Panama Registry Information

» Key Registry Features
» Jurisdiction Information
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 Key Registry Features

Flag of Convenience Yes
IMO Conventions Adopted All the principal IMO Conventions have been adopted
Age Limit None
Size Restrictions None
Ownership Requirements There are no local ownership requirements however, a legal representative in Panama must be appointed.
Registration Documents
Documents Required



  • A Deletion Certificate (if applicable)
  • Bill of Sale / Builders Certificate
  • Power of Attorney (notarised & legalised) appointing Panamanian legal representatives
  • Tonnage Certificate
  • Certificate of Survey for vessels 20 years or older from an approved Classification Society
  • Radio Licence
  • All Safety Certificates
Registration Fees

Vessels up to 2,000GT: US$ 500
2,001-5,000GT: US$ 2,000
5,001-15,000GT: US$ 3,000
15,001 or more: US$ 3,000 plus US$ 0.1 for each additional GT to a maximum US$ 6,500


Annual Tonnage Tax is charged at US$ 0.10 per NT or fraction plus an annual single rate (US$ 850-3,000) and an annual inspection fee (US$ 500-1,300) which varies according to the type of vessel.

Parallel Registration
  Parallel registration in or out of the Registry is permitted for a period of up to 2 years
Approved Classification Societies
Crew Nationality
  No restriction on nationality but crew certification may be required

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Jurisdiction Information

» Introduction

76,900 sq km, is located between Costa Rica and Colombia, forms the narrowest and lowest portion of the isthmus that links North and South America.

» Population

The population of Panama is approximately 2.4 million, about 52% of which are in urban areas.

» Political Structure

Panama was a Spanish colony until 1821. In 1903, Panama broke an alliance with Colombia and became an independent republic.

The executive branch of the Government is at present composed of a President and two vice-presidents, elected for a five-year term by direct election.

» Infrastructure and Economy

The Colon Free Zone is located on the Caribbean side of the Isthmus of Panama near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. This Free Trade Zone is the second largest in the world after Hong Kong.

Operations and transactions taking place in the Free Trade Zone are subject to a special tax treatment whereby imports from other parts of the world and re-exports to other countries are exempted from any import or export taxes imposed by Panama. Income earned from re-exports is taxed at specially reduced rates.

» Language

Spanish is the official and spoken language. English is also spoken widely in urban areas and is used daily in commerce and international trade.

» Currency

United States Dollar.

» Exchange Control


» Type of Law

Based on Spanish Civil Law with many Common Law influences, particularly regarding Company Law, which is based on the Delaware Model.

» Principal Corporate Registration

Corporation Law No. 32 of the 1927 Commercial Code, Decree Law 5 of 1997 and Executive Decree 296 of 1997.


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Information Downloads

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Panama Fact Sheet 107KB  61KB 


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