Like the U.S., Canada and other countries, Panama has adopted an electronic advance filing system for inbound cargo. The Panama cargo manifest filing process is similar to international eManifest filing systems; using electronic data interchange (EDI), Panama Customs and clients can exchange information about cargo in transit or goods going in and out the country.
The Customs Cargo Report (CUSCAR) message is an international message used by shipping companies to send manifest information to the country’s customs agency. The message allows the electronic exchange of information between carriers and customs officials to meet cargo reporting requirements. The basic message is managed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). Many countries use the CUSCAR message, but implementation guides differ.
During the Panama cargo manifest process, the shipping company or agent sends the CUSCAR message to Panama Customs before arrival at the port of entry. The CUSCAR message contains information about cargo, containers, sender, recipient, notify party and IMO number for dangerous goods (if applicable). For containerized cargo, a list of containers and details about each container (number, kind, type, size, gross weight, total weight) are required to be submitted in the CUSCAR. After transmission, Customs will review the message and send a CUSRES (CUStoms RESponse) message to:
· Acknowledge receipt of CUSCAR
· Indicate CUSCAR acceptance status
· Indicate customs declaration status and reason
· Respond to batch messages
· Transmit additional information
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade association of about 250 global airliners or major air carriers. The IATA helps develop industry policy and standards for air transport. With the aim of facilitating the movement of cargo for airliners and forwarders, the IATA supports the adoption of Advance Cargo Information (ACI) systems that are aligned with World Customs Organizations (WCO) standards.
Since 2005, many countries have started to require inbound airliners to submit advance cargo information electronically to customs agencies. For Panama cargo manifest processing, documentation required for inbound goods coming by air include import declaration prepared by the customs broker, airway bill, permit for restricted goods (if applicable), packing list, and commercial invoice.