August 15, 2014—Colombia will modernize its customs procedures with assistance from Nathan Associates. The assistance, under a two-year, $2.7 million contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development, aims to boost Colombia’s ability to benefit from liberalized trade with the United States.
Colombia’s customs administration (DIAN) expects to improve its import processing times for both cargo and express shipments and implement an advance ruling system. The project will also support the Ministry of Trade (MinCIT) improve its single window for foreign trade, and promote U.S. and Colombian cooperation on technical regulations through development of standards.
The project, known as a Facilitando Comercio, entails working with the the Colombian technical standards institute (ICONTEC) in addition to DIAN.
The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) took effect in May 2012, and USAID’s Free Trade Agreement Implementation Activity under Facilitando Comercio is designed to strengthen Colombia’s ability to implement key provisions of CTPA. Tariff elimination is a large component of CTPA, which means the project will also include a focus on rules of origin to ensure the private sector can benefit from preferential treatment.
Nathan has been working in Colombia since 2005 as part of USAID’s Andean Trade Capacity Building Program.