Colombia has discussed with Panama the lifting of tariff measures on the import of apparel from the Colon Free Zones (CFZs), a free trade zone in the port of Colon, Panama. The countries reviewed the issue of extraordinary tariff collection that applies on Panama’s exports of apparel from the CFZs. Colombia has announced a review on the special duty of US $5 per kilo charged on the imports of apparel from CFZs.
In March 2013, Colombia had imposed an additional $5per kilo duty on apparels imported from other countries, including Panama, irrespective of the price of the imported product, while reducing the tariff on textiles and apparels from 15 to 10 per cent. The duty affects apparel exporters from Panama’s CFZs, and exporters had voiced their opposition even during the talks for Colombia-Panama Free Trade Agreement, the negotiations of which ended in June 2013.
The Colon Free Zone is a gigantic entity at the Atlantic gateway to the Panama Canal, dedicated to re-export an enormous variety of merchandise to Latin America and the Caribbean. It is one of the pillars of the Panamanian economy. Imports and exports registered in the Colon Free Trade Zone surpass 5 billion dollars annually, directed towards a market of more than 525 million consumers.