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Panama's Ministry of Commerce and Industries has notified to WTO a resolution containing the Conformity Assessment Procedure for the commercialization and import of single-use plastics according to Law No. 187 of December 2, 2020 which regulates their reduction and progressive replacement.
The resolutino also outlines responsibilities of the General Directorate of Standards and Industrial Technology (DGNTI) as the National Organization for Standardization. The DGNTI will be responsible for the technical standardization process, conformity assessment, and quality certification. Additionally, the DGNTI has been recognized as an accredited certification body.
The resolution states that companies that distribute, import or produce single-use plastics must obtain a conformity certification from the Quality Certification Department of the DGNTI prior to importing sustainable alternatives, reusable, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable products as replacements for single-use plastics.
Before importing a product, a company must submit an application for a Conformity Certificate to the DGNTI using the CER-FT-16 form. The company must also select a national laboratory and pay for the testing/analysis to be done by that laboratory. The company must also maintain a sample of the product to be imported so that the Quality Certification Department can take samples, which will be taken by the DGNTI and the company to the chosen laboratory.
For a product that replaces the use of single-use plastics, three samples will be taken randomly from the amount that the company makes available. The proportion of samples to be tested varies according to the request of the authorized or accredited laboratory, and the remaining samples will remain in custody until the Conformity Certificate is obtained.
For various models or family of models of the products established as a replacement for single-use plastics, which contain one or several colors, different models or sizes, six (6) will be taken randomly from the amount that the company makes available. The proportion of samples to be tested varies according to the request of the authorized or accredited laboratory, and the remaining samples will remain in custody until the Conformity Certificate is obtained.
After the laboratory issues its results, the testing/analysis will be evaluated according to the provisions of Article 8 of Executive Decree No. 9 of May 6, 2022, to determine that the product does not contain the plastics specified in that article, with the exception of reeds and disposable plates, in accordance with Article 9 of the said Decree. If the products comply with the provisions of the Executive Decree, a Conformity Certificate will be issued. The certificate will be valid for one (1) year and during that time, the company may import the entire batch to be commercialized in the country.
This Resolution will come into force as of May 5, 2023.
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