Costa Rica | Customs and Free Zone Updates

Costa Rica | Customs and Free Zone Updates

The Ministry of Foreign Trade, through decree No. 44447-COMEX-H, issued reforms to articles 110, 111 and 111 bis of the Regulations to the Free Zone Regime Law. 

The reforms introduce changes to customs procedures in inventory operations, recycling and destruction of goods under the free zone regime. 

Important points to consider about the reform. 

  • New provisions regarding deadlines for communicating minutes to Customs Control. 
  • The requirement for prior authorization by Customs Control to proceed with destruction and recycling operations is eliminated. 
  • New provision on the power of Customs Control to inspect the destruction or recycling process at any time without implying a rescheduling of this or others in progress.
  • New provision in destruction processes, on the need to have the presence of a witness. 

For more information contact

Costa Rica | Customs and Free Zone Updates

Colombia | Key aspects of the new customs sanctioning regime, decree 920 2023

1 . New ways to punish 

Customs users who commit a minor infraction may be punished with a reprimand instead of a
fine as long as they have not committed the same infraction more than twice, in a period of three years.

Minimum Sanction Any penalty, even those reduced for trespass, can never be less than 10 UVT (today
424,000 and, in the case of sanctions for (simulating import or export operations;;( reporting or
incorporating an address other than the one verified , or (incorporate supporting documents that do not correspond to
the commercial operation, will have a minimum penalty of 12,000 UVT (today 508,944,000).

Previously, customs users were sanctioned for each import declaration, now the
foreign trade operation carried out by transport document will be sanctioned.

2. Apprehension and confiscation

An Apprehension Review Committee is created to issue recommendations on the admissibility of this
precautionary measure, in order to unify criteria between the different customs sections.

The release cancellation procedure is eliminated as a procedure prior to arrest or the
imposition of sanctions due to impossibility of arrest.

The penalty for impossibility of apprehension may be reduced to 80 when the search occurs before
the sanction becomes final.

An extensive list of grounds for arrest is maintained (42 grounds), including grounds for formal matters.

3. Subsequent audits and dispatch

In compliance with the commitments of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, and the guidelines of the WCO and the
WTO, the DIAN is allowed to carry out Post-Dispatch Audits, to facilitate and promote
voluntary compliance with obligations and prevent the commission or recurrence of violations.

This Audit is subject to regulations.

4. Free Zone Users

Failure to comply with the obligations derived from the consolidated payment will no longer give rise to the
indefinite loss of this benefit, without prejudice to the corresponding fine.

The violation was eliminated for operating users for carrying out the activities without having obtained
guarantee approval from the DIAN.

Failure to authorize the entry or exit of goods through the Goods Movement Form within 15 days following the respective entry or exit is sanctioned.

5. Blank sanction types

With the objective of adapting this sanctioning regime to the next substantial customs regime,
blank sanctioning rates are established linked to the categories of obligations that will be established in said future regime.

6. Sanctioning procedure

The terms for issuing Administrative Acts that impose sanctions and decide the appeal for reconsideration are increased.

The DIAN may suspend, for up to 1 month, the term to issue the Act that imposes the sanction.

You may go to the contentious-administrative jurisdiction via Per Saltum, this is without filing the appeal for reconsideration.

An abbreviated procedure is established for minor infractions.

Reconsideration resources can be presented through the Electronic Resource System or physically.

Following the jurisprudence of the Council of State, it includes the obligation to notify administrative acts to customs users, allowing the application of Positive Administrative Silence.

7. Right to error

There will be no penalty when, within a period of three years, a minor infraction is committed for the first time and the error is proven to have been corrected.

8. New sanctions

Simulating export and import operations will have a fine of 100 of the FOB value of the merchandise, and
can never be less than 12,000 UVT (today 508,944,000).

A penalty of 400 UVT is included for not timely submitting the report with the list of import declarations that were supported in the Functional Unit Tariff Classification Resolution.

Authorized Economic Operators (AEO). Simplified Procedure Users and Free Zone Users who do not
make the consolidated payment in the terms and conditions established in the standard will be subject to the following sanctions:

Modification in the wording of the causes for suspension and cancellation of the AEO authorization and the applicable procedure.

Industrial Users may now be sanctioned for simulating foreign trade operations.

9. Validity and transition regime

The New Customs Sanctionary Regime came into force on June 9, 2023.

The applicable sanctioning regime will be the one in force at the time the foreign trade operation was carried out, without prejudice to the application of the principle of favorability if applicable.

The administrative sanctioning processes will be governed by the regulations in force at the time the respective terms began to expire.

For further information, contact:

Oscar Tutasaura  | Partner Posse Herrera Ruiz |