Basic information / Currency and exchange rates
Currency and exchange rates
The Colombian peso is the country’s sole currency.
Entering the country with foreign currencyPersons entering or leaving the country may carry up to $10,000 USD or the equivalent in other currencies. This amount, which is personal and non-transferable, is not subject to declaration or taxes.
To bring more than $10,000 into the country, you must use a transport company or an exchange market intermediary (bank or currency exchange agency, among others), who will declare the corresponding exchanges. These transactions are not subject to taxes but transportation expenses and/or intermediation is. The exchange market intermediary are capable of buying international currencies and convert them to Colombian pesos
If you bring in assets valued at over $10,000 (ex. traveler’s checks or bonds) they must be declared with the Internal Revenue Office and National Customs-DIAN. The traveler is responsible for filing this declaration, not the airline or other transporter.
Non-residents of Colombia can open checking or savings accounts in the country.
Entering funds in this way is not considered a foreign investment.
Foreign investmentThe following is considered foreign investment:
Contribution to company capital through purchase of shares, stock, premiums, convertible bonds or other income representative of company capital.
The purchase of autonomous patrimonial rights as a means of developing a company (ex: investing in Colombian films)
The purchase of real estate, stock in real estate, securitization or through real estate funds.
Investment in branches founded in Colombia by foreign legal entities.
Portfolio investments (foreign capital investment funds in stock, convertible bonds in stock and other assets)
Foreign investment enjoys the following rights:
Transfer of net utilities from the investment outside the country – amounts received from disposal of investment in the country or by liquidation of the company or portfolio
Reinvestment of utilities or capitalization of funds and permission to transfer outside country
Foreign investment must be registered with the Central Bank, which in some cases may be done by an exchange intermediary (ex: banks)
Banks in ColombiaThere is an extensive banking network in Colombia including national banks and foreign capitaol institutions (Banco de Bogotá, Banco Popular, Bancolombia, Banco de Occidente, Banco Caja Social, Banco Davivienda, Banco Colpatria, Banagrario, AV Villas, Banco Santander, Helm Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, CITIBANK, HSBC, GNB Sudameris, BBVA) with branches throughout the country.
Branch banking and ATM machines are available in all Colombian cities and many small towns and municipalities.
Banks operate between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday and certain offices in large cities offer extended office hours from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday mornings.
Credit cardsAll major international credit cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express, etc.) are accepted in Colombia when purchasing goods and services. However, this service is often unavailable in provincial businesses far from major cities where you may have to pay in cash.
Currency exchangesMajor cities have currency exchanges where international currency can be bought and sold. These currency exchanges fix purchase and sales prices of foreign currency based on market tendencies, which may be higher or lower than the official exchange rate.
Comments in this document have been addressed in a general fashion and are based on what PricewaterhouseCoopers considers a reasonable interpretation of the law in effect at the time they were addressed and are not intended to provide any kind of tax or legal advice regarding the matters contained therein. "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to the Colombian firms forming part of the global PricewaterhouseCoopers network, each being a separate and independent legal entity.