Colombia - Country Commercial Guide
Temporary Entry
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Non-fungible merchandise that can be thoroughly identified by marks, serial numbers, or other symbols can be temporarily brought into Colombia for specific purposes. The merchandise must be re-exported immediately after the pre-authorized period, without any alteration or modification, except for the normal deterioration caused by use.

There are two categories for temporary imports. Colombia‚Äôs National Tax and Customs Directorate (DIAN) decides which of the two categories is to be applied to a specific case:

Demonstration Equipment: The international carnet system for temporary imports of demonstration equipment (for promotional campaigns or trade shows) is not in effect in Colombia. Instead, DIAN requests that visitors bringing in equipment for demonstration purposes fill out a special form provided upon arrival at an international airport. The equipment may stay in the country up to 90 days. There is no deposit requirement.

Long-Term: Colombian Customs regulations also allow temporary imports of equipment for a period of up to five years. Under this regulation, the Government allows companies to import machinery and equipment as well as related accessories and spare parts if they are included in the same one-time-only shipment. This system is applied to equipment to be used in public works projects and other activities that are important for national economic and social development.

Long-term temporary imports are also approved for machinery and equipment brought into the country under leasing contracts within a term of six months to five years.

Long-term customs declarations for temporary imports must include the U.S. dollar calculation of duties and taxes in accordance with the tariff schedule effective on the submission date. The total amount may be divided into equal quotas to be paid semi-annually, during the temporary import period. The importer may be required to guarantee an equivalent of 100 percent of the import duties. Import duties are non-refundable.

Short Term: Merchandise imports for a specific purpose during a period of time that should not exceed six months; one three-month extension can be requested, and approval must be obtained before the expiration of the initial authorization. Short-term imports are not subject to import duties, but a guaranteed equivalent to ten percent of the corresponding import duties must be presented to obtain approval.