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Colombia hopes to reach an agreement with Panama to combat illegal trade

The Minister of Commerce of Colombia, María Lorena Gutiérrez, hopes to reach an agreement "in the short time" with Panama on the best way to combat illicit trade and smuggling.

Bogotá, Nov 24 (EFE) .- The Colombian Minister of Commerce, María Lorena Gutiérrez, hopes to reach an agreement "in the short time" with Panama on the best way to combat trade. illicit and contraband.

Therefore, and according to a statement from his office, Gutiérrez proposed to his Panamanian counterpart, Augusto Arosemena, an appointment before the second week of December, during the meeting that the World Trade Organization (WTO) will hold in Buenos Aires between the 10th and the 13th of next month.

"For us, our relationship with Panama is very important. Gutiérrez said.

On November 9, the Government of Colombia extended for two more years the measures adopted in November 2016 to regulate the importation of apparel and clothing. footwear after a ruling issued by the WTO in a dispute with Panama.

The standard establishes a 40% tariff on clothing imports when the declared price is lower or equal to 10 dollars per kilo, and 35% for footwear with prices that range between 6 and 10 dollars per pair.

Colombia started in 2012 to apply 10% tariffs on footwear and textiles from the Panamanian Colon Free Zone (ZLC), so that Panama went to the WTO, which ruled in its favor.

The Colombian government appealed the decision, but in mid-2016 the WTO He confirmed it.

The Commerce portfolio assured in November of last year that it stopped applying the mixed tariff established for the imports of apparel and footwear, which was found incompatible by the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO in the case with Panama, for exceeding in some cases the maximum bound tariff allowed.

In addition, it indicated that The Directorate of National Taxes and Customs of Colombia (DIAN) will apply strict customs controls for goods with ostensibly low import prices.

Panama expressed at that time his rejection of the measures, on noting that they "again fail to comply with their obligations" as a member of the WTO, "as provided in the rulings of the Dispute Settlement Body. Controversies over the mixed tariff and restrictions on ports of entry "demanded by that country.

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