On March 23, the Executive issued Decree 462 prohibiting the export of drugs and medical items for human use as part of President Duque’s administration’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. Decree 463 was also issued, exempting several high-cost medicines and medical supplies from import tariffs. Both decrees are to come into effect as soon as they are published in the Official Gazette, which is expected to happen in the short term.
The list of goods exempted in the first decree includes alcohols, soaps, medical or care gloves, drugs for human use, disinfectants, cloths and wet towels, and antibacterial gel, as well as masks and various items of medical equipment and personal protective equipment. All these products may not be exported for six months.
The second decree eliminates the import tariff on 53 health products and other items, including cancer and HIV drugs, medical equipment, protective clothing, lab tests, chemicals, detergents, and various personal care and hygiene products.