Information about the Merchant Custom

  • Habits that create norms


It is the set of practices which are repeated and consistently applied by a collective of individuals regarding a specific fact or matter, which becomes mandatory on account of its being a norm created through social repetition and use, as long as they are not in contradiction with any law, and they are performed in a repetitive, public and consistent fashion.


In compliance with the legal duty to compile and certify merchant practices, the CCB and Asociación Cavelier de Derecho, as a non-profit entity that encourages legal research among students, collectively organized the First Great Debate on Merchant Practices with the participation of more than ten universities in Bogotá. The most outstanding students of each law school came together for the event and they were proposed a practical case on the application of the business practice.

With the delivery of more than COP 40 million in prizes for undergraduate or postgraduate studies in law or similar degree programs, students of the Universidad Nacional and Universidad del Rosario were winners of the competition.


Some examples of practices which have become certified as a merchant custom include:
In the transportation industry:
  • Discounts on air tickets.
  • Contract orders in transportation agreements.
In the commercial sector:
  • Check-out times for hotels in Bogotá.
  • The VAT (Value Added Tax) being included in the quoted price.
In the automotive industry:
  • Payment of transfer costs at the dealership for used vehicles.
In the editorial sector:
  • A term to sell or return books.

Query your sector and learn more about merchant common practices certified by the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá.

  • They have the same power as a commercial law, under article 3 of the Código de Comercio .
  • When entrepreneurs certify their practices as merchant customs, they avoid conflicts lower the cost of certain transactions, and allow for a proper interpretation of contracts.
  • In the absence of a commercial law, or under agreement by the parties, merchant customs shall be the guidelines that govern over commercial relationships.
  • The certification of a merchant custom becomes evidence of its acceptance as such, speeding up the construction of evidence in an eventual legal proceeding.
What must entrepreneurs do to request the certification of a merchant custom?

If the merchant custom has already been certified by the CCB, the only thing that entrepreneurs must do is:

  1. Identify the custom required. 
  2. Go to any of our
    or centers and request the merchant custom certification form, indicate the required custom and the number of certificates to be issued.
  3. Pay the cost of the certificate ($4.800 each).
  4. On the first work day following the filing of the request, go to the site or center in which the request was filed, and pick up the corresponding certificate.
What should be done to certify a commercial practice?

Fill in the following Request for Commercial Practice Investigation Form (spanish version), and submit it in any of our locations . The Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá will assess and verify that the practice fulfills all established requirements and will notify progress. 

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