Taxes on international electronic purchases

August 13, 2021

On August 11, 2021, on the “BLU radio” website was commented on whether or not to tax electronic purchases on foreign platforms.

1. Internacional electronic purchases

In Colombia, international electronic purchases via mail under US$200 are free from VAT and tariffs. This benefit was created to honor the treaties and commercial updates the country signed.

2. Initiative to lower the benefit to electronic purchases

The senator of the Democratic Center, Fernando Nicolás Araujo, filed the initiative to lower the benefit to purchases of less than 30 dollars, considering the idea of VAT exemption may be an anti-competitive and unfair condition.

The proposal has the support of several members of the party, except Representative Gabriel Santos, who said this morning: “We cannot continue to depend on the supply of large importers. We want to strengthen not only the citizen who wants to buy technology, unaffordable for Colombia nowadays but also MSMEs”.

3. Support for the initiative

Jaime Alberto Cabal, president of Fenalco, pointed out his agreement with Senator Araujo’s initiative, stating:

“How is a person who runs 100 meters going to compete against another who runs 134 meters to see who wins? 34% more is what micro, medium and large companies must pay, while cross-border platforms exempt from taxes in Colombia, can enter products”.

Finally, María Fernanda Quiñones, president of the Chamber of Electronic Commerce, said: “Competition has always been welcome, but there are conditions that must be analyzed to be a fair and fluid competition”.

The aim is to promote fair competition and the development of electronic commerce to benefit consumers.

Source: Bluradio 12/08/21