TODAY PANAMA – A new law eliminates the period of 150 days for the authorities to respond to an import request, and requires wait for the process to be completed without being able to import the food, until they have received a response.
The newly approved law only needs sanctioning or a presidential veto and aims to prevent the importation of agricultural products in the seasons when those products are being harvested in the country. However, the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture does not approve of all of the items included in the law.
Prensa.com reports that “… One of the articles of the proposal which has generated friction between agricultural producers and the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, is that with the old law, if the Panamanian Food Safety Authority did not issue the requirements for importing a food within 150 days, it was considered that the product could be imported. However, with the new law, the food importer has to carry out procedures in order to receive a response from the official. Until that has been done, the trader can not import food. ”
The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture noted that “… The protectionist approach of this bill will not solve the problems of the agricultural sector, and restricting imports will cause an inflationary effect … The limited consultation on this document reaffirms some of its provisions, which are measures contrary and in violation of deals made in trade agreements with the European Union, the United States and other countries, which could be subject to international law suits. ” See: Chamber Gives Its Opinion – Accelerated discussion would jeopardize trade agreements”.