The administration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro has issued Decree 2598 of December 23, 2022, extending a 40% tariff on imported garment and clothing products. The measure replaces Decree 414 of April 2021, and covers some garments that were previously exempted for free zone processing.
The previous Decree 414 applied a 40% tariff on goods valued at less than $10 USD per kilogram, and another tariff of 15% plus $1.50 per kilo for garments priced higher than $10. The new law removes the distinction, applying the 40% rate across the board.
“This is not only one of the promises of President Gustavo Petro, which we are fulfilling, but it was also necessary to promote a balance in international trade, a greater generation of added value, competitiveness, a boost to employment, especially for women, and the productivity of the national garment industry.” said the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, German Umaña Mendoza.
According to business and tax attorney Humberto Rodriguez, the only exceptions are for countries with goods covered by bilateral free trade agreements with Colombia, like the United States and South Korea.
“The trade agreement that the United States has with Colombia was signed in 2006 and is in force. This means that for textile products from the United States, this 40% tax would not apply,” said Rodriguez. “The garments that will have the tax of 40%, and will undoubtedly increase in price, are those that are mainly made of wool, cotton or synthetic fibers. In summary, the majority of garments such as: coats, jackets, pants, dresses, skirts, coveralls, shirts and baby clothes.”
“For countries that do not have trade agreements with Colombia such as Panama and China for example the tariff of 40% will be applied,” concluded Rodriguez.