Panama tariffs on different products

Cannot confirm the reliability of the information but at the end of the description of the duties and taxes there is a reference to the Customs office and website (in spanish). Is there anyone that can confirm that the following information still applies? this may not be accurate, check with a local custom agents for updated info. notice dates.

Effective January 1998, the Panamanian Government modified its import duty structure, lowering tariff levels for most manufactured goods to 0%, 3%, 5%, 10% and 15%. Raw materials, industrial equipment and inputs for industrial production have tariffs at 3%. Agrochemicals, agricultural inputs, and agricultural machinery will pay no import duty.
There are still some products subject to tariffs outside these limits such as processed tomato products, beer and cigarettes. Specific exceptions:
automobiles: 15 to 20 %
dairy products : 40 %
rice: 50 %

Software: Duties and taxes are assessed on the intellectual property value of software. Customized software is treated the same as packaged software. Software updates are taxed and dutied as separate items.

Duties are 5% on the CIF value of software, but 15% on entertainment software.
Related services will be taxed as software if they are part of the original price charged for the software. No special visas or certifications are required for U.S. personnel to travel to Panama to set up hardware or software.
Software delivered over the internet to end users or to distributors with a license is not subject to import duties or taxes.
In addition to tariffs, imports are subject to an Administrative Charge for Customs Services (TASA) equivalent to B 70.00 for each customs declaration covering imports for which the total c.i.f. value of the goods amounts to B 2,000.00 or more. The DGA is responsible for administering and collecting the TASA.

Imports are subject to the payment of ITBMS, Selective Consumption Tax (ISC), and the Consumption Tax on Fuels Derived from Petroleum.
The ITBMS applies to the transfer of movable property and services, both domestic and imported, and operates as a value-added sales tax in the sense that each taxpayer determines the tax payable on the basis of the difference between the fiscal debit and the fiscal credit. The tax base is the price agreed for the provision of services or, in the case of the transfer of property, the invoice price, including all costs charged to the buyer (for example, transport and packing costs and interest on financing). For imports, the tax base is the c.i.f. value plus duties, charges and any other customs levies that affect the imported goods. Where the c.i.f. value of the goods is not known, the f.o.b. value plus 15 per cent is used.
The rate is 5% for ITBM and is levied on the CIF value, plus import duty and other handling charges.

Goods and services exempt from ITBMS
Exempt goods:
Agricultural products (crops, livestock, poultry, products of fishing and hunting, etc.) in the natural state
Aerated beverages
Crude oil, fuels, lubricants and related products
Food products
Manufactured fertilizers specified in the headings or groups of the Import Tariffa
Insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, disinfectants and the like, used in agriculture and livestock breeding, of the following subheadings:,,,,,,, and
All seeds used in agriculture
Barbed wire of subheading
Hand tools used in agriculture, such as machetes, hoes, spades, shovels, and picks
Newspapers, magazines, reviews, magnetic media of an educational nature, exercise books, pencils, ballpoint pens and other articles exclusively for school use, as well as textbooks, books and publications in general, excluding pornography
Drinking water supplied by public utility companies
Medicinal and pharmaceutical products specified in Chapter 30 of the Import Tariff
Foreign currency, shares, and government and private securities
Transfers of goods and services within free zones and areas under customs control
Exportation and re-exportation of goods (including accommodation services provided by persons in the hotel trade)
Exempt services:
Services related to human health
Leasing and subleasing of real estate intended exclusively as the house or dwelling of the lessee
Services related to education, if provided by persons authorized by the Ministry of Education
Lending to the state, and loans, deposits and payments generated by financial services provided by entities legally authorized to provide this kind of service
Freight transport services (excluding the transport of securities and private mail), and passenger transport by air, sea and land
Generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy
Fixed telephone services
Social communication services, such as radio, press and television, provided by public or private entities, with the exception of the sale of advertising space
Postal services provided by the state
Games of chance at state and private casinos and racecourses, including those operated on concession from the state
Insurance and reinsurance
International freight services for transporting goods abroad; repair of cargo and passenger ships and aircraft engaged in international trade activities, whatever their nationality; cleaning and maintenance services for such ships and aircraft; loading, unloading and transfer services provided wholly within customs areas and warehouses, and private services provided for the passage of vessels through the Panama Canal
Legal services provided for vessels engaged in international trade registered in the national merchant marine
Professional services provided to persons resident abroad
Services provided within free zones and processing zones, directly related to export operations;
Internet access services, residential and for entities that provide educational services, recognized as such by the state
Sewage and garbage collection services provided by public entities or concession-holders
Public cultural events, as classified by the National Institute of Culture
Activities of securities and agricultural commodity exchanges and the financial activities of cooperatives
Food retailing on business premises on which alcoholic beverages are not sold or consumed (for example, fast-food restaurants)

Source: WTO
Excise Taxes
Applies to:
Selective Consumption Tax (ISC)
Aerated beverages
Syrups or concentrates used in the production of aerated beverages
Rectified alcohol, rum, whisky or gin
B 0.035a
Domestically produced spirits distilled from sugar cane, honey, cane syrup, molasses and maize aged for four years receive a rebate of 10% of the value of the tax; a further rebate of 5% for each additional year of aging; the total rebate may not exceed 40%. Alcohol used in pharmaceutical preparations; chemical products; fuels; dyes and perfumes
Wine and other alcoholic beverages with a low alcohol content (not less than 7% or more than 20%)
B 0.05b
Non-alcoholic beers and liquid extracts of malt that do not contain more than 0.5% of alcohol by volume
B 0.325b
Tobacco products (incl. cigarettes)
Self-propelled land vehicles for the transport of persons, if the c.i.f. value exceeds B 15,000 or B 18,000 for four-wheel drive vehicles
Vehicles designed for the transport of freight and goods, ambulances and hearses, public transport vehicles, tow-trucks, fire engines, etc.
Motorcycles with two or more wheels and an engine of more than 125 cc
Yachts, sailboats, jet skis, recreational craft, boats, and outboard engines of more than 75 cc
Aircraft for non-commercial use and helicopters
Arms purchased by the state
Cable, microwave and satellite television services
Mobile telephone services
Mobile telephone services, prepaid
Prizes of more than B 300 won on slot machines related to games of chance
a For each degree of alcoholic strength per litre of domestic or imported beverage.
b Per litre of domestically produced or imported wine or beer.
Source: WTO

For most up to date information please contact Panamanian customs:
Direccion General de Aduanas
P.O. Box 7304
Panama 5, Panama
Phone: 507-232-6672
Fax: 507-232-6494

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