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Trading Across Borders in Colombia

This topic looks at the procedural requirements for exporting and importing a standardized cargo of goods. Documents associated with every official procedure are counted—from the contractual agreement between the 2 parties to the delivery of goods—along with the time necessary for completion.

The information appearing on this page was collected as part of the Doing Business subnational project in Colombia, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small to medium-sized domestic business in cities and regions.

Click on city name to see details:
Barranquilla | Buenaventura | Cartagena | Santa Marta

Barranquilla
Nature of Export Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 5 300
Customs clearance and technical control 2 350
Ports and terminal handling 3 150
Inland transportation and handling 3 1,400
Totals 13 2,200
Nature of Import Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 6 250
Customs clearance and technical control 2 180
Ports and terminal handling 2 170
Inland transportation and handling 3 1,700
Totals 13 2,300
Export documents
Bill of lading
Customs export declaration
Commercial invoice
Certificate of origin
Inspection report
Import documents
Bill of lading
Customs import declaration
Commercial invoice
Cargo release order
Terminal handling receipts
Packing list

Buenaventura
Nature of Export Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 5 320
Customs clearance and technical control 2 400
Ports and terminal handling 4 140
Inland transportation and handling 7 1,500
Totals 18 2,360
Nature of Import Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 6 270
Customs clearance and technical control 3 170
Ports and terminal handling 2 150
Inland transportation and handling 5 1,700
Totals 16 2,290
Export documents
Bill of lading
Customs export declaration
Commercial invoice
Certificate of origin
Inspection report
Import documents
Bill of lading
Customs import declaration
Commercial invoice
Cargo release order
Terminal handling receipts
Packing list

Cartagena
Nature of Export Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 5 300
Customs clearance and technical control 2 350
Ports and terminal handling 3 170
Inland transportation and handling 4 1,600
Totals 14 2,420
Nature of Import Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 6 250
Customs clearance and technical control 2 170
Ports and terminal handling 2 150
Inland transportation and handling 3 2,000
Totals 13 2,570
Export documents
Bill of lading
Customs export declaration
Commercial invoice
Certificate of origin
Inspection report
Import documents
Bill of lading
Customs import declaration
Commercial invoice
Cargo release order
Terminal handling receipts
Packing list

Santa Marta
Nature of Export Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 5 320
Customs clearance and technical control 2 360
Ports and terminal handling 3 150
Inland transportation and handling 3 1,500
Totals 13 2,330
Nature of Import Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 6 240
Customs clearance and technical control 2 180
Ports and terminal handling 2 175
Inland transportation and handling 3 1,500
Totals 13 2,095
Export documents
Bill of lading
Customs export declaration
Commercial invoice
Certificate of origin
Inspection report
Import documents
Bill of lading
Customs import declaration
Commercial invoice
Cargo release order
Terminal handling receipts
Packing list