Other Considerations

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Other Considerations Registration


Taxation Issues

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.  

Fleet Discounts

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.

 Technical Certificates

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.    

General Considerations

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:


The Colon Free Zone (the second largest in the world, after Hong Kong)



The most modern and successful international banking center in Latin America, comprising over 126 banks from 35 countries, regulated by the Basle Convention



An economy based on the US Dollar, with that currency circulating freely and exclusively as Legal Tender. 



The most secure confidentiality laws to be found anywhere, as exemplified by the reputation of Panamanian offshore corporations



And above all, the reliability of the Panamanian People, highly skilled, mostly bilingual, and eager to welcome you with all their wonderful country has to offer!


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This Web Site is the result of private initiative and is provided for informational purposes only. While every attempt has been made to ensure its accuracy, the information is provided “as is” and neither the Panamanian Government nor the Consulate General provides any warranty regarding its reliability, completeness or timeliness. As such, they will not be responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of that information. All rights are reserved, including the right to make changes or delete content without notice. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited.

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