Importing a Vehicle
Information on how to import a car to Colombia and get it registered on the roads, and the documents required when bringing a car for personal use into Colombia...
Only new vehicles from the current year with zero kilometers ‘on the clock’ may be imported permanently into Colombia. The Andean Automotive Agreement (1993) prohibits the permanent import of used vehicles to the markets of the signatory countries, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. There is, however an exception for classic and old collectors’ cars, and for diplomats’ vehicles.
Temporary Import Permits
Foreign registered vehicles may be brought into Colombia temporarily for tourism or transit.
The vehicle owner must obtain a permit before they can drive the car in the country. In some cases these permits are issued at the border, and include the immediate purchase of the SOAT (compulsory car insurance). The car owner must fill in a Temporary Vehicle Import Form (Formulario de importación temporal de vehiculos). However, at some borders it is the driver’s responsibility to go to the nearest Customs Office to obtain the permit.
In all cases the following documents need to be provided along with the Temporary Vehicle Import Form:
- Copy of the vehicle registration documents
- Copies of the passport pages with photo and Colombian entry stamp
- Bill of lading or shipping document (if applicable)
It is advisable to contact the Ministry of Transport for the latest requirements before bringing a car or motorbike into Colombia temporarily:
- Ministry of Transport
Bogota Tel: (1) 3240800
Rest of the country (toll-free), Tel: 018000 112042
Importing a Classic or Collector Vehicle
To import a classic or collector car the following requirements must be met:
- Obtain the corresponding import license, which is granted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism (Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo) stating that it is a non-commercial vehicle
- Obtain a certificate from the Colombian Automobile Club
To meet the requirements of the Ministry of Transport (Ministerio de Transporte), the car must be defined as:
- Vintage/Collector Car: Automobile over 35 years old which has retained its original features and factory specifications
- Classic Car: Automobile over 50 years old which in addition to retaining its original features and factory specifications corresponds to specific brands, series and models
In both cases the presentation of the certificate of classification from an accredited international agency must be presented.
For further information contact the Ministry of Transport.
Registering an Imported New Vehicle
To register a new imported vehicle, go to the local Transport office and submit the following documents:
- Purchase invoice (Factura de compra)
- Import declaration (Declaración de importación) - see below
- Certificate of registration with the RUNT as an occasional importer
- Certificate of purchase of SOAT (compulsory car insurance)
- Receipt of paid taxes for the current year
- Downloaded and completed form Formulario de solicitud de tramite
There is a fee to be paid when submitting the documents, which is higher for cars than for motorcycles. It then takes up to 24 hours to get the new plates and the vehicle’s registration certificate.
To obtain an Import Declaration:
- Download a certificate or digital signature from either Certicamara or from the Gestion de Seguridad Electrónica
- Register on the VUCE website and obtain a user ID and password
- Log in to the account and click on the link Ayuda / Importaciones (Help / imports) and download the manuals and programs for further information.
- Click on the Import section of the website and make the electronic payment specified, the price depends on the characteristics of the vehicle