Japan Used Car Import Duty / Regulation in Colombia

Japan Used Car Import Duty / Regulation in Colombia

Japan Used Car Import Duty / Regulation in Colombia


Year Restrictions
Destination Port
Time of Shipment
31 to 41 Days (RoRo)
Vessel Schedule
Less Than Bi-Monthly (RoRo)
Shipping Line


Shipping Ports

Port Cartagena, Port Buenaventura, Port Barranquilla and port Santa Marta are ports of the country.


Left Hand Drive

Left Hand Drive vehicles are allowed to be import in the country.



Importing a Vehicle

  • Non-Diplomats are not allowed to import used vehicles into Colombia.
  • Non-Diplomats can import new vehicles which must be manufactured in the current year with zero accumulated miles
  • Diplomats may import used vehicles once registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Diplomats must be in Colombia at the time of clearance. 
  • Returning Diplomats must apply in person to obtain the Diplomatic Permit and it must be used within 6 months of completion of assignment.
  • Foreign Diplomats are exempt from duty and taxes on vehicle imports. Do NOT include vehicle in household goods shipment without consulting. Foreign Diplomats do not need prior approval of the Import License.
  • The Anti Pollution Control Certificate must state that all parts and accessories are functional and do not adversely affect the environment. It must be legalized by the Colombian at origin.


Importation Rule

  • In colombia only new vehicles from the current year with zero kilometers ‘on the clock’ may be imported permanently.

  • The Andean Automotive Agreement (1993) prohibits the permanent import of used vehicles in Colombia.

  • There is, however an exception for classic and old collectors’ cars, and for diplomats’ vehicles. You need to adhere some rules related to it.

  • One cannot shipped vehicles until all documents are received and correspond with the shipper's required documents and with the Import Permit.

  • Keep this in mind do not include the vehicle in the household goods shipment.


Other required documents include

  • Original vehicle title and registration.

  • Import Permit (from the Ministry of External Affairs and must be approved by customs prior to arrival in Colombia).

  • Original vehicle bill of sale and commercial invoice.


Temporary Import Permits

  • Colombian government allowed to import foreign registered vehicles may be brought into Colombia temporarily for tourism or transit.

  • The vehicle owner must obtain a permit before they can drive the car in the country.

  • In some cases these permits are issued at the border, and include the immediate purchase of the SOAT (compulsory car insurance).

  • The car owner must fill in a Temporary Vehicle Import Form (Formulario de importación temporal de vehículos). However, at some borders it is the driver’s responsibility to go to the nearest Customs Office to obtain the permit.


Documents Required

In all cases the following documents need to be provided along with the Temporary Vehicle Import Form

  • Copy of the vehicle registration documents.

  • Copies of the passport pages with photo and Colombian entry stamp.

  • It is advisable to contact the Ministry of Transport for the latest requirements before bringing a car or motorbike into Colombia temporarily.

  • Ministry of Transport

  • Bogota Tel: (1) 3240800 | Rest of the country (toll-free), Tel: 018000 112042.


Importing a Classic or Collector Vehicle

To import a classic or collector car the following requirements must be met

  • You need to obtain the corresponding import license, which is granted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism (Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo) stating that it is a non-commercial vehicle.

  • A certificate from the Colombian Automobile Club is also mandatory to obtain.

To meet the requirements of the Ministry of Transport (Ministerio de Transporte), the car must be defined as

  • Vintage/Collector Car Automobile over 35 years old which has retained its original features and factory specifications are allowed to import. 
  • Classic Car Automobile over 50 years old which in addition to retaining its original features and factory specifications corresponds to specific brands, series and models are eligible to import in Colombia.

  • Either you are importing a vintage or classic car in both cases the presentation of the certificate of classification from an accredited international agency must be presented at time of shipping. Regarding for further information contact the Ministry of Transport.


Other Measures 

  • There are no limitations on the types of models imported, and no special import permits are required. However, imported vehicles must be registered with the Colombian government prior to shipment (Dynamics Certified Emissions Test conducted by Colombian Environmental Licensing Authority-ANLA). Local assemblers are free to assemble vehicles of any model and are also allowed to import vehicles.

