The staff of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at the United States Embassy in Bogota, in conjunction with our colleagues at the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Bogota office, represent the interests of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Colombia.
Growing agricultural trade between the United States and Colombia has created a vital role for APHIS ensuring that new trade opportunities are realized and that existing trade between the two economies flows smoothly. The APHIS Bogota office maintains technical working relationships with our Colombian counterparts to resolve Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues whenever they arise. This relationship contributes to maintaining the success of agricultural trade-related commercial activities between the two economies, helping ensure they thrive.
In addition, our office maintains direct contact with industry trade groups, importers and exporters in order to assist and facilitate resolution of trade-related issues as they occur at Colombian ports of entry.
Finally, as a principle role of APHIS is to make sure the United States and our trading partners adhere to the SPS rules set forth by the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as the other relevant international standards-setting organizations, APHIS' role will continue to increase as the United States and Colombia continue to expand their current trade relationships and establish new partnerships into the foreseeable future.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multifaceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.
Marc C. Gilkey, Regional Manager
Countries of Responsibility: Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela
Mar. 15, 2019 - In February, APHIS and the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) held a plant health technical meeting in Sacramento, California. The U.S. issues included pomegranate fruits, strawberry and blueberry plants, and Protea seedlings. Colombia raised issues including pepper, mango, passion fruit, and Hass avocados. ICA confirmed removal of a final restriction on U.S. strawberry plants and will immediately resume the issuance of import permits. In addition, ICA announced the publication of the requirements for U.S. Protea seedlings. Significant progress was made on both sides for a number of priority issues. A site visit to a strawberry plant nursery which exports to Colombia capped the meeting. U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia totaled $2.7 billion in FY18.
Mar. 25, 2019 - On March 11, USTR hosted the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) SPS Committee Meeting in Washington, DC. Colombia’s delegation was led by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism and included Dr. Deyanira Barrero León, General Director of the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA). Dr. Barrero highlighted the importance of the recent APHIS-ICA plant health technical meeting held in California, which allowed movement on several priority issues. The top Colombian priority was peppers, with other topics of interest including a revised list of priority products, irradiation treatment, an update on foot-and-mouth disease in Colombia, and capacity building interests. Colombia also shared information on the request to amend the avocado operational workplan, implementation of electronic certification, and a presentation on its new meat export zone. ICA indicated that it wishes to enter into an electronic certification exchange with the United States. With regard to capacity building, ICA raised several areas where they seek assistance, including the establishment of pest-free areas. USTR encouraged ICA to send a letter with all of their areas of interest, as these crossed a number of areas, including those outside of APHIS authority. U.S. topics of interest included biotechnology, particularly Colombia’s regulatory approach on gene editing. The U.S.-Colombia TPA was signed in 2012, since which time trade has grown for both countries. In 2018, U.S. exports to Colombia reached $2.91 billion, a 15.3% increase over the previous year.