Worldwide Moving – Panama

Straw or hay packing in lift-vans, narcotics, ammunition, or firearms.


Panamanian Citizen returning to the country, after having lived abroad for a lapse of time of no less than two years, can import free of tax all their used household goods and personal effects.

Every foreigner coming to live in Panama has the same prerogative as Panamanian citizens. Nevertheless the law states that the head of the family has to have a residential visa before the arrival of his household effects. No foreigner with a migratory or tourist visa can enjoy these benefits. New articles are subject to import tax, and it is the Executive Power who determines the amount and kind of articles that in each case can be imported free of duty.

All diplomats and Public Officials entering the country with a diplomatic or official passport or those who come with a contract from the Panamanian Government have franchise privilege, and will not be subject to the usual inspection or examination of the household goods.

SPECIAL PROVISIONAL VISA (Visa de visitante Temporal Especial)
Businessmen whose source of income does not originate in the Republic of Panama, and who earn US$ 1,000.00 or above per month, can apply for this visa, and he, as well as his family, can receive the following benefits:

Exemption from tax on one shipment of household goods and personal effects up to sun of US$3,000,00.
Exoneration in the payment of taxes or migratory rights once visa has been granted.
The personal effects of business coming to reside in Panama should get there no later than six month after the date of the arrival, and cannot exceed two shipments.

Panamanian laws state that all shipments must be inspected at the port of entry, but due to cargo congestion and to avoid mishandling, this inspection is done at the shipper’s residence at the time of delivery. This is a special service and is payable by shipper directly to the government (it is compulsory). Contact your T.I.M.N. agent for a quotation for this service.

Panamanian customs laws state that all automobiles coming to Panama are subject to import tax except for those belonging to accredited diplomats, members of international organisations. or U.S. contractor. Nethertheless, diplomats, members of international organisations or U.S. contractor can import free of duties one automobile. The other auto will have to pay import duties.

The documents that are needed to clear the auto are the following:
– Original OBL (not legalised). The OBL must specify the ocean freight charge for the auto.
– Original certificate of ownership.
– Original commercial invoice or purchase invoice.
– Pollution certificate.

Making a false or misleading statement to the Authorities is an offence and may involve heavy penalties. Drug trafficking is against the law and severe penalties apply.

Important: This information is intended for general guidance. Sea & Air International cannot however take responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any loss or damage that may occur from its use. As such it is advisable to contact the nearest Australian customs office for full and current information prior to importation.

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