The Government of Colombia, using its emergency powers, issued Decree 482 on March 26, 2020, to take steps to protect the transportation industry and to ensure its viability during the COVID-19 emergency. As part of those steps, the Government has created the Center for Logistics and Transportation (Centro de Logística y Transporte), a new, temporary authority comprised by a number of governmental bodies with authority over the transportation industry, including, among others, a representative of the President and representatives of the Ministries of Transportation, Agriculture and Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
As part of its roles, the Center for Logistics and Transportation will have the authority to approve (i) agreements to create synergies in logistics and (ii) agreements between competitors in the transportation industry, whenever such agreements create synergies.
The approvals under the new powers will only last while the COVID-19 emergency continues.
It is still not clear what the procedure or requirements will be for the actual approval of agreements, but swift approval and overall expediency are generally expected.
The easing of antitrust restrictions is consistent with developments in other jurisdictions, including the EU and the UK. Other industries are also likely to ask for (and get) similar exemptions.