Colombian Government Confirms Cargo Imports & Exports, Mining, Energy, Agriculture To Continue Through Curfew
After declaring a 19 day curfew to fight the spread of the COVID-19 Coronvavirus Pandemic, the Colombian government cleared up confusion by confirming that foreign trade activities by ports, airports and border crossings may continue operating without interruption. Likewise, the transportation, storage and logistics for the import and export of cargo and necessary domestic transportation by air will be allowed for the transfer of goods.
Additionally, within the exceptions indicated in the Curfew Decree 457, planting, harvesting, production, packaging, import, export, transport, storage, distribution and marketing of agricultural products may continue, as also production in the petroleum, bioenergy and mining sectors.
The actual Ministerial Decree 457 of March 22, 2020 may be accessed by clicking here. The government also issued the following stipulations with regards to foreign trade during the curfew, initially set to run until April 13:
- International trade is key to being able to meet the country’s supply needs and, given its dynamics, it requires taking measures to ensure its continuity.
- Likewise, it is not possible to select specific products within cargo that arrives at the port or airport, in accordance with the exceptions contained in Decree 457 of March 2020.
- The storage capacity of the ports, airports and border crossings is limited and foreign trade activities must continue.
- For control purposes, the import, export and customs transit operation can be accredited with the presentation of a copy of the documents that support the foreign trade operation, such as the import, export or customs transit declaration, or the shipping or transfer form, as appropriate.
- Copies of these documents will be required by the Public Force and by the Traffic and Transport Directorate with control powers over the country’s highways, to verify compliance with the restriction measure.
- The importation of cargo operation that is allowed during the 19 days that the mandatory preventive isolation will be in force, includes the movement of merchandise from ports, airports or border crossings to its destination, whether it is a public or private deposit. enabled, or the warehouse, factory or plant of the importer. For no reason, said merchandise may be mobilized or distributed to additional places for its commercialization, except for those merchandise that are part of the exceptions contained in Article 3 of Decree 457 of 2020.
- The mobilization of cargo other than that covered in a foreign trade operation or that classified as basic necessity or that required for the provision of health services is not allowed.
- The mobilization of import and export goods may be carried out in any type of vehicle enabled for the transport of cargo.
- The biosecurity protocols drawn up by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection for carrying out each of the unloading, storage and transport activities will be mandatory.
The National Government, in coordination with local governments, will continue working 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.