1. This customs notice is to inform you that the Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement (CPAFTA) will be implemented on April 1, 2013. With the exception of a few agricultural goods, the CPAFTA will essentially eliminate the customs duties on all imports from Panama, either immediately upon implementation of the agreement, or through a tariff phase-out.
2. Information regarding the CPAFTA and the text of the agreement can be found on the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website at: www.international.gc.ca.
3. The CPAFTA implementing legislation, Bill C-24, received Royal Assent on December 14, 2012, and is scheduled to come into force on April 1, 2013. Bill C-24 can be found on the Parliament of Canada website at: www.parl.gc.ca.
4. Proposed regulatory amendments and a new regulation under the Customs Act related to the CPAFTA will be announced in a separate customs notice at a later date.
5. Pursuant to the CPAFTA, a new preferential tariff treatment is being introduced, namely the Panama Tariff. The newly assigned tariff treatment code is: Panama Tariff (PAT) – Code 28.
6. Entitlement to the Panama Tariff treatment is determined in accordance with the rules of origin set out in Chapter Three of the CPAFTA.
Proof of Origin
7. The required proof of origin is the Canada-Panama Certificate of Origin, available in English, French and Spanish. In order to claim the preferential tariff treatment accorded under the CPAFTA, importers must have in their possession the Canada-Panama Certificate of Origin completed by the exporter in Panama.
8. The Canada-Panama Certificate of Origin and the instructions for completing it will be made available prior to April 1, 2013, in English, French and Spanish, on the Canada Border Services Agency website.
9. Goods may be shipped directly from Panama, with or without transshipment, to Canada.
10. The transshipment conditions are contained in Article 3.14 of Chapter Three of the CPAFTA.
11. An application for a refund under paragraph 74(1)(c.11) of the Customs Act may be made within four years from the date the goods were accounted for under subsections 32(1), (3), or (5), in respect of goods that were imported on or after April 1, 2013.
12. This customs notice is intended as an overview only, highlighting the future changes to the Customs Tariff and the Customs Act and summarizing the requirements to take advantage of the CPAFTA preferential rates of duty. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the CPAFTA, it is advised that importers review the agreement in its entirety and consult Bill C-24 prior to importing goods that may benefit from this agreement.
13. For more information, within Canada call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time/except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.
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