Country Risk

Venezuela-Colombia border closure to cause cargo disruption without achieving long-term smuggling reduction

15 August 2014


Venezuela instituted measures to control smuggling on its border with Colombia.

The Venezuelan government began a 30-day programme of nightly closures of its border with Colombia on 11 August. Authorities dispatched 17,000 soldiers to enforce a total ban on the movement of people and goods between the two countries from 2200 to 0500 local time.

The move is designed to help clamp down on the smuggling of fuel, and other goods subsidised by the Venezuela government, which are illegally exported to Colombia and resold for profit. According to the Venezuelan authorities, approximately 100,000 bpd of fuel is smuggled to Colombia in this way, equivalent to an annual sum of around USD3.65 billion.

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