On March 3, the Communication and Transport sub-committee met to consider bill 197, which amends national regulations on the logistical transport of goods, presented by deputy Rolando Rodriguez (Partido Revolucionario Democrático –– Ruling Party). During the course of the meeting, opinions from other bodies, including representatives of the National Customs Authority (ANA), were heard. In the next session, the ANA will share suggestions to enrich the bill’s content. This will take place in the coming weeks.
The idea of the meeting was to “seek consensus on freight transport regulations.” Committee chairman Victor Castillo (Partido Revolucionario Democrático – Ruling Party) declared that “they are always willing to listen and consult in order to achieve more robust laws”. The meeting was attended by representatives from entities such as the ANA, cargo transport unions and the National Police. The latter, represented by Franklin Serrano, Deputy Director of Transit Operations, expressed their support for the proposal, stressing that “good work is being done in the subcommittee.”
The main points of the bill include the following:
- Cargo from fiscal warehouses, free zones, special investment zones or special economic areas and ports must be transported by national carriers.
- Cargo transport services contracted through any digital platform must be paid for electronically. The application must be registered with the General Directorate of Electronic Commerce (DGCE, for its acronym in Spanish) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI, for its acronym in Spanish).
- The National Customs Authority must now keep a register of foreign cargo transporters and mixed companies moving through national territory.
- Cargo transport vehicles are obliged to submit a vehicle insurance policy with third-party damage coverage taken out with an insurance company having legal representation in Panama.