On August 5, the Seventh Committee of the House of Representatives held a Public Hearing to discuss a bill requiring traders to pay their suppliers in less than 60 calendar days from the date of receipt of the goods or the fulfilment of the provision of services. The hearing was attended by public and private sector representatives, including Rosmery Quintero, President of the Colombian Association of Micro, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (ACOPI), and Juan David Duque, Director of Colombia Compra Eficiente. The bill is expected to be debated on the Chamber floor in the coming weeks.
“Some 40% of SMEs have relationships with much larger companies, who sometimes don’t pay them for as long as 180 days,” said Rosmery Quintero. She suggested that the issue should not be about the size of the company and that payment terms should be unified as “they do not necessarily have to be 30 or 45 days. In our surveys we have seen that the business sector is talking about 60 days, which would be an appropriate number to ensure good business relationships and allow our sector to grow.”
Meanwhile, Juan David Duque, Director of Colombia Compra Eficiente, referred to the raft of controversies arising between contracting parties when payments are late. “Given that current legislation already provides for interests to be charged in the event of non-compliance, we do not see any need to include this again in a special law,” he said, adding that he considered that the current legislation was sufficient in allowing parties to be able to come to some agreement at their own convenience.