Panamanian customs laws state that all automobiles coming to Panama are subject to import taxes, except for those belonging to accredited diplomats, members of international organizations, or U.S. contractors.
Nevertheless, diplomats, members of international organizations, or U.S. contractors can import free of duties one automobile. Any other auto will have to pay import duties.
The required documents are the following:
1. Original OBL (not legalized). The OBL must specify the ocean freight charge for the auto.
2. Original certificate of ownership.
3. Original commercial invoice or purchase invoice.
HOW TO DETERMINE THE IMPORT DUTIES ON A USED AUTOMOBILE
Taxes are assessed depending on the C.I.F. value (Cost, Insurance & Freight). The actual value of the automobile is calculated according to the N.A.D.A. (National Automobile Dealers Association) booklet using the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price).
It doesn't matter what the invoice presented to customs says, they will proceed according to the N.A.D.A. booklet, also known as the "Blue Book".
FIRST STEP is to determine the MSRP value of your vehicle. CLICK HERE
There is no discount (depreciation) for new automobiles (Year 0).
Year -1 Models have a 15% discount (Actual Value = 85% of the MSRP).
Year -2 Models have a 30% discount (Actual Value = 70% of the MSRP).
Year -3 Models have a 45% discount (Actual Value = 55% of the MSRP).
Year -4 Models have a 60% discount (Actual Value = 40% of the MSRP).
This is the greatest amount of depreciation that customs will accept an apply.
THIRD STEP. Import Duty.
Import duties are based on the C.I.F. (Cost, Insurance & Freight) value. At this point, to the actual (depreciated) price, add the freight & insurance listed in the Bill Of Lading. Customs authorities require the specific freight of the automobile and in the event there is no specific freight (cases where autos come by road or consolidated with other merchandise), customs will calculate the freight as 14% of the actual (depreciated) price, and insurance as 1% on same value.
Import Duty (Based on CIF value):
FOURTH STEP. 7% I.T.B.M. tax.
If the CIF value is US$8,000.00 (or less) = 15%
If the CIF value ranges from US$8,000.01 up to US$20,000.00, = 18%
If the CIF value is of US$20,000.01 up to $25,000, = 23%
If the CIF value is of US$25,000.01 and over, 25% Other charges: US$75.00 (flat) for customs documentation.
The customs brokers fee is of approximately $150.00