Colombian Government legal measures during COVID-19

15 April 2020
One of the most important decisions was the declaration of the Economic, Social and Ecological Emergency through the Decree 417 of 2020, which allows the government to issue decrees with the force of a law.

Also the Decree 457 ordered preventive isolation from 0:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25th until, the recently extended date, April 26. This Decree limits the free movement of people and vehicles, and suspends domestic air transport. It also brings a list of 34 activities exceptions that can be carried out and indicates that cargo transport, storage and logistics for import and export cargo must be guaranteed.


Different rules have also been issued to guarantee the functioning of the Government through the use of technology. Presidential Directive 02 and specifically Decree 491 of 2020 adopts emergency measures to guarantee care and the provision of services by the public authorities. In order to avoid contact between people and promote social distancing, the authorities will ensure that they provide services in their charge through the modality of home office. The authorities will announce on their website the official communication and information channels through which they will provide their service. The activities that are strictly necessary to prevent, mitigate and attend the health emergency due to COVID-19, and those that guarantee the operation of the State may not suspend the provision of services in person.


Labor regulations have been issued as well. The Decree 488 of 2020 establishes that workers who have presented a decrease in their income may withdraw their unemployment aid. For granting vacations employers may notify employee one day in advance, likewise the employee may also request the vacation one day in advance. Employers are prohibited to force employees to take unpaid leave.


In regard to the Colombian Agribusiness Industry there are three main decrees to take into account:  


Decree 486 of 2020

The National Government will give credits for more than USD258 million in the rural sector, prioritizing hass avocado, blueberries, rice, poultry, banana, commercial forest plantations, cocoa, medicinal cannabis, tahiti lemon, flower, mango, palm oil, pineapple, aquaculture, bovine among others.


Decree 523 of 2020

The MADR (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) suspended the tariffs on imports of corn, sorghum and soybean until June 30 (with the possibility of extending the measure for an additional three months). This will help to increase the availability of these products since Colombia's production is insufficient and reduce the cost for some products.


Resolution 071 of 2020

Through resolution 071 of 2020 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the government takes extraordinary measures to prevent excessive increases in the prices of the inputs used for agricultural production such as fertilizers, pesticides, veterinary drugs, biological products for livestock use and animal feed, compared to the prices offered before the Health Emergency, generated by the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.