Shipping to Colombia

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Ocean Freight to Colombia

Colombia is a transcontinental country that spans South America and a small part of North America. Colombia’s north and west coastlines are bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, respectively. The country has five large ports and roughly 15 river ports.

Natural resources, the agricultural and manufacturing sectors are expanding in this country. It has been able to diversify its international commerce and generates considerable foreign exchange earnings thanks to free trade agreements with developed countries.

For the purpose of attracting enterprises and foreign direct investment, the government has made major investments in improving port facilities and infrastructural development. Tourism has also contributed to economic growth by providing job opportunities.

Colombia has significant trading ties with the United States, China, the European Union, and a few Latin American countries.

Colombia shares land borders with Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela, as well as sea borders with Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands.

Colombia’s biggest exports include crude oil, coal, coffee, gold, and petroleum products, which are mostly sent to the United States, China, Panama, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Telecommunication Equipment, Refined Oil, Cars, Medical supplies, and Corn are Colombia’s biggest imports, with the majority coming from the United States, Mexico, China, Germany, and Brazil.

Colombia was the largest importer of auto parts in the world in 2020.

Import to Colombia from UAE
Export from Colombia to UAE
FCL or LCL Sea Shipping to Colombia

FCL stands for ‘Full Container Load,’ and it refers to a container that is only used by one consignee. In international shipping, an FCL refers to a single container reserved only for the transportation of the shipper’s goods. The shipper is not required to share the container with other shippers’ cargo. This improves cargo safety and streamlines the management of ocean freight transportation.

Less than Container Load, or LCL, is used when the exporter does not need to book a full container since the goods do not require that much room. An LCL container is used for smaller shipments that need to be shipped cheaply and in a time-sensitive way.

Major Sea Ports in Colombia
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Barranquilla Port

Barranquilla port is located 10 miles off the coast of Colombia, on the western bank of the Magdalena River, and services the region’s industries. It is a substantial port with multiple docks and designated terminals, including Monomeros, Gracetales, Vopak, SP Del Norte, and Port Magdalena, which yearly handle 3,327,500 tonnes of cargo, 99,000 TEU, and over 1000 ships.

It is the biggest Caribbean seaport, accommodating containerized products, bulk cargo, liquid bulk, and dry cargo like sugar, wood, fabrics, synthetic fibers, steel, and health supplements, which make up the majority of exports. It is operated and maintained by the Harbour Society of the North SA. Rolling wires, steel, cereals, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, metal products, tuna, groceries, and cars are among the major imports.

Due to the opening of the Buenaventura port on the Pacific coast in the late 1990s, sea traffic has decreased, although it still handles the bulk of coffee and petroleum products from the country’s interiors. It’s also linked to northern Colombia’s oil and gas pipelines.

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Buenaventura Port

The Buenaventura port is located in the Republic of Colombia’s southwestern region, bordering the Pacific Ocean. Because of its strategic location among important worldwide shipping routes, it is the country’s principal port in the Pacific, handling a considerable port of the country’s foreign marine traffic. Buenaventura is also one of South America’s most important ports, with direct access to Southeast and East Asian markets.

Coffee and sugar from the Cauca river basins, timber from Columbia’s southwest coastal forests, and valuable metals like gold and platinum produced in the north are all shipped through this port. It is connected to the refinery at Puerto Berrio by a huge oil pipeline, which takes it to the port’s storage tanks at the liquid bulk terminal, where it is delivered to Europe, Asia, and neighboring countries.

The port, which is located on the Cascajal island near the Dagua river, engages in international and inland commerce of bulk products, general cargo, and containers through its 14 docks, which span 2100 meters and were built specifically to satisfy operating needs. The Port Society manages 12 ports, while private operators handle two others.

Sugar, fertilizers, vehicles, liquid chemicals, and petroleum products are the most common commodities processed at the facility, which has a maximum LOA of 210 meters and a draught of 10 meters. Every year, the port handles around 1200 ships and 8,550,000 tonnes of cargo, including 706,500 TEU.

Due to the opening of the Buenaventura harbor on the Pacific coast in the late 1990s, sea traffic has decreased, although it still handles the bulk of coffee and oil products from the country’s interiors. It’s also connected to northern Colombia’s oil and gas pipelines.

