Controversy Over Tax on Sweetened Beverages Remains

Although at the request of the business sector, President Varela vetoed the bill establishing an 8% tax on local and imported sugary beverages, Panama's National Assembly will insist on approving it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The National Assembly approved in third session the new taxes, however, the business sector asked the Panamanian president at the end of February 2019 to veto the bill, which establishes a tax of 8% for sugared drinks of national production and imported and 10% for syrups and concentrates.

See "Proposal to Veto New Tax on Sweetened Beverages"

After the bill was vetoed, the legislature reported that "... The Economy and Bonds Commission of the National Assembly decided to pass by insistence Law 570, which creates the Action Plan to Improve Health and Establish the Selective Tax on the Consumption of Sugared Beverages and the Criteria for its use. The report will now be submitted to the plenary for its respective ratification."

Also see "Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Imports up to the First Semester"

From the National Assembly statement:

April 2, 2019. The Commission of Economy and bonds of the National Assembly decided to approve by insistence Bill 570, which creates the Action Plan to Improve Health and Establish the Selective Tax on Consumption of Sugared Beverages and Criteria for its Use. The report will now be submitted to the plenary for its respective ratification.

Read full statement (In Spanish).

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More on this topic

Sugary Beverage Tax Applicable

November 2019

A law was published in the Official Journal of Panama that establishes a 7% tax on carbonated beverages, 5% for other sugary beverages and 10% for syrups, syrups and concentrates for the production of sugary beverages.

On November 18, Law 114 was published in the Official Journal, entitled " What creates the Action Plan to Improve Health and dictates other provisions to establish the selective tax on the consumption of sugary beverages and the criteria for its use."

Proposal to Veto New Tax on Sweetened Beverages

February 2019

Panama's business sector asked President Varela to partially veto Law 570, which establishes an 8% tax on imported and domestically produced sugared beverages.

The rejection of the business sector comes days after the National Assembly approved, in third debate, the bill 570, which establishes an 8% tax for sugared beverages of national production and imported and 10% for syrups and concentrates.

New Tax on Sugary Drinks

February 2019

Despite the rejection of the business sector, a law was approved in Panama that establishes an 8% tax on imported and domestically produced sugared beverages.

The National Assembly reported that it approved, in the third debate, Law 570, which establishes a tax of 8% for domestically produced and imported sugary beverages and 10% for syrups and concentrates.

Call for Veto of Liquor Tax Law

February 2013

The implementation of the recently approved law in Panama will affect trade and the tourism sector in particular.

From a press release issued by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE):

The Panamanian Association of Business Executives today appealed to the president Ricardo Martinelli, to preserve free enterprise, have respect for legal certainty and increased investment for the private sector, by vetoing, because of its undesirability, bill 559, which amends articles of Law 45 from 1995 on the excise tax on alcoholic beverages, recently approved by the National Assembly.

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