Information about the organization



This page gathers key information on Panama's negotiations to join the WTO.  Panama became the 132nd WTO Member on 6 September 1997.

> Page for Panama as a Member





WTO accession process in brief



Problems viewing this page? If so, please contact [email protected] giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.

Panama's Timeline

I. Overview
GATT application received 16/08/1991  L/6912
GATT accession Working Party established 08/10/1991  C/M/252
GATT terms of reference & accession Working Party membership  15/10/1991  L/6920 (+ revisions 1; 2)
WTO application received & WTO accession Working Party established 31/01/1995 On 19 December 1995, the Government of Panama advised that it had decided to negotiate the terms of accession of Panama to the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization under Article XII of the Agreement. Pursuant to the decision of the General Council of 31 January 1995, the Working Party on the Accession of Panama to the GATT 1947 continued as a WTO accession Working Party.
WTO terms of reference & accession Working Party membership 10/02/1995  WT/L/37
~ updated 22/03/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/11
Chairperson of the Accession Working Party     
1st 09/1993-09/1996 Ambassador Ernesto Tironi BARRIOS (Chile)
Formal Meetings of the Working Party Date of the meeting Convening notice Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation Statement(s) by Working Party members Delegation list Other documents for the meeting News item
1st 20/04/1994  GATT/AIR/3567 _
2nd 07/02/1994  GATT/AIR/3668  SPEC(95)7
3rd 10/07/1995
4th 05/03/1996  WT/SPEC/21
5th 19/09/1996 _
Informal Meetings of the Working Party Date of the meeting Convening fax Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation
Plurilateral Meetings Date of the meeting Convening fax Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation
II. Multilateral Negotiations
Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime (MFTR)  18/06/1993  L/7228
~updated 16/10/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/8
Initial cycle(s) of Questions and Replies, following the circulation of the MFTR 30/03/1994  L/7426
20/04/1994  L/7426/Add.1
19/08/1994  L/7426/Add.2
Factual Summary of Points Raised 
Additional Questions & Replies 19/06/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/5
16/10/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/8
10/04/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/14
10/04/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/15
Elements of a Draft Report of the Working Party 
Draft Report of the Working Party  10/05/1996  WT/SPEC/33  (+  revisions)
20/09/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/19   (+  corrigendum)
Agriculture (WT/ACC/22/Add.1), including Questions and Replies 
SPS Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
TBT Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
TRIPS Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
Import Licensing Procedures Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22 + revisions 09/08/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/6
Customs Valuation Checklist (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
State-Trading Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
Draft Subsidies Notification (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
Comprehensive Legislative Action Plan (LAP) 
Rule-specific Action Plans 
Legislation and implementing regulations    Click for details Legislation notice Notified legislation
  07/02/1995  L/7624
  •  Draft Law on "Defence of Free Competition and Consumer Protection", which contains provisions governing anti-dumping, countervailing measures and safeguards. This draft law also provides for the total abolition of price controls.
  •  Preliminary draft law on protection of animal health
  •  Preliminary draft law on plant health
  •  Preliminary draft law setting out measures covering the regulation of and procedures for import licences
  •  Official Journal No. 22706 of 19 January 1995 containing Cabinet Decree No. 2 of 10 January 1995 amending the import tariff
26/04/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/2
  •  Draft Law amending some provisions of the Tax Code relating to the documents that must accompany goods imported into the country, customs services fees and the elimination of the consular invoice
  •  Draft Cabinet Decree establishing the system of valuation of goods for customs purposes
19/06/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/5
  •  Project Law on Valuation
01/08/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/7
  •  Law No. 28 of 20 June 1995 on the Universalization of Tax Incentives to Production
  •  Summary of Law No. 28 mentioned above
  •  Draft Industrial Property Law
  •  Law No. 15 of 1994 approving the Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights
  •  Law No. 36 of 6 July 1995, amending and abrogating articles of the Tax Code and adopting other provisions
  •  Draft Law No. 92, abrogating the whole of Title VI and Title XXI of Book IV of the Tax Code and Cabinet Decrees No. 35 of 12 February 1970 and No. 22 of 1 February 1972 and other provisions, and establishing the Selective Consumption Tax on Aerated and Alcoholic Beverages and Cigarettes
15/12/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/10
  •  Cabinet Decree No. 23 (2 October 1995) "Amending the Import Tariff"
  •  Cabinet Decree No. 24 (12 October 1995) "Amending the Import Tariff and enacting other measures"
10/04/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/12
  •  Extracts from Law No. 29 of 1 February 1996 with a description of the implementation of safeguard, anti-dumping and subsidy measures
  •  Law No. 29 of 1 February 1996 enacting rules to protect competition and adopting other measures
