Creation of the Panamanian Food Agency (APA)

Law 206 of March 30, 2021 was published in the Official Gazette a few months ago.

Its effect was the creation of the new Panamanian Food Agency (APA, by its acronym in Spanish) as an autonomous institution of the State and the repeal of the Panamanian Food Health Authority (AUPSA, by its acronym in Spanish).

The new Panamanian Food Agency promises to bring together all regulatory entities for the entry and exit of food into the country under a single guideline. Which, in the opinion of the private sector, is favorable for producers since it facilitates marketing standards, will increase agricultural exports and improve industrial food processes with animal health, plant health, quarantine and safety and the standards of the international trade.

Among the most relevant points, it is worth highlighting:

• The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) will be the entities in charge of developing the requirements and standards of animal health, plant health, quarantine and safety and ensuring that compliance with international trade rules.

• The law applies to raw materials, products and by-products of animal, vegetable and mineral origin for food uses, national or imported, in transit and transshipment, applicable to industrial and agro-industrial production, export and import of food.

• The creation of a digital platform called “Integrated Procedures System” that will be linked with the Ministry of Agricultural Development, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries and other institutions. The platform will have modern, efficient and transparent procedures mechanisms, complying with the regulations of said institutions in order to provide better care and service to users.

Law 206 of March 30, 2021 will take effect 180 days after its promulgation, that is, from September 26, 2021.

If you would like to download Official Gazette No. 29253, please click here https://www.gacetaoficial.gob.pa/pdfTemp/29253/GacetaNo_29253_20210331.pdf