Considering shipping to Panama for the first time? Unsure about logistics processes there? Your current Freight Forwarder not filling in the blanks?

Before entering into the marketplace of any new part of the world, it is paramount to understand the differences that exist in the Cargo Shipping Industry, as well as the overall culture in general, compared with what you’re used to. Your first step should be selecting a shipping company that is already well educated in this culture, and has a proven track record of reliability and professionalism.

For shipping to Panama and surrounding area, that company is LAC!

Shipping to Panama

How business there is so different?

Not only are laws written differently, but daily business practices, etiquette, and standards in Panama may vary greatly from what you’re accustomed to. For example, there is a different perception of time-management than with North American business: a key component in this industry. Apart from the potential language barrier, the standards and methods of business communication (oral and written) can be a challenge. RORO vessels have either built-in or shore-based ramps that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel when in port. While smaller ferries that operate across rivers and other short distances often have built-in ramps, the term RORO is generally reserved for large oceangoing vessels. The ramps and doors may be located in stern, bow or sides, or any combination thereof.

Other hurdles for doing business in Panama have traditionally included:

  • Bureaucracy
  • Lack of clarity and transparency in public tender
  • Slow judicial system
  • Copyright issues

Custom Issues

Logistics companies and Customs Agents have reported inconsistencies in the application of standards and inefficiencies in the computer systems that are used to carry out the required tasks. Although Panama is the main logistics hub of this region, employers and brokers have pointed out the presence of issues, such as poor management of the SIGA computer system, impacting service and impeding an increase in the competitiveness of Panamanian trade abroad. It is commonly believed that at some point or other, everyone gets held up when they have to deal with customs there.

Prohibited and restrictions imports

  • Liquors, wines, beers, or medicines with labels that falsely describe contents, or of any kind of harmful preparation.
  • Certain firearms or war materials.
  • Foreign lottery or raffle tickets
  • Imitation coins or printed material that resembles real currency.
  • Equipment or instruments for manufacturing coins.
  • Opium in the form of gum or for smoking.
  • Obscene brochures, books, newspapers, magazines, or postcards containing negative portrayals of the country’s culture, civilization, or dignity.
  • Plants, seeds, or animals as determined by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Prohibited and restrictions imports

  • Foreign lottery or raffle tickets
  • Plants, seeds, or animals as determined by the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Opium in the form of gum or for smoking.
  • Imitation coins or printed material that resembles real currency.

Why it makes sense to expand to panama

Panama is also Latin America’s leading recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a percentage of GDP. In 2013, total FDI was USD 4.7 billion, which represented 9% of the economy. The Panamanian government also offers several different tax incentive programs, varying by sector and commercial activity.

  • Panama’s use of the US dollar

  • 100% foreign ownership is allowed

  • No restrictions on the transfer and repatriation of capital and profits

  • Legislation guaranteeing juridical security, fiscal and tax incentives for investors

  • No major fiscal difficulties as a result of global economic downturns, and with no bailouts

  • Economic stability, with record low inflation and sustained economic growth

  • Strategically located on the major world shipping route provided by the Panama Canal

  • A hub for air travel

  • One of the best countries for telecommunications connectivity in the world

  • Low unemployment

contact us

Choose LAC: Your best logistics partner when shipping to Panama

For expert advice and to get the process started, call us today at 1-877-522-7447 Or send us an email using the form below:

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