Colombia| What to expect in 2022: Key legal issues for companies

Executive summary of the main legal developments to watch in 2022

Colombia| What to expect in 2022: Key legal issues for companies
January 31, 2022

Key points

  • Corporate - Companies must take into account that the government plans to strengthen measures for corporate responsibility to promote transparency and fight against corruption. This could affect the list of corporate obligations regarding business ethics programs and risk management systems for money laundering and the financing of terrorism. There may also be actions to pierce the corporate veil.
  • Exchange rate regime - Companies must take into account changes made by Colombia’s Bank of the Republic in relation to currency transaction procedures.
  • Restructuring and insolvency - There is still time to undergo emergency negotiation proceedings for business restructuring agreements.The grounds for dissolution for non-compliance with the requirements of an ongoing business have been suspended until December 31, 2022.
  • Personal data - Efforts to comply with personal data protection must be continued. This is particularly important for foreign companies using technology platforms and cookies in Colombia, especially if minors have access.
  • Competition - Colombia’s Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) will have new criteria to impose sanctions for breaching competition regulations.
  • Contracts - Franchise contract regulations cannot be ruled out.
  • Consumers and e-commerce - There will be new regulations to supplement the regulatory framework of guarantees for e-commerce consumers in Colombia.
  • Labor and employment - Employers must continue to manage the impact of the pandemic on labor relations: risk prevention, remote working, and vaccination. They must also comply with new labor obligations including paid parental leave for fathers, lactation rooms, reduced working hours, and the development and implementation of a tree planting plan.
  • Tax - Taxpayers must take into account the increased income tax rate when managing business, new rules to be used to determine the final beneficiary, recent changes to some tax incentives, and the benefits to be obtained from developing business in the new jurisdictions with double taxation treaties. In addition, Colombia’s National Directorate of Taxes and Customs (DIAN) and Council of State have provided some interpretations on tax matters that could be of interest this year.
  • Infrastructure and public procurement - In this sector, and particularly relevant in 2022, is the Electoral Guarantees Law and its amendments, the introduction of a new generation of concession agreements, the regulation of e-stamps, and the adoption of additional standard tender templates for public works tenders.
  • Real estate and urban planning - When structuring new projects in 2022, some regulatory aspects that were implemented in 2021 must be taken into account. These include changes in the processing and validity periods of planning permits, changes to the conditions for formulating macro-projects, the extension of the validity period of the Victims and Land Restitution Law, and new urban planning conditions in Bogotá.
  • Energy and environment - Companies in the energy sector must take into account the law promoting low-carbon development and setting goals and minimum measures relating to carbon, neutrality and climate resilience.
  • Finance - Companies must take into account new developments in promoting the efficient transformation of savings into investment, fostering financial inclusion, progress in financial security, and the impetus expected in the access to the payments system.
January 31, 2022