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Guide to Colombia Market Access for Electrical and R&TT Products

The electrical and R&TT products imported to Colombia must comply with all applicable technical regulations and labeling requirements. The Colombian Government publishes technical regulations and standards through the Diario Oficial (Official Gazette).

Prior to import into Colombia, the importers need to:

  1. show the compliance to technical regulations of Colombia through obtaining a product certificate and/or be homologated (for R&TTE) and/or labeling of the product

  2. obtain registration in the Registry of Manufacturers and Importers of Products or import license at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism through the one-stop foreign trade window ("VUCE") for the importation of products are subject a technical regulation which requires only a certificate of conformity

  3. report the following information to the surveillance authority: name of a manufacturer or importer and its legal representative or agent, resident in the country, and the address for notifications, as well as the additional information determined by the regulators of the product

The applicable regulatory framework for electrical and electronic products is based on the following regulations:

  • RETILAP – Technical Regulation for Lighting and Street Lighting

  • RETIE – Technical Regulation for Electrical Installations

  • RETIQ – Technical Regulation for Labelling

  • RITEL - Technical Regulations for Internal Networks Telecommunications (will become effective from 01.07.2019)

  • Homologation for Telecommunication

Requirements for Electrical Equipment

Colombian’s regulatory body is the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) related to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism and responsible for monitoring the compliance of the Technical Regulations (RETIE, RETILAP, RETIQ) and for issuing registration or import license.

The organization which is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the accreditation of conformity assessment entities in Colombia is the ONAC (National Accreditation Body of Colombia) which belongs to SIC.

  1. Safety Requirements

The Ministry of Mines and Energy issued the following mandatory requirements for electrical appliances:

  • Resolution 181331 of 06.08.2009, adopting the Technical Regulation for Lighting and Street Lighting—RETILAP

The fundamental objective of RETILAP is to establish requirements and measures that must comply with the lighting systems and public lighting, aimed to ensure:

  • level and quality of light energy required for the visual activity

  • security of energy supply

  • consumer protection and preservation of the environment

  • prevention, minimization or elimination risks caused by the installation and use of lighting systems

The following product categories fall under the scope of the RETILAP approval:

  • Starters

  • Electromagnetic ballast, electronic, and double power

  • Incandescent bulbs, light bulbs, and fluorescent light bulbs

  • Lamps

  • Lighting control systems

  • Lampholders

  • Projectors

  • Movement sensors, etc.

  • Resolution 90708 of 30.08.2013 by which issues Technical Regulations for Electrical Installations—RETIE

The basic purpose of RETIE is to establish measures to ensure the safety of people, plants, and animal life, as well as environmental conservation preventing, minimizing, and eliminating electrical risks, in compliance with civil, mechanical and equipment manufacturing regulations. Additionally, it states the requirements and specifications to ensure the safety of electrical installations based on their correct functioning, i.e. reliability, quality, and appropriate use of products and equipment set minimum standards of safety for electrical installations.

The following product categories fall under the scope of RETIE:

  • Wires

  • Cables

  • Battery chargers for electric vehicles

  • Switches

  • Electric motors

  • Photovoltaic solar panels

  • Elevators, X-ray machines, swimming pools, jacuzzi, fire alarm systems, etc.

2. Energy Efficiency Requirements

The Ministry of Mines and Energy issued Resolution № 41012 of 18.09.2015, which creates the Technical Regulation for Energy Labelling—RETIQ.

RETIQ aims to establish measures for encouraging the rational and efficient use of energy in products using electrical energy and fuel gas through the establishment and compulsory use of labels to report on the performance of the equipment in terms of energy consumption and energy efficiency ratings.

The following product categories fall under the scope of RETIQ approval:

  • Air conditioners

  • Refrigerators and freezers for domestic and commercial use

  • Ballasts for fluorescent lighting

  • Electrical motors and generators except generating sets

  • Washing machines

  • Water heaters

  • Gas cooking appliances

Prior to selling products in Colombia, manufacturers, importers, suppliers or sellers of foregoing equipment shall obtain a Certificate of Conformity or, in permitted cases, to issue a Declaration of Conformity, which shows the compliance with all applicable requirements and allows them to submit a label. In the process of nationalizing, a label or its sample shall be available, either, in physical copy or in electronic format.

Applicable certification schemes in Colombia are based on the requirements of NTC/ISO/IEC 17065 and NTC/ISO/IEC 17067.

3. Requirements for R&TT Equipment

Colombian’s regulatory bodies:

1. The Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (MINTIC)

As regards RITEL, it fulfills functions of monitoring and control front in the service of sound broadcasting and control and vigilance against the providers of networks and services.

Regarding Telecom, it acts as an entity that is responsible for designing, adopting, and promoting the policies, plans, programs, and projects of the sector of Information Technologies and Communications.

2. The Commission of Regulation of Communications (CRC) attached to MINTIC

As regards RITEL, it is a competent body to review, update, and interpretation of the regulations

Regarding Telecom, it is a telecommunications regulating body and regulates markets for networks and communications services.

3. The National Agency of the Spectrum (ANE)

It is a special administrative unit of the national order, affiliated to MINTIC and its aim is to provide the technical support for the management, planning, monitoring, and control of the radio frequency spectrum.

Main Regulations

  • Law №1341 as of 2009, which defines principles and concepts on the information society and activities of the Information Technologies, and Communications, the National Agency of Spectrum, and other provisions.

  • Resolution CRT 087 as of 1997, which regulates in services of Public Switched Telephone Network in Colombia.

  • Resolution № 5405 as of 16.07.2018, which contains Technical Regulations for Internal Networks Telecommunications (RITEL). It will become effective from 01.07.2019.

  • Resolution ANE 711 as of 2016, which establishes the frequency bands of free use within the national territory, etc.

The following product categories are subjected to homologation:

  • Stationary phones or wireless stationary phones

  • Satellite communication devices

  • Mobile terminals (cell phones)

The following product categories are subjected to RITEL:

  • CCTV Cameras

  • External pipeline;

  • Rooms and/or cabins for telecommunications equipment

  • Cables

  • Antennas, towers, masts, brackets, anchors, braces, and turnbuckles

  • Ducts;

  • Tubes, etc.

Homologation is a procedure when an applicant submits a set of documents to the CRC for each model of the product to obtain a homologation letter or for those products, exempted from a homologation/no-homologation letter to avoid any issues with customs.

CRC maintains the register of the telecommunication terminal equipment that has been homologated and publishes it on its website. It includes the information about the brand, model, code approval, and Colombian frequency bands, for which the device has been approved.

The information has been prepared by the GMA Consult Group team.

GMA Consult Group provides a full cycle of international type approval and global market access services for IT, Telecom and industrial electrical products in all countries throughout the world. With proven expertise in worldwide regulations, compliance, certification, and conformity assessment, GMA Consult Group can help your company speed up the access to any market with almost zero efforts from your side.

Need your own guide to the world of certification and approvals? Don't hesitate to contact us via info@gma.trade.

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GMA Consult Group provides a full cycle of international type approval and global market access services for the IT, telecom and industrial electrical products in all countries throughout the world. 

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