Panama customs retains shipment of shoes valued at 83 thousand dollars destined for Cuba.

Among the shoe brands in the shipment are: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, New Balance, Fila, Louis Vuitton, Converse.

Cargamento de zapatos retenido © ANA
Cargo of shoes retainedPhoto © ANA

A shipment of various exclusive shoe brands destined for Cuba was detained by the Customs of the Panama Airport, which found irregularities in the presentation of this cargo.

A total of 1,986 pairs of exclusive brand sneakers such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, New Balance, Fila, Louis Vuitton, and Converse with a CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) value of $83,708.59 were seized for alleged trademark fraud in one of the cargo area warehouses at Tocumen International Airport, as reported in a statement by the National Customs Authority (ANA) of Panama.

The merchandise came from Ecuador, so it was in transit through the Panamanian airport. The final destination was "an international courier and exchange company located in the sister Republic of Cuba," although they did not specify the name.

To assess the merchandise and its quality, customs authorities were assisted by prevention and monitoring inspectors, "who, upon verifying that they were goods of exclusive brands," referred the case to a team from the Intellectual Property Directorate.

These last individuals determined the file, completed the count, and processed with the technicians the assessment of the merchandise to then refer the case and all the sneakers to the Intellectual Property Prosecutor's Office, the note mentions.

The Intellectual Property Department of the National Customs Authority of Panama is authorized to inspect and/or retain, throughout the national territory, goods in process, subject to any customs destination that may be infringing provisions of laws on industrial property, copyright, and related rights," concludes the note.

The commercial activity of Cuban nationals in foreign countries is widely known in general. Countries like Panama, Venezuela, or Ecuador, as well as South Florida, have benefited for years from an activity that brings in large profits for local sellers.

The scarcity of products in the face of a state market that shows no signs of competitiveness is exploited by Cubans who go out to buy items that are missing on the island.

Precisely, an administrative report from Panama, presented last year, revealed that Cubans are the foreign visitors who shop the most in the duty-free zone of that country.

This data was ratified by the Visitors Passes section of the Security Department, the Colón Free Zone (CFZ), which noted that Cubans led visits to the so-called duty-free zone of Panama during 2023, with 15,042 people, closely followed by Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Peru.

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