Panama: The Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) is planning to introduce regulations testing cement imports for Hexavalent chromium (chromium VI). Edgar Arias, Director of Standards and Industrial Technology of the MICI, said at a trade forum that the new rules had been agreed, according to La Estrella de Panamá newspaper. At present cement is tested at the discretion of the importer. Under the new regulations cement will be tested before it leaves its country of origin, when it arrives in Panama and for a third time at the point of sale at the discretion of the authorities.
Panama imports 10,000 – 20,000t/month of cement from countries including China, Turkey and Vietnam. Around 20 importers handle the market. Import tax on cement ranges from 10 – 20% depending on the point of origin.