Stop Loss 3 - Customs Fines in Colombia


The customs authorities in Colombia are imposing very severe fines for any inaccuracies in freight documents covering cargo arriving in Colombia.

  • Customs Authorities are comparing:
  • The bill of lading issued (which may not be the ocean bill) against the shipʼs manifest;
  • The bill of lading against the commerical invoice presented for import clearance;
  • The shipʼs manifest against the commercial invoice;
  • The cargo against all of the above documents.

Any discrepancy found will be the subject of a customs investigation but heavy fines are imposed, pending the investigation, to obtain release of the goods.

Fines, based on 200% of the value of the goods, have been imposed for such freight document discrepancies as:

  • Showing the cargo weight in pounds instead of kilograms;
  • Describing the goods generically as "machinery" when the invoice listed various items by their correct description, despite the fact that the various individual items could have been described as "machinery".

If you are presented with this situation please contact your nearest TT Club Regional Office for further advice.

It is our considered opinion that all consignments destined for Colombia must be described on the Freight document, ocean bill of lading and any other consignment notes in exactly the same manner as they appear in the signed or legalised commercial invoice.

Where necessary, we recommend that you insist on receiving a copy of the signed commercial invoice before creating any freight document.

Please alert your staff to this situation.

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited and TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, trading as the TT Club. TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, registered in the UK (Company number: 02657093) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. In Hong Kong, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and in Australia by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. In the United States, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is approved as a surplus lines insurer in all states and is accessible through properly licensed surplus lines brokers. The registered offices are: 90 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4ST.

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited, registered in Bermuda (Company number: 1750) is authorised and regulated in Bermuda by the Bermuda Monetary Authority and is authorised in the UK by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.

The UK VAT Identification number for Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited is: GB 564 5244 35 and for TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is: GB 564 3375 30. The Italian VAT Identification number for TT Club Mutual Ltd is: 03627210101.