Ship Flagging and Registration in Panama
In Panama, ships may be registered for Inland Service or International Service and may be registered through personal title or through a corporation.
Flagging is an administrative act in which the State grants a vessel its nationality and authorizes it to fly its flag.
Usually, the flagging process can be completed in 30 working days and starts when a legal representative submits the flagging application using the PKI token, with all the information previously provided by the owner of the vessel, to the General Directorate of Merchant Marine in Panama, or to an authorized Consulate of the Republic of Panama.
Requirements for inland service
The application for registration may be submitted to the General Directorate of Merchant Marine or another agency of the Panama Maritime Authority that has been empowered for such purpose.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents:
- The diligence of tonnage and appraisal.
- Prima facie evidence of the ownership of the vessel or of the intention to acquire such ownership.
- Original or certified true copy of the construction certificate or evidence of the cancellation of the previous registration of the vessel, which if issued abroad must be submitted duly authenticated. At the request of a party, the General Directorate of Merchant Marine may waive the presentation of this requirement at the time of filing the flag application for its subsequent presentation within a period of no more than thirty days.
- Proof of payment of import taxes or proof of the presentation of the corresponding bond before the General Directorate of Customs, or the document where the exoneration of the import tariff is evidenced, as the case may be.
- In the case of vessels engaged in activities of a non-commercial nature, original of an Affidavit of Private Use, attesting that the vessel will not be used for commercial purposes, which if issued abroad must be submitted duly authenticated.
- Any other document that the General Directorate of Merchant Marine requests.
It should be noted that all inland service vessels must have the applicable maritime safety certificates issued by the General Directorate of Merchant Marine or by a Recognized Organization authorized by the Panama Maritime Authority for such purpose.
Requirements for international service
The following documents are required to register a vessel for international service:
- Original of the instrument of appointment of the resident agent granted by the owner, which if issued abroad must be submitted duly authenticated.
- Prima facie evidence of ownership of the vessel or of the intention to acquire such ownership.
- Proof of payment of the corresponding taxes, fees, and duties.
- Any other additional required by the General Directorate of Merchant Marine.
International service ships and foreign registry ships navigating in Panamanian jurisdictional waters must carry a navigation permit issued by the General Directorate of Merchant Marine, the technical requirements for such permit shall be established by the same authority.
Are you ready to register your pleasure craft? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to clarify your doubts and assist you in the process.