This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/31/2017
The demand for security systems and devices is continually growing in Colombia due to the security concerns of government, industry, and households. Security systems  and  devices  form  an  integral  part  of  government, business, and consumer budgets. The Colombian government has also been focusing on policies and providing resources to address the security risks in the country, thereby providing a safer environment for people and industry. The dramatic improvement in Colombias security posture since 2002 has  had  a  positive impact on the countrys business climate and has been a major factor in attracting more investment, tourism, and commercial transactions to Colombia. However, crime continues to be part of everyday life. Even though the country is close to negotiating a peace agreement with the FARC terrorist group, there are still other narco-terrorist groups and criminal bands who actively commit crimes.
The market is very diverse and includes: alarm systems, access control devices, information security systems, automatic vehicle location systems, ionization detection devices, armoring, personal protection clothing, surveillance and counter-surveillance equipment, and polygraph equipment.
A  reliable  distributor  or  representativis  crucial  to  entering  the  Colombian market. Colombian law does not require foreign firms to secure local representation for private sector sales. However, Colombians will always prefer to deal with companies that have a local representative to ensure access to after-sales services.  The one exception is for sales to the government, which does require foreign bidders to have legal representation in Colombia. Payments are usually in Colombian pesos at the exchange rate of the day of payment, and companies can pay vendors and distributors directly. Representatives or distributors work with loans and letters of credit and other financial guarantees. Privately owned institutions buy from national distributors and representatives but also send their buyers abroad to buy from manufacturers and vendors, taking care of all imports proceeds through a Colombian agent. The largest institutions prefer to  buy directly from representatives and distributors.
Entering the Colombian market with new technology or new products requires promotion that includes the following: market exposure at national and international trade shows and expositions,; publication in specialized magazines,; accurate and complete information provided to specialized and related association(s) and advertising.
Regulatory Agency: The regulatory agency overseeing security equipment is the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce, a government entity that controls and regulates all the activities of the industries and commerce in general. The Tariffs and Taxes Administration (Direccion de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales-DIAN) is another government institution in charge of controlling imports and exports, and enforcing regulations.
The current market trends are leaning toward the acquisitions of: CCTV cameras, telephones for security, reproduction and record devices for security, data processing equipment, radio transmission, armoring companies, biometric equipment, communication Jammers, and equipment for intelligence.
Companies from countries such as the United States, Germany, South Korea, China, and the United Kingdom compete in the Colombian market for  business  with  private  and  government organizations. Using their local representatives as proxy, they engage in bids for small and large projects.
The Safety & Security market in Colombia is growing approximately at around 4-5% per year. The current market size is estimated US$2 billion per year.
Colombian law does not require foreign firms to secure local representation for private sector sales.  However, Colombians prefer to deal with companies that have a local representative to ensure access to after-sales services. The one exception is for sales to the government, which does not require foreign bidders to have legal representation in Colombia.
There is still a sense that corruption continues to occur at multiple levels of public procurement processes, which can quickly exclude the participation of American companies.
In general the Colombian market is open for competition, but sometimes government contracting law can represent a challenge for foreign companies to adapt and understand. For this reason, finding a local representative who can navigate the challenges is highly recommended.
Name of event: International Security Fair
Date: August 17-19, 2016
Location: Bogota
English language website
Description: The show gathers the  most important players in  Colombia and international players in the Safety & Security sector.
Name of event: Expodefensa
Date: Nov 30- Dec 2, 2017
Location: Bogota
English Language website:
Description: Focused mainly on  the Defense sector, but does not exclude Safety and Security on some pavilions.
Name/Email:         Camilo Gonzalez
Position:                Senior Regional Commercial Specialist
Phone:                  571 275 2764

Matrix Key
1Little to no probability of success
2More challenges than opportunities
3More opportunities than challenges
4Very high probability of success
Key ApplicationsCountry: Colombia
Video Surveillance Systems
Including: CCTV/Video surveillance, Video Management, Video Analytics
Intrusion Detection/Burglar Alarm systems
Including: Door alarm monitoring, Sound and glass break sensors, Security system monitoring
Electronic Access control System
Including: Proximity and Smart cards, Electromechanical locking solutions, Biometrics
Entrance Solutions
Including: Mechanical locks, Automated gates, Vehicles barriers, Turnstiles, Roll-up doors
Physical Security
Including: Fencing, Grilles, Bullet resistant glazing, Mechanical window coverings, Safes, Locks
Scanning Equipment
Including: Narcotics/explosive
/metal detectors, Scanning and screening equipment
Article Surveillance Systems
Including: RFID systems, proximity tag systems
Personal Protections Products
Including: Goggles, Bullet proof vests, Mace
Protection services
Including: Bodyguards, Security guard services
Consultancy Services
Including: Risk analysis, Risk management, Disaster recovery, Business continuity, Organizational
National Security
Including: Counter terrorism, Border security, Critical infra., Command & control, Law enforcement eq.
Fire & Rescue
Including: Fire/smoking detection, Fire suppression, Fire proofing, Leak detection, Protective gear
IT Security
Including: Cyberterrorism, Anti-malware, Encryption

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Colombia Safety and Security Trade Development and Promotion