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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04PANAMA954 2004-04-26 15:19:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Panama
Cable title:  

PSI: ANSWERS TO KEY QUESTIONS ON CARGO HANDLING

Tags:   PARM PREL KNNP EWWT EAIR PM LABOR HUMAN RIGHTSPOLMIL 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 PANAMA 000954

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT FOR NP/RA JULIET SMITH


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL KNNP EWWT EAIR PM LABOR HUMAN RIGHTSPOLMIL
SUBJECT: PSI: ANSWERS TO KEY QUESTIONS ON CARGO HANDLING

REF: STATE 55415


Per reftel, please see below PSI-related questions and
answers on Panamanian laws regarding cargo handling.






I. Shipping/Cargo Manifests


-- Are cargo manifests (or similar documentation) required in
connection with the shipment of goods onboard ships and
aircraft:
i. departing the country;
ii. entering the country;
iii. transiting in the country's territorial sea and/or
airspace?


BY SEA: Cargo manifests are required in all three situations.


BY AIR: Cargo manifests are required in all three situations.




-- Are cargo manifests required to be completed by sea and
air carriers registered within subject country, even if they
are engaged in trade outside of the country?


BY SEA: Cargo manifests are required. Specifically, when
cargo is going to a US port, the carrier is required to
submit a declaration for all cargo onboard to the US
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Bureau of
Investigations and Criminal Enforcement (BICE) no later than
24 hours prior to the time the cargo is loaded on the
carrier's vessel in the non-US port.


BY AIR: Cargo manifests are required.




-- When completing manifests, what level of detail is
required in describing cargo being carried, including type
and quantity?


BY SEA: Cargo manifests must include a description of the
cargo or the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) number
under which the cargo is classified, weight of the cargo and
quantity of the cargo (expressed in the lowest external
packaging unit).


BY AIR: Cargo manifests must include name of the
airline/owner operator, nationality and registration, flight
number, date, points of departure/arrival, number and type of
packages, nature of goods, gross weight, and destination of
master airway bill.




-- What, if any, civil and/or criminal penalties exist in
connection with the following (and do they allow for seizure
of cargo as one potential penalty):
i. failing to prepare a manifest;
ii. failing to properly complete a manifest;
iii. misrepresenting items listed on, or fraudulently
completing, a manifest?


BY SEA: Fines may be levied depending on how serious and how
often the failure to properly reflect cargo on manifests.
There are no criminal penalties.


BY AIR: Fines may be levied depending on how serious and how
often the failure to properly reflect cargo on manifests.
There are no criminal penalties.




-- Does the subject country's law permit officials from
another country, with the consent of the subject country, to
detain individuals on vessels operating under the subject
country's flag in international waters, based upon suspected
violations of (a) the subject country's law?; (b) the other
country's law?


BY SEA: Yes, on a case-by-case basis, the GOP can (and has)
permitted another country, specifically the USG, to detain
individuals on vessels operating under the Panamanian flag in
international waters.




-- In cases where such detentions occur, are there any
specific requirements concerning how the subject country, or
the other country, could assume jurisdiction over such
individuals (e.g., would extradition or similar formal
transfer process required)?


Embassy is currently negotiating a bilateral memorandum of
understanding (MOU) to define such procedures; however, in
practice, in the past, Panama's National Maritime Service
(SMN) authorizes boardings, and its Maritime Authority (AMP)
authorizes detentions. The USG has never requested waiver of
jurisdiction from the Foreign Ministry (MFA).


-- What limitations exist in the subject country's criminal
justice system on the introduction at trial against an
accused of evidence that has been gathered by officials of
another country (e.g., situations in which officials of the
other country would be required to testify or submit
affidavits in order for such evidence to be admissible)?


No limitations exist per se, as allowed under the bilateral
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).




II. Hazardous Cargo Requirements
-- Is the country implementing and enforcing mandatory
international standards for cargo handling, stowage, marking,
placarding, and labeling related to the shipment of dangerous
goods by sea or air?
BY SEA: Shippers must provide all information 24 hours prior
to a vessel's arrival, such as the Container Packing
Certificate and a Certified Hazardous Materials Shipping
Paper with container number, name/status,
company/organization of signatory, place, date, and signature
on behalf of the packer. All containers with dangerous goods
must have placards on lateral, front and back of the
container, according to hazard type.


BY AIR: The shipment of dangerous goods must meet
International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards.




-- What reporting requirements exist in subject country to
report hazardous cargo onboard vessels entering subject
country's ports/airports/territory?


BY SEA: All information mentioned above should be provided to
a vessel's chief mate by the customer. The chief mate
presents the same to the port upon entering/departing the
country or transiting the Panama Canal.


BY AIR: In order to handle "dangerous goods," a country is
required to have a Shipper's Declaration, an IATA license and
two employees registered to handle such materials. Materials
must be labeled according to IATA regulations.




-- What types of cargo are covered by such reporting
requirements?


BY SEA: Most dangerous goods are permitted, except as
classified under the International Maritime Organization
(IMO) Inter-Modal Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code class 2 and, at
Balboa Port, as classified under the IMO IMDG Code class 1.1,
1.2 and 1.3.


BY AIR: Dangerous goods and restricted items, as classified
in IATA's directory.




-- What penalties exist for failure to report such cargo when
entering port/airport/territory (e.g., seizure of the vessel,
seizure of the cargo, criminal penalties against the ship's
Master or crew, etc)?


BY SEA: Fines may be levied for failure to report hazardous
cargo. Seizure of such cargo is permitted if it is not
properly authorized by Panamanian authorities.


BY AIR: Fines may be levied for failure to report hazardous
cargo. Seizure of such cargo is permitted if it is not
properly authorized by Panamanian authorities.




-- What, if any, reporting requirements exist in subject
country law for vessels transiting the territorial sea,
airspace, or territory to report hazardous cargo?


BY SEA: No reporting requirements exist.


BY AIR: No reporting requirements exist.




-- What type of cargo and quantities thereof are covered by
such reporting requirements?


N/A


-- What sanctions exist for failure to report such cargo when
transiting the territorial sea, airspace, or territory (e.g.,
seizure of the vessel, seizure of the cargo, criminal
penalties against the ship's Master or crew, etc)?


N/A


-- Can any of the sanctions identified in the questions above
be applied against the registered owner or operator of the
vessel, including criminal penalties?


N/A


WATT