  • Colombia has required gas mission/evaporation control systems (to reduce gasoline tank and carburetor emissions) and a gas emission control system or positive ventilation valve (to control crankcase gas emissions) on all gasoline engine motor vehicles imported into or assembled in Colombia since January 1,1994.

  •  Colombia has required catalytic converters to be installed on imported and locally produced vehicles since January 1, 1995.

  • Colombia is distributing gasoline with 10 percent ethanol to comply with Law 693 of 2001 (for environmental protection) since November 2,2005.

  • Since January 2015, Colombia requires EURO IV - EU emission standards to heavy duty diesel engines for freight or passenger transportation (buses and trucks), per Resolution 1111, enacted on September 2,2013.

  • Imported or assembled vehicles in Colombia need to comply with Technical Regulations applicable to seat belts, pneumatic tires and safety glazing.


Registering an Imported New Vehicle

For registering a new imported vehicle, go to the local Transport office and submit the following documents

  • Purchase invoice (Factura de compra).

  • Import declaration (Declaracion de importacion) - see below.

  • Certificate of registration with the RUNT as an occasional importer1.
  • 1Certificate of purchase of SOAT (compulsory car insurance).

  • Receipt of paid taxes for the current year.

  • Downloaded and completed form Formulario de solicitud de tramite.

  • There is a fee to be paid when submitting the documents, which is higher for cars than for motorcycles. It then takes up to 24 hours to get the new plates and the vehicle’s registration certificate.


Import declaration and how to obtain an Import Declaration

  • Download a certificate or digital signature from either Certicamara or from the Gestion de Seguridad Electronica.

  • Register on the VUCE website and obtain a user ID and password.

  • Log in to the account and click on the link Ayuda / Importaciones (Help / imports) and download the manuals and programs for further information.

  • Click on the Import section of the website and make the electronic payment specified, the price depends on the characteristics of the vehicle.



  • The import tariff applied to cars is 35 percent.

  • The import tariff applied to trucks is 15 percent.

  • Automotive parts (HTS 8407-08 and 8708) tariffs range between 5– 10 percent.

  • Complete Knock Down Kits can qualify for zero tariffs under the Andean Automotive Policy.  With the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, 53 percent of U.S. industrial exports received duty-free treatment. Tariffs on another 23 percent of exports will be eliminated over five years and the remaining 24 percent over ten years tariff reduction (starting in May 2012).

  • Taxes VAT is assessed on the F.O.B. value plus applicable duties: Four-wheel-drive vehicles (16 percent).  All other cars (16 percent); unless the F.O.B. value plus tariff is greater than or equal to US $30,000, in which case the Consumption Tax is 16 percent. Ambulances and hearses (16 percent). Electric vehicles for public transportation-taxis (5 percent).

  • Since January 1996, all imports and sales of automotive parts and accessories transacted in Colombia are subject to a 16 percent value-added tax (IVA in Spanish). This tax applies to both locally produced goods and imports and, in the case of imports, is assessed on top of the CIF value and import tariff.
  • Consumption Tax for private owned vehicles (HTS 8703-8704 and 8711) of FOB value equal or lower than USD$ 30,000 is 8 percent  Consumption Tax for private owned vehicles (HTS 8703-8704) of FOB value higher than US$ 30,000 is 16 percent(Vehicles - Luxury Tax).


Local/ Regional Content Requirements

  • The Andean Automotive Complementary Agreement signed in 1999, removed the initial requirement of minimum regional/local content (24 percent) to reduce import duties. 
  • Automotive parts and passenger vehicles with a capacity of up to 16 persons and cargo vehicles of 4.5 tons weight and other type of vehicles, will just need to comply with specific origin requirement established by the General Secretary Office of the Andean Community.


Roadworthiness Test

Vehicles in Colombia must be tested to ensure that they are roadworthy in order to drive on Colombian roads. This test is known as the revisión técnico mecánica. In order for a vehicle to be deemed roadworthy it must, as a minimum, have fully functioning

  • Brakes
  • Steering system
  • Suspension
  • Lights
  • Mirrors


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