Implementing a risk management system for the National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute

Supporting Colombia in moving essential goods efficiently

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Colombia’s National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute (INVIMA) regulates the import and export of products which are vital for society such as food, medicines, medical devices, cosmetics and toiletries. Without a modern risk management system, however, INVIMA must physically inspect 100% of goods arriving at borders, making trade more costly and time consuming for businesses, particularly those with perishable products, and putting unnecessary strain on the agency.

Risk management systems maintain risk profiles based on historical data and current trends, allowing border agencies to identify which shipments are higher risk and prioritise them for physical inspection.

What we are doing

The Alliance has brought together INVIMA, other relevant Colombian agencies and the private sector to design and implement a modern risk management system for INVIMA aimed at reducing inspection rates from 100% to 70% or below.

Our project involves:

  • providing risk management expertise to ensure the process is conducted in accordance with international best practices
  • collecting historical risk management data and setting up new risk profiles
  • developing a simple yet robust IT system
  • rolling out the new risk management system


The introduction of a modern risk management system is a win for the government, the private sector, and the wider Colombian population. It will:

  • improve INVIMA officers’ understanding of products by creating a historical record of manufacturers, importers, exporters and countries of origin
  • reduce the cost of inspections and transactions for low-risk consignments
  • speed up the processing of customs declarations and border inspections, reducing transport times and improving predictability for traders
  • automate the recording and filing of data, providing traceability for products entering Colombia

Monitoring and evaluation

We are monitoring and evaluating the project throughout its duration. Key indicators include:

  • the percentage of physical inspections conducted on imports
  • waiting times and costs for importing food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices

Private sector support

In Colombia we are looking for businesses to get involved in a wide range of activities including:

  • assessing the new system’s functional and technical requirements and advising on its implementation
  • testing the system
  • drafting technical and user manuals for private sector users
  • providing training
  • piloting the system in Bogota and/or Cartagena


The project will be implemented in three phases over 18 months.

Phase 1


Design and development of the RMS

Phase 2


Testing and piloting the new RMS for food in 13 ports and border crossings

Phase 3


Expansion of new RMS to medicine, medical devices, and cosmetics

Get involved

Find out how to get involved in the wider Alliance by clicking the boxes to the right.

Contact us in Colombia