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Shipping Parts to Yachts-in-Transit in Panama

By Val Ellis last modified Feb 24, 2011 11:11 AM

Published: 2011-02-24 11:11:16
Countries: Panama

This note is to clarify for yachts in transit the procedure for importing spare parts etc.

On SV Pipistrelle we realised that before our Pacific crossing our house batteries would need to be replaced. As the existing ones had lasted 11 years, it made a lot of sense to replace like with like. They are 12 x 2 volt Sonnenschein batteries manufactured by Exide in Germany.

Whilst in the ABCs we were put in touch with an agent in Holland who was able to supply them at a considerable discount, and so we proceeded with him. We were informed by a USA supplier that Shelter Bay Marina is the only place in Panama where goods can be delivered for yachts in transit. This is incorrect.

We eventually had them delivered to Panamarina, and having visited Pier 17 where they were being held, paid their fees of $200 and a Customs fee of $40. Customs were happy to release them without accompanying us back to Panamarina.

What is essential though, is the service of an agent to smooth out problems that, we assume, arise inevitably. We were put in touch with

Albert White
Pakya Panama
Local #2, Edf. Islas Baleares,
Ave. El Paical
Los Angeles, Betania,
Panama City, Panama
(near Transistmica and Via Brasil)
Office telephone: 236-1728
Office cell phone: 6614-3632

The service he provided for us was excellent, but it is also important that the advice he gives and requirements he specifies, are followed by the shipping agent. In our case they were not, and so caused additional problems.

Once you have selected the goods to be imported, contact Al White and provide him with the details including the value, the supplier and the shipping agent. Also find out the name of the receiving shipping agent who will be used in Panama, and advise Al.

Advise your date of arrival at your chosen destination, and check out whether you will be charged a handling fee by the marina. None is charged at Panamarina, and the owners, Sylvie and Jean Paul could not have been more helpful. Remember that if the goods remain in a warehouse at Colon for more than a certain number of days before they can be transported to you, a storage fee will be applied.

Contact Al on your arrival, and I am sure he will do his best to arrange delivery.

Good luck!

Bob Hazell