Moving to Panama from the UK

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Moving to Panama from the UK
Moving to Panama from the UK

Panama is a favorite among global ex-pats, due in part to the tropical climate and low cost of living. Located in Central America, Panama benefits from their lush, tropical location between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Locals enjoy the incredible biodiversity of the region and a thriving nightlife. Cost of living is low in Panama, but the quality of living is high, especially for UK residents looking to escape for sunnier skies. 

If you are moving from the UK to Panama, you may want to bring your vehicle or personal goods with you. How can you import a vehicle into the country? Is there a duty on household goods? When it comes to importing your belongings to Panama, there are several factors to consider. This guide will give you the basics of what you need to import your personal belongings or vehicle to Panama. As always, you should check with local customs officials for the most current guidance. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

How do I Import Personal Items to Panama?

Import duty for personal goods can be waived if you have owned the items for more than a year and you have a residence visa. 

You must visit the Office of Immigration in Panama prior to the arrival of your shipment. Customs documentation must also be delivered by hand rather than sent through the mail. 

Import requirements can vary depending on your individual circumstances. For example, retirees have different requirements than those entering the country on a work visa. Make sure you contact the relevant authorities prior to finalizing any of your shipping plans, to ensure that you have the most current guidance. 

How Do I Import a Vehicle to Panama?

Getting a clear answer on what taxes or duty must be paid for your vehicle import is harder than it sounds. Contact the relevant customs authorities for a definitive answer before you import your vehicle. Doing so will help you avoid unpleasant surprises. 


You will need to submit paperwork to import your vehicle, including:

  • Certificate of Origin (this will show where the vehicle was manufactured, and when)
  • Driver’s License
  • Passport 
  • Shipping Manifest or Packing List
  • Original Bill of Lading
  • Certificate of Ownership or clear title without liens

As previously mentioned, Panamanian customs officials require that your documentation includes original documents and that those documents are delivered by you or a courier in person rather than sent through the mail. 

Want a Convenient Way to Import Your Belongings? 

Panama is a center for international shipping, but that doesn’t mean that the process is simple for ordinary people. At A-1 Auto Transport, we understand the complex regulations governing international imports. These regulations can be overwhelming for people who don’t specialize in this area. A-1 Auto Transport has an experienced team of international shipping experts ready to make your import or export easy and painless. This will save you time so you can focus on what’s important, like learning how to speak Spanish. 

If you’re planning to ship a vehicle or household goods from the UK to Panama, look no further than A-1 Auto Transport. Complete the form at the top of this page to receive a free overseas shipping quote. You can also get in contact with our international shipping specialists or give us a call. Our dedicated team of experts will walk you through your options for overseas vehicle transport and assist you with all the paperwork, helping you achieve a carefree moving experience. 

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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