The long awaited free trade agreement between Colombia and Europe will start on 1 August with the first group of measures.

Implementation was delayed because, among other reasons, the Colombian government had signed a law requiring the use of biofuels must increase to levels unattainable by European car makers.

But the decree has been postponed several times because of its technical and political inconvenience. So, duties on all passenger cars will have import duty reduced by 4.375% a year over the next 8 years. Buses and trucks will see reductions over 10 years.

Oliverio García, president of the Andemos automotive guild, said: "Colombians will began to enjoy the most advanced technology at reasonable prices in the next few years thank to this FTA… the country is in the right track.”

Most European car makers already operate in Colombia where Renault leads with 16% of market share thanks to its 43 year old assembly plant in Medellín, which assembles the second generation Clio Campus, Logan, Sandero and Duster and also exports to several countries. It also imports CBU models from Europe and Argentina.

Everyone else - Peugeot, Citroën, Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Fiat, Seat, Skoda, Volvo and Volkswagen - sell through local importers or dealers.