International Shipping

Colombia Shipping & Selling eCommerce Guide

Jules

by Jules

On 2019 M10 3

by Jules

With its continued security improvements and consistent economic growth recorded in recent years, it’s time you start considering shipping to Colombia!

Rated as one of the top eCommerce markets in Latin America, Colombia has continued to increase its investment and commercial ties with the U.S., Asia, Europe and other parts of Latin America. Presently, cross-border trading in Colombia generates 18 percent of the country’s total eCommerce revenue, a figure sure to rise in the coming years.

Here’s all you need to know about shipping to Colombia and the country’s thriving eCommerce market!

Growing eCommerce Market in Colombia

Before you start shipping to Colombia from the U.S. or elsewhere, let’s get to know this unique country a little better.

With a population of approximately 50 million people, Colombia is the world’s 28th most populous country and Latin America’s third-most populous country and fourth-largest economy. Following behind Mexico and the U.S., it boasts the third-largest Spanish speaking population in the world.

Colombia has over 30 million Internet users, with Internet penetration at 57 percent and rising. With over 18 million smartphone users and approximately 35 percent market penetration, the country also has over 22 million eCommerce shoppers, many of whom have become increasingly savvy with mobile eCommerce.

With a GDP per capita of approximately $7,698 and an increase from 2.6 percent in 2018 to 3.5 percent in June 2019, Colombia’s GDP per capita is expected to increase up to 3.7 percent by 2023. The country’s Gross Savings Rate stands at approximately 15.5 percent. In 2017 alone, Colombia also recorded over $44 billion in import revenue.

In order to further increase your chances of maximizing your sales as you start shipping to Colombia, it’s important that you understand some of the popular local online marketplaces in the country. A few of these include:

  • Mercadolibre.com.co
  • Dafiti.com.co
  • Linio.com.co
  • Asivendo.com.ar
  • Mercadoshops.com.co

Fashion is Colombia’s Top Product Category

Fashion, as it is in many countries, is Colombia’s top product category for online shoppers. Other top product categories include:

  • Fashion
  • Electronics and media items
  • Accessories

Credit Cards a Limited Payment Option in Colombia

You should always offer different types of payment options, as that will make it easier for your existing and new customers to check out easily. Some of the top payment options in Colombia include:

  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Bank Transfers
  • Debit cards
  • Digital wallets

With only about 26 percent of Colombians owning credit cards, it’s important to offer a diverse array of options that goes beyond that payment method when selling on Colombia. So, make sure you offer multiple payment options for the best results!

Shipping to Colombia

In order to find cheap shipping to Colombia, it's important to understand the couriers available in the country as well as any import restrictions and customs duties. Here’s a closer look at all that!

Local and International Couriers in Colombia

In sending your products cross-border to Colombia, there are both local and international couriers that can be used. Just a few of these include:

To further understand the shipping rates and import duties, you can access the Easyship shipping rates calculator and the Easyship tax and duty calculator!

Shipping Restrictions and Prohibitions in Colombia

Colombia, like any country, controls the flow of goods into its borders with certain import prohibitions. Some current prohibitions when it comes to shipping to Colombia include:

  • Alcohol
  • Animals
  • Currency
  • Chemicals
  • Drugs
  • Fresh food
  • Explosives
  • Firearms
  • Plants
  • Seeds

Taxes and Import Duties in Colombia

Colombia calculates VAT and import duties using the CIF method, which means that the calculation is done based on the overall value of the products being imported, including the shipping costs.

The country’s VAT rate is currently 16 percent, while imports to Colombia are also not subject to any monetary tax or duty thresholds.

Import duties vary by product category and include:

  • Mobiles at 0%
  • Tablets and computers at 0%
  • Cameras at 5%
  • Health and beauty at 15%
  • Fashion at 15%
  • Watches at 5%
  • Jewelry at 0%
  • Pets Accessories at 10%
  • Dry Food and supplements at 15%
  • Home appliances at 15%

Other categories that are subject up to 15 percent import duties include home and gardening products toys, sports equipment and luggage.

Colombia: One of Latin America’s Top eCommerce Markets

Colombia offers a great eCommerce opportunity in Latin America. To make shipping to Colombia easier for merchants, Easyship partners with over 250 couriers to offer affordable and reliable shipping rates. Sign up for an Easyship account today so you can finally start shipping to Colombia and exploring this booming market!