U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA)

Rules of Origin

Step 4: Documenting Origin

It is the responsibility of the importer in Panama to make a claim for the FTA-negotiated preferential tariff rate (FTA rate) for qualifying products. However, the exporter or producer may be asked by the importer, customs broker, or the Panama Customs Service to provide a written or electronic certification or other information to support the importer’s claim.

While there is no required form for certifying origin, the minimum elements that must be included are:

1. The name and contact information (or other identifying information) of the person providing the certification;

2. the tariff classification and a description of the product;

3. information that describes and demonstrates that the product is originating;

4. date when the certification information is prepared; and

5. in the case of a certification covering multiple shipments of identical products, the period that the certification covers, not to exceed 12 months from the date the certification is prepared.

The importing country, or importer may require additional information beyond these specifics. Please note that the Panaman Customs Service does not mandate a specific Certificate of Origin document under the U.S.-Panama TPA, nor is there a prescribed form or format for certifying origin. If you are required by the Panaman Customs Service to use a particular form, please contact the Trade Compliance Center.

Notes: In accordance with the terms of your business arrangement, your importer may request that you provide the certification information in a particular form or format.

The certification may be completed based on the producer’s or exporter’s knowledge that the product is originating; or for the exporter, reasonable reliance on the producer’s written or electronic certification that the product is originating.

The language used on the certification may be in either English or Spanish, although the importer may be asked to submit a translation in the local language.

On some occasions, even if your importer will not claim the FTA tariff, you may be asked to provide information that documents the origin of your product.

Tip: The certification may only be issued by the exporter, manufacturer, or importer; third party certificates (e.g., Chamber of Commerce) will not be accepted.

Step 5: Keeping your Records

Note: The information presented on this website is meant to serve as a general guide. Only the agreement text and the customs regulations issued to implement the agreement are definitive. For complex issues or where interpretation is required, U.S. exporters should seek legal assistance.