The Area Panama Pacifico (APP) is one of the Special Regimes Zones that offers multiple unique benefits including attractive tax incentives, import duty exemptions, along with world-class infrastructure, labor and immigration solutions for businesses and investors.
The APP was designed to provide real estate opportunities under the auspices of Law 41 (2004), which establishes and governs this unique territory, through a government agency created for the Panama-Pacifico Area (Agencia Panama-Pacifico) and a private Developer (London & Regional).
The APP has a unique customs system and is a tax-free zone. Its goal is to boost commerce in commodities, services, and capital while encouraging employment and investment. It is situated on the former US Air Force Howard Base in Panama, on the Pacific coast (west of the Panama Canal).
It is strategically located at the southern entrance to the Panama Canal. This special regime area has direct access to the Pan American Highway, connecting Panama to Central and North America, and just fifteen minutes from downtown Panama City, forty-five minutes from Tocumen International Airport, and one hour from the largest container port complex located on the Caribbean Sea.
Panama has 12 pre-established business activities defined by the World Bank; back office operations; multimodal and logistic services; call centers; high-tech products and process manufacturing; offshore services; digital & data transmission; multinational headquarters; film industry; maintenance, repair and overhaul of airplanes; aviation and airport related services; transfer of goods and services to ships and their passengers; and distribution centers.
Law 41 of 2004 specifies that people or businesses who establish operations in the APP will be allowed to engage in all types of activities as long as these are not expressly forbidden by law. This is in contrast to the CFTZ, which focuses only on import and export operations.
According to article 58 of the APP Law, the Developer, Operator, and Users (defined as any natural or legal person registered in the APP) are exempt from all direct and indirect taxes, contributions, fees, rights, and national levies in this area for any activity, business, service, operation, or transaction that they engage in.
Fiscal benefits in Panama Pacifico
Within Panama Pacifico companies are exempt from the following tax and fiscal charges:
- Income tax
- Sales tax
- Tax on patents
- Tax on remittances or transfers abroad
- Dividend tax and complementary tax
- ISR for remittances abroad
- Import taxes and ITBMS
- Property tax (Applies as of January 1, 2030).
- Business License Tax.
- ISR on remittances for commissions, royalties, payments for technical assistance services or any other concept.
Activities that will allow partial taxation:
- ISR (A reduced rate applies to office management services activities, exclusively.)
- Business License Tax (A reduced rate applies.)
- Property tax (Applies as of the date detailed above)
- Dividend and complementary tax (Apply to certain incentivized activities).
Migratory benefits in Panama Pacifico
- Immigration benefits are extendable to immediate relatives of employees
- 3 to 5-year visas for investors and laborers
- Tax exemption for imports of domestic belongings up to $100,000
Greater labor regulation flexibility including:
- Fixed rate for employee overtime and employee day off (25% and 75% of regular rates respectively)
- Flexibility to designate a different day of the rest other than Sunday
- Flexibility to operate on Sunday and official holidays
- Flexibility to hire between 10-15% of foreign staff as a proportion of total staff with increased proportions available for foreign specialist and technicians
Requirements to operate in Panama Pacifico
To obtain the registration of a natural or corporate person in Panama Pacifico the following documents must be submitted:
- In the case of a natural person:
- The names and surnames
- Copy of personal identity card or passport of the applicant.
- In case of a corporate person:
- The trade name
- Copy of the organizational deed and its amendments
- The name of the country under whose laws it has been organized, including data regarding its registration at the Public Registry of Panama, as well as the particulars of its Legal Representative and its Registered Agent.
- A recent certificate evidencing the good standing of its corporate personality, directors, officers and Registered Agent
- Description of the activities to be developed, the jobs that will be generated, as well as the initial and future investment.
The registration of natural or corporate person must be done through a resolution issued by the administrator of the area.
Contact our experienced team at Kraemer & Kraemer to learn more about the benefits and requirements of Panama Pacifico. Send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to provide you with the proper legal advice.