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

Rules of Origin

Determining Whether Product Exports are Eligible for Preferential Treatment under the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (U.S.-Panama TPA)

The information provided here gives general guidance on how to locate the relevant rules of origin and determine whether your product may qualify for a reduced tariff (or “duty”) benefit under the U.S.-Panama TPA. Special rules apply for textile and apparel products and certain agricultural and industrial products.

Only the Panamanian Customs Service can definitively determine whether a product qualifies for preferential treatment. Additional information can be found by contacting the Trade Information Center at tic@trade.gov or your local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

Rules of origin (ROOs) are used to define which products may qualify for preferential tariff rates under a trade agreement. These rules vary by trade agreement and product. In general, the importer is responsible for claiming preferential treatment from the importing country’s customs authority.

Below are five basic steps to ascertain whether your export may qualify for the FTA-negotiated preferential tariff rate (FTA rate) under the U.S.-Panama TPA.

1. Determine your product’s tariff classification.

2. Determine whether there is an advantage to claiming preferential treatment.

3. Identify the Rule of Origin under the U.S.-Panama TPA.

4. Document origin.

5. Keep records.

Additionally, make sure that you are permitted to export your product and that your product complies with U.S. export licensing requirements and regulations, as well as with the foreign regulations and standards of Panama.

For questions relating to customs requirements for importing into the United States under the U.S.-Panama TPA, please refer to U.S. Customs and Border Protection interim regulations and implementing instructions or contact CBP, at fta@dhs.gov.

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.