Panamanian vessels are subject to the payment
of a moderate annual fee calculated on the basis of their tonnage. The Consulate
is specifically appointed to collect those fees and is entitled to issue
official receipts instantaneously, to avoid any administrative delay.
On the other hand, nonresident shipping
companies are not subject to income or withholding taxes since the fiscal
legislation in Panama taxes only the income that arises or derives from
activities within the national territory.
When registering three or more vessels, with a combined gross tonnage of 50,000 to 100,000 GRT, a shipowner may qualify for a discount in registration fees of 20% (up to 50% if the tonnage exceeds 100,000 GRT. Additionally, fleets whose combined tonnage is over 100,000 GRT may receive a discount of 50% of the annual tonnage tax.
Those requests are assessed, prior to registration, by the Shipping Department of the Maritime Authority, which will evaluate them on the basis of the type of vessel, the year of construction and the shipowner’s background with the Panamanian Registry.
The New York Consulate will be pleased to assist you in this and other matters.
Shipowners who wish to transfer their vessels
to the Panamanian registry are not required to have the vessels re-surveyed,
provided the vessels possess valid safety certificates. Furthermore, provisions
are made to accept foreign tonnage certificates at the moment of registration;
this obviates the necessity to have the ship dry docked prior to the
registration and consequently saves the shipowners considerable expenses.
When it comes to selecting a flag, the
decision should not be taken lightly. Your fleet shall be proud to hoist a flag
recognized and respected the world over; the flag of the country who is administering single-handedly the Canal of Panama and
the yearly transit of 14,000 ships.
Panama is much more than a canal! Geographically situated at the crossroads of the world, and strong of its experience as the largest and one of the oldest registries, Panama offers a complete business infrastructure including:
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