COLOMBIA: Flag bill ready to boost the blue economy

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Colombia ,Bogotá DC, November 3, 2020 (@ViceColombia) The Vice President, Marta Lucía Ramírez, socialized -this Tuesday- with a group of congressmen, the flag bill, an initiative that seeks to take advantage of the national bi-oceanic potential in a sustainable way , which will be key in generating employment during the economic reactivation.

“This is a very important project for our two coasts, to turn Colombia into a competitive country in sustainable use of marine resources. We have worked hand in hand with the Pacts for Growth in the logistics, sustainability, transportation, entrepreneurship, mining and energy resources sectors, as well as in the development of science, technology and innovation ”, said the Vice President.

The project proposes to establish a regime for the flagging of ships, nautical devices and to provide tax incentives for activities related to the maritime sector in Colombia, as well as streamlining procedures. It also allows the creation and maintenance of markets that generate independence, knowledge and skills to exercise a presence in the marine territory, strengthening the country’s capacities.

The initiative was led by Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez, president of the Colombian Ocean Commission, together with the Ministry of Defense, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, through the General Maritime Directorate and the National Navy.

“Colombia’s strategic position can give us better conditions, not only from the economic point of view, but also in having more preponderance and international leadership, making our country a determining factor for shipping companies. These axes have an economic potential especially for the 47 municipalities on the coast ”, said the senior official.

She argued that, with the leadership of President Iván Duque, it has been possible to put the ocean issue in its rightful place, with preponderance in the National Development Plan.

For his part, the Minister of Defense, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, pointed out that this “bill seeks to generate incentives for activities related to the maritime sector in Colombia, enhancing shipyards, ship repair shops and supporting the development of the national shipping industry. for the economic reactivation of the country ”.

 

Legislative support

Senators and Representatives of different political parties expressed their satisfaction with this initiative presented by the executive and announced their support for it to become a Law of the Republic.

The president of the Second Commission of the Chamber, Juan David Vélez, said that this is a very important project, because it comes at a time when the economic reactivation of the country is essential.

Likewise, Senator Fernando Araújo said that this purpose will make it possible to strengthen the shipyard and sea tourism industry, and thanked the National Government for the work it is doing in this regard.

Likewise, Astrid Sánchez Montes de Oca, first vice president of the House of Representatives, indicated that “this bill is of vital importance in the midst of this pandemic and on the road to economic reactivation, because it can generate a significant number of jobs. With it we are going to promote the ordering of this type of ships in Colombia ”.

For his part, Representative Milton Angulo Viveros, pointed out that “these are the projects that are needed in these times of pandemic and economic reactivation, since it will benefit all Colombians, especially those in remote regions such as Buenaventura.”

Finally, Representative Karen Cure, said that in maritime competitiveness, Colombia has two oceans and considered it important “to take into account young people in this type of project so that they are interested in maritime issues.”

 

Articles of the Bill

The bill is made up of 33 articles divided into five titles and seeks to improve current measures on issues such as the single national registry of ships, classified by the service it provides, delimiting requirements demanded of high-board ships, coastal vessels, fishing and recess; the special registry classification for artisanal fishing vessels; the elimination of public deed as a document for the sale of ships and artifacts of this industry.

Likewise, it is aimed at expediting the verification of reports for drug trafficking, a process that has stigmatized the maritime sector and discouraged investment; the provisional registration by electronic headquarters with the ship abroad, in 72 hours, achieving a definitive registration in 5 days; the assignment of call letters included in the registration, under the responsibility of the Dimar.

It consists of a chapter related to the naval mortgage and maritime guarantees, since in the country financial institutions do not receive ships as mortgage guarantee for loans, thus allowing financing and expansion possibilities.

In order to be able to compete with the region’s registries, which offer zero percent rates, tax benefits will be granted and the creation of a 2% preferential rate for income from international maritime traffic carried out by registered ships or naval artifacts. in the Colombian registry, as well as the inclusion of the construction, repair, modification, repowering, reconstruction and maintenance of ships as VAT-exempt services.

Source Vicepresidencia Colombia

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