Hola!

Welcome to Colombia. With an incredible mix of cultures, languages and geographies, Colombia is an exciting emerging market. It’s home to a strong farming sector and plenty of natural resources. It’s also one of the fastest growing countries in South America and looking to attract more investment and create more jobs – which opens the doors for New Zealand businesses. 

If you’d like to find out more about this rapidly growing market, take a look at our market guide for Colombia (you'll find it at the top of this page).

Quick facts

Here's a snapshot - you can find more detailed data in our guide.

 Export market ranking  NZ's 103rd largest export market (20161)
 Free trade agreements   None
 Ease of Doing Business ranking2  53
 Corruption Perceptions Index ranking3  90

1 Source - gtis.com
2 World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2017
3 Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 

Getting to Colombia

You can fly from New Zealand to Colombia, but not directly – you’ll need to stop at least once. Air New Zealand, LATAM Airlines and United Airlines all offer non-direct flights. A one-stop flight will take around 21 hours.  

When to visit

With the Amazon rainforest and the Andes Mountains, Colombia covers almost every different climate – something to keep in mind when arranging travel. Also, it’s a good idea to look into Colombia’s national holidays as some businesses may close during this time. 

Before you go, check Safe Travel for travel advisories on Colombia. 

Cultural tips 

Colombians are generally very warm, outgoing people. With such diverse cultures in the country, there are some customs and behaviours that are helpful to keep in mind. For example, shaking hands is common when meeting people. The focus is on the firmness of the handshake and it’s important to maintain eye contact and smile throughout. 

You’ll find more cultural information in our guide at the top of this page.

Working in-market

Getting the most out of your visit means hitting the ground running. Co-working is an excellent option if you’re staying put for more than a few days. Facilities vary, but typically you can expect a desk, and access to wifi, printer / scanner, tea / coffee and a lounge area. Some facilities may offer extended perks such as parking and on-site cafes. If you’re visiting the market solo, it also means the chance to work in the company of other like-minded business people and freelancers. Co-working spaces can be searched by city on Nomad List

Connect with NZTE in Colombia

If you’re an NZTE customer and preparing to visit Colombia, we can help you make the most of your visit. Please get in touch with your Customer Manager a few weeks before you visit. If you don’t have a Customer Manager, contact our Advisor Team for more information. And don't forget, the more time you give us, the better we’re able to connect you to the right resources.

Colombia market guide

We have a dedicated team in South America

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  • I'm visiting my market. How can NZTE help me?

    If you’re an NZTE customer and preparing to visit your market, we can help you make the most of your visit. Please get in touch with your Customer Manager a few weeks before you visit. If you don’t have a Customer Manager, contact our Advisor Team for more information. And don't forget, the more time you give us, the better we’re able to connect you to the right resources.

  • I want to find an in-market distributor for my business
    NZTE doesn’t maintain lists of distributors for specific products and markets. We encourage companies to do as much of the initial search process as they can for themselves, while bringing in professional help where needed.

    You’ll find useful information on researching, finding and selecting the right distributor for you in our Export Essentials guide understanding your channel partner options.
  • I want to find out about regulations and tariffs for export
    Regulations and tariffs should be one of the first things you find out before exporting. They often determine whether a market will be easy or hard for you to export to, or whether you should try to do business there at all.

    Understanding regulations in your export destination is a must-do. For an introduction to what you need to think about, see our guide on understanding international compliance requirements. This includes tips on how to research regulations, as well as insights on local regulations, standards, health and safety, and dealing with local bureaucracy.

    It’s a good idea to take a look at the rest of the international compliance process while you’re doing your work on regulations – see more information in our guide to understanding international compliance requirements.

    If you’re planning to export food or food-related products, you should also check out the food exporting page on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website. MPI maintains a list of Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs) for New Zealand food products in different export markets – search and identify OMARs for your product online

    Tariffs can make your products more expensive and less attractive to overseas buyers, so you need to know the charges your products will attract before you commit to a new market.

    You can get a big head start in finding tariff information by using the World Trade Organisation’s tariff download facility. You can search the database by product name, but it works best when you know the approximate Harmonised System (HS) code for your product. HS codes are used by customs authorities around the world to identify products and apply tariffs. The longer the code is, the more precisely it describes your product. The first six digits of an HS code are usually the same worldwide – after that, there can be up to eight further digits, which often vary from country to country.

    The  (NTAU) can help you to find out the first six digits of your HS codes – call +64 4 473 6099 or email mntau@customs.govt.nz

    To get a longer and more precise HS code for a particular market, look up and contact the local customs authority online, or talk to a customs broker or freight forwarder who has done business in that market.
  • I want to find out about packaging and labelling for export
    Packaging and labelling requirements can be very different from country to country, so get as much information as you can before making the decision to export. 

    Depending on where your products will be sold, you might need to use different materials or labels, and include different types of information. In some countries, you might have to translate all your packaging or labels into the local language – in others, applying a sticker with a few key details will do the job. 

    Make sure that you check out all of the requirements for packaging and labelling before tackling a new market, including anything that’s needed during transport or distribution. 

    You’ll find more details on the kind of things you need to think about in our guide to understanding international compliance requirements.

    We suggest that you work with a customs broker or freight forwarder, or get advice from a lawyer in-market, to understand all the requirements for your product and the place where it’s headed. The Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder Federation (CBAFF) has a list of customs brokers and freight forwarders within New Zealand.

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