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Santa Marta Port

The Caribbean port of Santa Marta is about 50 miles from Barranquilla. It is a substantial commercial facility with an inner port and seven cargo docks with a total length of 1200 meters, mostly for grain imports. It transports coal, fruits, refined oil, containers, coffee, and bulk liquids, among other commodities. Santa Marta is Columbia’s third-largest port by cargo volume, with roughly 1000 ships passing through each year, carrying 3,320,000 tonnes of cargo.

Panamax-size ships with a length of 230 meters and a draught of 12 meters can dock at the port. It has sophisticated port operational systems as well as fully working port equipment. Two post-Panamax cranes and transtainers are available at the container terminal. It is now operating at 60% capacity and is connected to the rest of the country by highways and railroads. It provides a variety of services, including container cleaning and maintenance. The port also gets humanitarian goods destined for some of the region’s poorest countries.

The 9-hectare storage facility includes five warehouses and two administrative offices. It also includes 580 reefer connections and cold storage facilities. The storage facility can hold up to 100,000 tonnes of grain. A mechanical grain elevator and a suction system connect three silos, which can handle 400 to 600 tonnes per hour.

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Shipping cargo: Colombia <--> UAE

In recent years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become an increasingly important trade partner for Colombia. Two–way trade between the UAE and Colombia totaled US$4.4 billion in 2018, up from US$3.5 billion in 2017. The UAE is now Colombia’s second–largest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa region, behind only Turkey.

The UAE’s growing investment in Colombia is also noteworthy. From 2013 to 2018, Emirati firms invested nearly US$1 billion in Colombia across a range of sectors including energy, infrastructure, aviation, and hospitality. In June 2019, Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50–year concession agreement with Colombian authorities to develop and operate the multi–purpose port terminal of Puerto Bahía Inírida on behalf of Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Guaviare (SPRG). When fully operational, Puerto Bahía Inírida will be able to handle up to 1 million TEUs annually

Market Update 2022

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Colombia have a strong trade relationship that is expected to continue growing in the coming years. In 2022, the two countries are expected to increase trade by 20% over the previous year. This growth is due in part to the UAE‘s increasing demand for Colombian products, such as coffee and petroleum. The UAE is also a major investor in Colombia‘s economy, with plans to invest billions of dollars into infrastructure projects in the country. The continued growth of trade between the UAE and Colombia will benefit both countries‘ economies and create new opportunities for businesses in both markets.

Banned Products

Banned products are those that cannot be legally imported into a country. In Colombia, there are several products that fall under this category, including drugs and drug paraphernalia, weapons and ammunition, pornography, endangered animal species and their parts, certain chemicals and precursors used in the manufacture of illicit drugs, counterfeit goods

Documents & Customs Clearance

Cargo customs clearance is the process by which goods are inspected and approved for import or export from one country to another. In Colombia, this process is managed by the National Customs Directorate (DNC) and involves a number of steps.

First, businesses must register with the DNC in order to obtain a customs broker license. Next, they must submit an import/export declaration which includes information on the commodity, value, quantity, and destination of the goods. Once this declaration is approved, businesses can then move their goods to a designated customs area for inspection.

During the inspection, Colombian Customs officials will verify that all documentation is in order and that the declared values are accurate. They may also physically inspect the cargo to ensure compliance with regulations. Once everything has been cleared, businesses will receive an exit permit which allows them to take their goods out of Colombia and into another country.

Rules & Regulations

The shipping industry is subject to a variety of rules and regulations, both national and international. In Colombia, the main regulatory authorities are the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Colombian Institute for Hydrography and Maritime Navigation (INCODER). These organizations are responsible for issuing licenses and permits, as well as setting safety standards for vessels operating in Colombian waters.

The MOT is responsible for the registration of vessels, while INCODER is in charge of their classification. In order to be registered, a vessel must have a valid certificate of registry and insurance, as well as meet the minimum safety requirements set by Colombian law. Once registered, the vessel is issued a Certificate of Colombian Flag (CCF), which must be renewed every five years.

Vessels operating in Colombia are required to have a valid license from the MOT. The type of license required depends on the vessel‘s tonnage and the type of cargo being transported. A License for International Trade (LICIT) is required for all vessels engaged in international trade, while a License for Coastal Trade (LICOM) is only necessary for those transporting cargo between ports within Colombia.

All vessels entering Colombian waters must obtain prior approval from INCODER and report their arrival to local authorities. They are also required to submit detailed manifests indicating the nature and quantity of their cargo.

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