Proposal to Veto New Tax on Sweetened Beverages

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

Friday, February 22, 2019

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.

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

Through a letter sent to President Juan Carlos Varela, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP), argued that to meet the objectives of the tax they recommend educating the population by promoting action plans that instill healthy lifestyle habits, rather than taxing the consumption of beverages.

"… The veto request to article 13 is based on the note sent by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries to the plenary of the National Assembly, pointing out that within the framework of the process of incorporation of the Republic of Panama to the Central American Economic Integration Subsystem (SIECA), this issue is part of the ongoing negotiations, in the field of Central American technical regulations and commitments derived from the Association Agreement in force with the European Union (ADA)," explains the letter from CCIAP.

Also see "Bottled water: Imports up to June 2018"

"... Aware of the purpose that this initiative wishes to achieve, and based on the above, we request the partial veto of Bill No. 570 'That creates the Action Plan to improve Health and dictates other provisions to establish the selective tax on consumption of sugary beverages and the criteria for their use,'" concludes the document.

See letter from CCIAP.

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More on this topic

Controversy Over Tax on Sweetened Beverages Remains

April 2019

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.

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.

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.

More Taxes on Sugary Beverages

October 2018

In Panama, a proposal is being discussed that seeks to increase from 5% to 8% the Selective Consumption Tax on soft drinks, carbonated beverages, processed juices and other sugary beverages.

Laestrella.com.pa reports that "... The vice president of Corporate Affairs of the National Brewery, and representative of the Industrial Union of Panama (SIP), Juan Antonio Fabrega, warned last Tuesday that jobs generated by the industry of sugary beverages could be reduced, if the Selective Excise Tax is increased from 5 to 8%, as established by Law 570, which will be discussed today in the first debate in the Economy and Finance Commission of the National Assembly."

Panama: Tax on Sugary Drinks

October 2017

A legal initiative aims to establish a selective consumption tax of 8% on the price of sugary drinks, whether they be imported or domestic.

Although the bill introduced by two deputies of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) has yet to be discussed in the Legislative Assembly, the Varela administration has already announced that it does not support the initiative. 

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