Abogados en Panamá

Shipping Law in Panama

Ship Registration


Ship Registration

Panama has the largest and most reliable registry in the world, with around 246 million gross tons, 8,650 registered vessels and representation in 53 countries, through a network of merchant marine consulates worldwide. Amongst the advantages offered by this registry are the following:

  • There are no nationality restrictions for either natural or juridical persons to register Panamanian flag vessels

  • The procedure is simple and swift, which allows the registration of a vessel in eight (8) hours, as long as it complies with all the requirements

  • There is no minimum tonnage and vessels of any size, type or age may be registered except for vessels of 20 years or more of construction which will be subject to a special inspection to obtain a permanent navigation patent

  • Any income generated from the operation of vessels engaged in international trade will be tax-exempt

  • It has a reliable system of protection and security in the granting of ship mortgages, which is guaranteed by the Public Registry of Vessels in Panama

  • Vessel owners wishing to transfer their vessels to the Panamanian flag do not have to be re-registered if they 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

  • Registration costs are low compared to other jurisdictions, ranging from US$500 to US$6,500

  • Provides incentives on registration costs for groups of newly built vessels, fleet, and vessels that do not have Port State Control (PSC) detentions

  • Special registration for vessels under charter parties, if the legislation of the country of origin allows it

  • Special temporary registration of three (3) months per voyage of delivery of the vessel

  • Special registry for Assignment

  • Special registry for scrapping for up to three (3) months

  • Special trial period registration


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