Commercial Ships Registration in Panama

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In Panama, any natural or juridical person may register a vessel under the Panamanian flag, regardless of nationality. Commercial vessels may be registered for inland or international service. Depending on the type of service, different requirements must be complied with.

Advantages of Panamanian ship registration

  • A reliable ship mortgage system backed by national and international banks.
  • Panamanian offices operating 24 hours a day to serve the Asian and European continent despite the time difference.
  • Strategic representation in 70 countries around the world through merchant marine consulates.
  • Adoption of the quality system.
  • Strict compliance with international conventions on maritime safety, ISM, STCW 78/95, among others.
  • Exemption from taxes on profits from the activity carried out.
  • Through Law 25 of June 3, 2002, an additional discount of up to twenty-five percent (25%) on the Annual Tax and fifty percent (50%) on the Annual Consular Fee may be granted, for a term of four years, provided that they are groups of at least four newly built vessels representing at least, more than fifty thousand gross registered tons (50,000 GRT) up to one hundred thousand gross registered tons (100,000 GRT) and groups of four vessels of more than 100,000 GRT, an additional discount of up to 35% on the Annual Tax and 50% on the Annual Consular Fee, provided that the owner or owners commit to maintaining the vessel in the Panamanian registry for a term of four years.
  • Owners and operators of vessels under the Panamanian flag have access to the system contemplated in the Corporations Law.
  • There are no minimum tonnage requirements; however, vessels older than 20 years will have to pass a special inspection by an authorized Panamanian inspector to obtain a regulatory patent.
  • Owners of vessels wishing to transfer them to the Panamanian flag will not have to be re-inspected if the vessels have a valid safety and tonnage certificate issued by a recognized organization or society; however, at the time of registration, a recognized entity must issue new certificates on behalf of the Panamanian administration.

Flagging rates by tonnage

Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) Rate
Ships up to 2,000 GRT USD $500
Ships of 2,000 – 5,000 GRT USD $2,000
Ships of 5,000 – 15,000 GRT USD $3,000
Ships larger than 15,000 GRT USD $3,000 Vessels over 15,000 GRT will pay B/.0.10 per GRT up to a maximum of B/.6,500.00.

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Commercial Ships Flagging

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