How to Import Cell Phones to Colombia

During the Christmas season, calls at the International Access offices regarding the request for import, redemption or customs endorsement corresponding to mobile telephone equipment (smartphones) become very common. Faced with this, we must frame our operation in the provisions of the Colombian government, which through the Communications Regulation Commission has issued provisions, such as resolution No. 3128 in 2011, which defined the technical model, the operational aspects and the rules for the implementation, charging and updating of “mobile terminal equipment” implementing clearer terms for the activation process of this type of device and practices against theft of the same.

Subsequently, on October 16, 2015, the government issued Decree 2015 “By which measures are established to control the import and export of smart mobile phones, cellular mobile phones, and their parts, classifiable under subheadings 8517.12.00.00 and 8517.70. 00.00 of the Customs Tariff, Decree 2685 of 1999 is added and Decree 2365 of 2012 is repealed. This would be a brief and practical list of aspects to take into account when wanting to buy a mobile device (cellular) through the famous ecommerce portals such as Whish, Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay or the same Mercado Libre based in other countries

  1. Already in a previous article published in this same Blog, we had clarified that to be an importer, the provisions of Circular DIAN 170 must be complied with, which must also be complemented by or stipulated in Art. 168, coinciding with Art. 173 almost until 188 of Decree 1165 of 2019 corresponds to the previous article 117 of Decree 2685 of 1999. For the import procedure in its “Import for consumption” modality, a supply chain procedure will follow: Supplier, transporter, customs, warehousing, service customs officer, importer (cross-cutting throughout the process), final consumer. With respect to the costs, it will then be following the same order with approximate items at purchase value X, international freight USD210 + customs + USD70 + taxes:

1.) Tariff 10% (example because it should be exempt)

2.) VAT 19%

A. Mcia value 35,000,000 example

International freight 3,890,000 example
International Insurance 634,000 example

Tariff value: (A+B+C)* 1.)= D

VAT value: ((A+B+C)+D)* 2.)

2. The foregoing without counting that suddenly there are2. Through numeral 5 of External Circular Letter 14 of 2015, the DIAN indicated that in the event that cellular mobile telephones, intelligent mobile telephones and their parts arrive, due to the modality of postal traffic and urgent shipments (which are the purchases that are usually made through the aforementioned e-commerce or Marketplace), they must change the modality regardless of the amount of equipment to enter or the seizure in accordance with current regulations. However one (1) unit has been allowed

3. It is contemplated in the regulations that under the modality of postal traffic and urgent shipments, the importation of one (1) smart mobile phone or cellular mobile phone will be allowed, per shipment, as long as it meets the requirements established in the current customs regulations for such. effect, and the recipient is a natural or legal person; In whose name it is forbidden to make divided shipments. In the courier guide, the IMEI number of the smart mobile phone or cell phone must be listed, which contains the shipment and the special tariff subheading for cell phones corresponding to 8517.12.00.00.

4. Likewise, in the 1st paragraph of the aforementioned regulations, it is stipulated that “Smart mobile phones and cellular mobile phones may be imported when the traveler takes them with them at the time of entering the national customs territory and that they are part of their personal effects, in quantity no more than three (3) units. The DIAN will regulate the cases in which it may require the traveler to list in the declaration of baggage, cash and titles representing money – travelers, form 530; the IMEI number, of the mobile equipment that the traveler brings.”

5. Mobile phones whose IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is registered in the negative or positive databases referred to in article 106 of Law 1453 of 2011 may not be imported, unless It is an IMEI reported in the positive database because it is the import in compliance with the guarantee or the re-import of previously exported phones. Some new equipment has not been registered in the country as it is new non-commercial brands even within the national customs territory, it must proceed with the homologation of the equipment as contemplated by the National Communications Commission, through a letter addressed according to instructions at https ://www.crcom.gov.co/es/pagina/tramite-homologacion-moviles, proceed according to the introduction of the FCC code and its certification in such a way that at the time of initiating the nationalization procedure, said approval is already obtained from homologation.

6. The registration of the IMEI of the equipment referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the aforementioned decree, regarding the positive database referred to in article 106 of Law 1453 of 2011, must be carried out by its owner or authorized user before the supplier. of mobile telecommunications networks and services in Colombia, in accordance with the provisions of Resolution CRC 3128 of 2011 or the one that modifies, adds or replaces it. Mobile terminal equipment that is performing international roaming (or international roaming) in any of the networks of mobile telecommunications network and service providers that operate in the country is exempt from registration.

Regarding the export of the same, and in view of the fact that Colombia is not a country that produces this type of device, the aforementioned decree contemplates the following:

  • The equipment that has entered the country may be reshipped in compliance with the provisions of article 140 of Decree 390 of 2016, its modifications and additions, provided that the IMEI are not registered in the negative database that the article deals with 106 of Law 1453 of 2011

When the provisions of this paragraph are not complied with, the equipment may not enter under the modality of postal traffic and urgent shipments and must be subject to a change of modality.

The ICT Ministry will verify the information entered for each of the IMEIs, prior to import, in the positive and negative databases referred to in article 106 of Law 1453 of 2011. The result of said verification will be sent to the importer, to the email reported in the IMEI query and verification module, to serve as a supporting document for the import declaration, for which the ICT Ministry will deliver the IMEI list one by one with the verification result. This document will correspond to 100% of the cell phones described in the import declaration and at no time may it be used partially or for several import declarations. The verification document issued by the ministry will be valid for thirty (30) calendar days.

For import procedures of this, and any type of technology, it is recommended to work with expert professionals in the field, for which we recommend contacting us at [email protected]al.com

Author: Juan Sebastian Quiceno

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