Some of the most relevant features that have taken the Panama Registry to the helm of the open registries of the world, or most preferred open ship registry within ship owners are in fact those that facilitate the registry process , without jeopardizing safety and maritime security at sea.

Among the most relevant we have :

  • No restrictions as to age of the vessel
  • No pre inspection survey (yachts)
  • Open nationality without restrictions for ownership
  • Broad number of authorized classification entities
  • Low registration fees
  • Low annual tonnage taxes

The process for registration of a vessel in Panama shall initiate, firstly with:

  1. Confirmation of the availability of the name. Before registering a ship, the name with which it wants to be registered shall be checked with the Panama Maritime Authority , same must be free or not have been used by another vessel .
  2. Filling in all the vessels data through an application form in three main routes, first using the “token PKI “ online system or through the ship owners local lawyers or legal representatives before the Panama Maritime Authority / General Directorate of Merchant Marine in Panama, or before a Panama Maritime authorized General Consulate. For this purpose Panama has Consular offices in most Port cities in the world, such as Rotterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Piraeus, among others.
  3. Once the application form has been submitted to Panama Maritime Authority, payment for the registration will be executed in accordance with the chart that is available at the web site which shall indicate the costs according to the tonnage of the vessel, immediately after this step has concluded, the initial registration will be concluded with the issuance of the Provisional Patent of Navigation valid for 6 months and the Provisional Radio Station License, valid for three months registration. The complete procedure should have a duration of no more than 48 hours, provided all documents submitted with the application have been accepted diligently by the registry officials, meaning that all sustaining documents have been found ion order .
  4. Full term Navigation Patent. The provisional patent of navigation is issued for a 6 months period. During such time the ownership title or Bill of Sale must be duly recorded in the Naval section of the Public Registry of Panama. The registration of the ownership title is an essential requirement so that the vessel may obtain its Statutory Navigation Patent ( full term patent ) which has a duration period of (5) years and (2) years in the case of pleasure yachts.
  5. Mandatory documents to be submitted to obtain a full term registration:
  • Documents related to the ISM CODE (copies are acceptable) “Safe Management Certificate” (SMC) and the Document of Compliance(DOC)
  • Original of the Deletion Certificate from prior registry or new construction certificate or judicial sale (assignment of the vessel title by a court on favor of the owner) Legalized by apostille or at a Panama Consul abroad
  • Document evidencing that the applicant holds the ownership of the ship to be registered, For example a copy of a patent of navigation from prior registry or a copy of a Continuous Synopsis record (CSR) Legalized by apostille or at a Panama Consul abroad
  • Power of Attorney appointing GERLI & CO. , as resident agent in Panama
  • Description of type of vessel ( Dry Cargo, Bulk Carrier, Tanker, etc.)
  • Applicable technical Statutory Certificates, depending on the type of vessel:
    1. CSR – Continuous Synopsis Record
    2. SMC – Safety Management Certificate
    3. IOPP – International Oil Pollution Prevention
    4. ISSC – International Ship Security Certificate

Provisional Radio License. It is a legal requirement that the ships under Panamanian. Registry must carry on board a Radio License issued by the Government of Panama. To that effect, the corresponding application must be filled in, and may be filed through the Panamanian Consulates abroad or through our offices in the city of Panama together with the provisional registration application. The provisional license shall be valid for six (6) months.