January 21, 2022

Review Provisions of Superintendence of Industry and Commerce in Colombia for 2022

Holland & Knight Alert
Danilo Romero Raad

As is customary at this time of the year, Colombia’s Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) announced some provisions for the year 2022 in the areas of industrial property, antitrust law and personal data protection. These include the update of official fees, the establishment of economic thresholds for business integration operations, and the reiteration of the obligation to update and notify changes in company databases. An overview of the modifications to be taken into account is presented below.

Update of Official Fees for 2022

By virtue of Article 277 of the Decision 486 of 2000, the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, through a resolution issued by the general secretary of the entity, establishes annual fees for the administrative procedures in industrial property matters for the following fiscal year.

Therefore, and by means of Resolution 63360 of Sept. 30, 2021, the SIC established said fees for the year 2022, modifying Chapter One of Title X of the Sole Circular. For example, in regards to distinctive signs, the cost of applying for the registration of a trademark or commercial slogan of goods or services for one class increased by approximately 3.5 percent, amounting to Colombian Peso (COP) $1,003,500. Similarly, the application fee for an additional class also increased by approximately 3.5 percent to a total of COP$501,500.

The payment of preferential fees for the registration of trademarks, addressed particularly to young people between 18 and 28 years of age, was also maintained at COP$69,000, both for one class and for each additional class in trademark registration applications. We reiterate that in order to access this privilege, applicants must prove that they are within the aforementioned age range, by presenting a copy of their citizenship card if Colombian, or a copy of the foreigner's identity card or identification document in the country of birth if foreigner.

These new fees became effective as of Jan. 1, 2022.

New Economic Thresholds to be Taken into Account in Business Integrations

On the other hand, the SIC set new economic thresholds to determine the obligation to report an integration operation during the year 2022.

According to the provisions of Article 9 of Law 1340 of 2009, which amends Article 4 of Law 155 of 1959, companies engaged in the same economic activity or participating in the same value chain, and that individually or collectively exceed the limits of total assets or operating income established by SIC, have the duty to inform the SIC about the operations they plan to carry out for purposes of integration, whatever the legal form of the projected operation.

Thus, for this new year, and by means of Resolution 83304 of Dec. 22, 2021, the SIC set such thresholds at 1,578,781.18 tax value units (TVU), which are equivalent to COP$59,999,999.964.72. In Resolution 000140 of Nov. 25, 2021, the Directorate of National Taxes and Customs (Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales or DIAN) fixed at COP$38,004 the TVU that will be in force during 2022, a value that increased by approximately 4.7 percent compared to the TVU of 2021.

If these types of operations are not duly reported, the SIC may take corrective actions that seek to reduce or eliminate the effects that such integration may have generated to the free competition, in addition to the eventual fines that the parties involved may incur.

Important Dates for Database Updates and Registration

Lastly, the SIC reiterated the importance of complying with the obligations set forth through Circular 003 of Aug. 1, 2018, to update and register databases in the National Registry of Databases (NRDB).

Corporations and nonprofit entities with total assets exceeding 100,000 TVU (value equivalent to COP$3,800,400,000 for 2022), as well as legal entities of a public nature, are responsible for complying with this obligation. They must register in the NRDB general information on their databases that contain personal data and on the associated data processing. The latter must be registered in accordance with the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Law (Law 1581 of 2012).

Consequently, all obligated organizations must perform the annual update of the information reported in the NRDB before March 31, 2022.

In addition to the general update, the aforementioned organizations must also comply with the following obligations:

  1. Update of reports: No later than within the first 15 working days of February and August of each year, the report of claims filed by holders of personal data in the previous six-month period must be made. In the event that no claims are filed, holders of personal data must provide notification that there are no new developments.
  2. Monthly update: If substantial changes are made to the information reported in the NRDB, holders of personal data must make updates within the first 10 working days of each month.
  3. New databases: When the data controller generates a new database, said database must be registered within a maximum of two months after its creation.

Failure to comply with these obligations has resulted in increased controls and surveillance by the SIC, generating administrative orders and high fines to those who do not act in accordance with the abovementioned obligations.

Should you have any questions or concerns about these or other provisions of the entity, Holland & Knight invites you to contact us.

Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the authors of this publication, your Holland & Knight representative or other competent legal counsel.

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