Non-conforming measures of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States for the protection of radio and television

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism
Key objectives of the measure:

To restrict the entry of foreign companies for the provision of services related to the broadcasting and production of television and radio in Colombia.

Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

This measure offers guidelines on mechanisms for the protection of Colombian radio and television through the following mechanisms:

Colombia reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure granting preferential treatment to persons of any other country through any treaty between Colombia and that country which contains specific commitments in matters of cultural cooperation or co-production, with respect to cultural industries and activities. (Annex II-COL-7y 8)

Colombia may apply incentives for the promotion of cultural industries and activities, without violating the National Treatment and Most-Favored-Nation Treatment obligations of Chapter 10 on foreign investment. (Annex II-COL-8)

Only Colombian companies can receive concessions for the operation of telecommunications services. (Annex I-COL-18)

Concessions can only be granted for the operation of subscription television and audiovisual production services to Colombian national companies. They must transmit the open television channels completely free of charge. If these subscriber television operators broadcast advertising of non-Colombian origin, they must comply with the requirements of screen quotas of the open TV channels. (Annex I-COL-23 and 24)

Additionally, concessions can only be granted for the operation of open television services to Colombian national companies that must acquire the form of a public limited company, and cannot have more than 40% of foreign capital. These companies must comply with the screen quotas established in article 33 of Law 182 of 1995. The regional open television service providers must only be supplied by entities owned by the State, and also must comply with the screen quotas established by the same Law. (Annex I-COL-21 and 22)

In addition, concessions for radio services can only be given to Colombian national companies. The number of concessions that can be granted to operate radio services is subject to the criterion of "economic necessity". (Annex I-COL-20)

Furthermore, in the framework of the FTA with the European Union, Colombia has made a general reservation

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

To maintain a steady production and broadcast of radio and television with national content.

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

Does not apply