The lowdown on sending parcels to Panama
Many people know Panama because of its canal - a 48-mile stretch of water that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. An epic feat of engineering and labour, it took 75,000 workers more than a decade to build in the early 1900s. It positively changed the world by drastically shortening trade routes for companies the world over.
There's a lot more to this Central American republic than shipping, however. Panama is home to a wealth of unique wildlife species, and some of the best diving and snorkelling environments on the planet. Truth be told, there are few better places to adventure.
Panama is the fastest growing economy in Central America, and it's home to a rapidly expanding consumer market. Before you start sending products there, though, you'll want to be aware of the following information.
Seeing as Panama is in Central America and is not part of the European Union (EU), anything you send there will need to have the appropriate customs documentation attached. The form you need depends on what you're sending, or more specifically, how much it's worth.
Anything with a value above £270 should have a completed form CN23. Otherwise, it'll be a CN22 form that you need. Either way, fill it out clearly and attach to the front of your parcel when you're finished later.
What can't you send to Panama?
You can send most things to Panama, but there are a few things the country won't welcome across its borders. The list reads similarly to many other countries', with obvious banned items such as:
- Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
- Explosives and flammable materials
- Obscene and immoral articles
- Live animals
- Coins, banknotes and other currency
- Radioactive materials
As well as these, though, there are a few not-so-obvious rules to abide by. Your parcel may not be accepted if it has been closed using metal clips, the address has been written in pencil, there is more than one address or if the package has been decorated with fabrics. More information on the restrictions can be found on the Panamanian postal service site.
How to package your items
With more than 5,000 miles of North Atlantic Ocean separating the UK capital from its Panamanian counterpart, Panama City, your parcel has a pretty hefty journey ahead. It's advisable, therefore, to make sure the items you're sending are properly packed.
Start by taking a box that is slightly bigger than the things you want to send. This will allow room for some cushioning material; ideally bubble wrap or polystyrene. When everything's comfortably inside, it's time to close it all up with some strong tape. Feel free to reinforce the box's edges with tape too - especially if you're reusing.
Finish up by adding the address to the front of the parcel, with 'PANAMA' written clearly on the final line. Attach your customs documentation, as discussed earlier, and you're ready to go!
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