  •  Unofficial translation into English of the extracts of Law No. 29 of 1 February 1996 enacting rules to protect competition and adopting other measures
  •  Unofficial translation into English of the draft Plant Health and Animal Health Laws
10/04/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/13
  •  Free trade and preferential trade treaties: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic
  •  Partial-scope agreements: Mexico and Colombia
Consultation documents    Click for details Consultation notice Notified consultation document
07/02/1995  L/7624
  •  A table of Panama's tariff structure correlating the Harmonized System with the CCCN (Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature)
14/02/1995  WT/SPEC/2
  •  Statements on the Implementation and Administration of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade
17/02/1995  WT/SPEC/1 (for more information, see also WT/ACC/PAN/4)  Schedule of Specific Commitments
24/04/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/1
  •  Checklist of Documents
09/05/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/3
  •  Summary of the Draft Law on Defense of Free Competition and Consumer Protection
  •  Summary of the Draft Cabinet Decree on Valuation Procedures for Customs Purposes
  •  Summary of the Draft Law on Regulation of Import Licensing Procedures
  •  Summary of the Draft Law amending certain articles of the Fiscal Code and eliminating the Consular Invoice
  •  Summary of the Draft Law on Phytosanitary Measures
  •  Summary of the Draft Law on Zoosanitary Measures
09/05/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/4  Memorandum on Services Regime
19/06/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/5
  •  Panama's reply to the questions submitted by Members
  •  Charts on Panama's Current Products under Non-Tariff Measures
  •  Panama's Regime on Intellectual Property
01/08/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/7
  •  Informal communication on domestic support and export subsidies in conformity with the Agreement on Agriculture
  •  Informal communication on industrial subsidies (Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures)
29/09/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/7/Add.1
  •  Notification of fiscal exemptions granted by Panama to industry
21/11/1995  WT/ACC/PAN/9  Intellectual and Industrial Property Regime
23/01/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/19
  •  Proposal by the Government of Panama - Possible Elements of the Protocol of Accession to the World Trade Organization
10/04/1996  WT/SPEC/25  Further Proposals by Panama (Protocol of Accession)
22/04/1996  WT/SPEC/27 (+  corrigenda)
  •  Agriculture Schedule of Panama
22/04/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/16
  •  Notification of Fiscal Incentives Granted by Panama to Industry
22/04/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/17
  •  Database on general sanitary requirements for agricultural products
28/06/1998  WT/ACC/PAN/16/Add.1  Addendum to the notification of industrial subsidies
26/07/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/18  Requirements for the import of certain industrial products into the republic of panama
30/06/1997  WT/ACC/PAN/22
  •  Information on the initial offer of Panama for its Accession to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement
03/07/1997  WT/ACC/PAN/23  Extension of time-limit for acceptance of the Protocol of Accession
III. Bilateral Market Access Negotiations 
Goods Offer(s)    Go to the 'Consultation Document' section for related negotiating inputs.
Services Offer(s)    Go to the 'Consultation Document' section for related negotiating inputs.
Register of Bilateral Market Access Agreements 
Draft Goods Schedule  26/06/1996  WT/SPEC/33/Add.1 (+  corrigenda)
Draft Services Schedule  10/04/1996  WT/SPEC/24
Goods and Services Technical Verification Meetings  _ _
IV. Summary of Final Meeting of the Working Party
V. Accession Package (“Terms of Accession”, de-restricted) 
Ministerial Conference/General Council Decision on the Accession 02/10/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/20
Protocol of Accession  02/10/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/21
Report of the Working Party 20/09/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/19   (+  corrigendum)
Goods Schedule (Schedule of Concessions and Commitments Annexed to the GATT 1994)  20/09/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/19/Add.1
Services Schedule (Schedule of Specific Commitments Annexed to the GATS)  20/09/1996  WT/ACC/PAN/19/Add.2
VI. Accessions Commitments Database (ACDB) 
Specific Accession Commitments click on “Report by Member”, select “Panama” in drop down list then click on “View Report”
VII. Instrument of Acceptance 
Notification of Acceptance and Entry Into Force of the Protocol of Accession 07/08/1997  WT/LET/161
VIII. Date of Membership
  06/09/1997 132nd Member
IX. Since 1995, this is the…
4th economy that joined the WTO pursuant to Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement.

The de-restriction of documents is a key component of the transparency obligations of the Multilateral Trading System.  Paragraphs 1 and 2(e) of the Ministerial Council Decision WT/L/452 of 14 May 2002 provide that “documents relating to working parties on accession shall be restricted and shall be automatically de-restricted upon the adoption of the report of the working party” by the Ministerial Conference/General Council.  The time of completion of the de-restriction process depends on the amount and complexities of the documents involved.  Prior to 2002, the de-restriction of accession-related documents was governed by a different set of rules (i.e. General Council Decision WT/L/160/Rev.1 of 26 July 1996), which only affect documents circulated prior to 2002.