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.