Any natural or legal person of any nationality can register their ships under Panamanian flag.
Ships registered under the flag of Panama are exempt from income tax, even if transportation contracts are worked in Panama.
There are no minimum tonnage requirements. Ships that have more than 20 years of construction must undergo a special inspection by an Authorized Inspector, in order to obtain the Permanent Patent of Navigation.
Ships may be transferred to the Panamanian flag that have been flagged in another jurisdiction without re-inspection of the same, if they have valid certificates of security and tonnage issued by a firm.
The procedure for registering ships under the flag of Panama is simple and easy to comply with.
Yachts or ships for private use must pay the sum (regardless of type, weight or size) of USD $ 1,500.00, every two (2) years to maintainer its registration.
If the owner of the vessel is of Panamanian nationality or is a Panamanian Corporation the payment will be USD $ 1,000.00.
After a period of six (6) months after the issuance of the Provisional Patent of Navigation, the Bill of Sale or the Certificate of Construction for the newly constructed ships must be registered in the Public Registry.
The Sales Contract must be authenticated by a Notary Public and by Apostille of the Hague and must say that the seller of the ship must be the legal owner of the same and that the person acting on its behalf is authorized to do so.
The certificate of new construction must have a statement from the builder stating that the ship was built by order and account of the buyer. The signature of the Notary must be authenticated by the Consul of Panama or by Apostille. The Sales Contract and the Construction Certificate must state that the buyer has accepted the sale or transfer of the ship. This document must be authenticated and legalized by the Panama Consul or Apostille of the Hague.