Panama historically has been a transit country, functioning as a connection point for international trade. Thanks to our geographical position and logistics infrastructure, tons of merchandise transit through the national territory, without this being its final destination.
Thus, the daily passage of merchandise is a great challenge for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights, because our infrastructure is not exempt from being used, also, as a bridge for the trade of counterfeit products. In order to prevent the aforementioned situation and to fully fulfill the mission that Panama has with world trade, regulations have been developed that allow the control of the transit of products both for those whose final destination is Panama, and for those who are in transit.
The Customs Authority, as an entity in charge of guaranteeing the compliance and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in customs areas, is entitled to retain and/or inspect merchandise in transit that may be counterfeit products.
Such retention, by the authority, may be carried out ex officio, in case there is a suspicion that the merchandise in transit infringes an industrial or intellectual property right. It should be noted that such suspicion may be based on the list of alleged counterfeiters, precedents, among others.
In the case of the Colon Free Zone, the General Management or its equivalent has the faculty to retain and / or inspect the merchandise, in case it has well-founded indications that such merchandise may be counterfeit merchandise.
In consequence, in order to safeguard your products trademark must be registered in both, Customs Authority and the Colon Free trade Zone. Once the trademark is registered, the right holder will be able to consign sample of the merchandise, the list of alleged counterfeiters...