New Free Zone Regime Normative Transition towards Legal Certainty

Fecha: 25 of may of 2018

Hora: 7:00 am - 12:45 pm

Lugar: Universidad Externado de Colombia

The Tax Law Department invites to this update and discussion seminar on the latest regulatory changes to the Free Zone Regime, to be held at the Externado de Colombia University, May 25, 2018.

Free Zones in Colombia have been characterized by serving as poles for development of foreign trade and industry, given their special legal treatment in customs and tax matters.

One of the key elements for the success of these institutions lies in the assurance of their regulation; however, the regime has been subject to constant modifications that, today, may affect the assurance of the application of the rules governing several of its aspects.

Thus, Decree 2147 of 2016 involved a substantial modification to this regime, devising a phased implementation which should be assessed in accordance with Decree 390 of 2016, which, in turn, changed customs regulations together with subsequent Decree 349 of 2018.  Now, Decree 659, dated April 17, 2018, was issued, amending several regulations contained in Decree 2147 of 2016.

The above denotes the pressing need to identify the main substantive and procedural changes introduced by the new regulation and the regulatory application of this assorted current legal scenario.

Hence, the importance of this update meeting addressed to users, customs operators, officials, supervisors, and, in general, all companies and individuals involved in foreign trade activities, and all interested in the free zone regime.


7:00 am-7:20 am –      Registration

7:20 am-7:30 am –      Installation

Dr. Olga Lucía González,

Acting Director, Tax Law Department

7:30 am – 9:00 am –    General presentation of the main changes to the free zones regime

Definitions: commissioning, new investment, industrial process, support companies, and others.

Transience and validity: Decrees 2147 of 2016 and 659 of 2018

Dr. Maria Edith Zapata

Advisor to the Productivity and Competitiveness Office
Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism

9:00 am -10:00 am –   Classification of Free Zones, declaration, users’ qualification, loss of declaratory or qualification
Users’ requirements and obligations

Special obligations of transporters, airport, maritime, and ground agents; international freight agents, multimodal transportation operators; ports; warehousing, customs agencies, and others.

Dr. Jose Yuri Moreno Bernal

Deputy Manager of the Zona Franca de Bogotá

10:00 am-10:30 am –  Coffee break

10:30 am – 11:30 am –            Customs processes, inspection, and DIAN competition penalties system

Dr. Jaime Ernesto Buitrago

DIAN Customs Audit Office

11:30 am – 12:15 pm –            Panel discussion on current competition in the free zones and

regulatory sanctionary transience

 Dr. Gustavo Lorenzo

Executive Director – Customs and Foreign Trade – E & Y

 Dr. Diana Richardson

Professor-Researcher – Tax Law Department

12:15 to 12:45 pm –    General conclusions and closing

Dr. Carolina Acosta Ramos

Professor-Researcher – Tax Law Department