well as a detailed business plan; among others. Depending on the chosen market, you can review the possible exemptions or tariff charges, as well as know the requirements that the Certificate of Origin must have, which is a document used to determine the country in which the goods were manufactured.

Regarding tariff classification, this corresponds to a harmonized system used worldwide to identify goods traded in all continents and geographic locations, these codes are used by customs authorities around the world to identify goods and services and it is the exporter’s responsibility to properly identify the goods, so that their entry into the country of destination has no setbacks.

Remember, Gestiones Empresariales López & James through its Foreign Trade Advisory and Consulting Services can support your initiative to expand regionally and globally through the export of your products and if you require its implementation in these destinations as well as to represent you commercially and advise you for your entry into these markets. We provide advice from the stage of incorporation of your company to the location of international markets, tariff classification, international shipments and preparation of export documents; among others. We have professionals around the world with whom we can also analyze your potential suppliers, perform cargo and quality inspections, support you in the purchase management and provide you with a work agenda and personalized advice in order to detect and prevent any risk that may arise from this activity. Likewise, we are also willing to support you in any other area that requires our expertise, since our team of legal, administrative and financial consultants is ready to offer advice through its virtual channels at any time through the emails, or by calling our landline in Bogota (571) 7498261. For more information, please visit and our social networks on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About the author:

Carlos Méndez is a lawyer, part of the team of Gestiones Empresariales López & James Bogotá and whom specializes in tax matters, litigation and conciliation in the areas of Civil, Commercial and Labor law and in commercial disputes under International law.

Languages spoken: Spanish, English and Japanese. Bogotá D.C. June 23, 2020.