Ship Registration

Ship registration in Panama

Panama has the largest ship registry in the world, with more than 8,000 vessels sailing the seas representing about 18% of the world’s maritime fleet. It is significantly less expensive to register a ship as a Panamanian vessel in comparison to registry in other countries, due to low registration costs, fiscal, administrative and economic advantages, as well as open registers available to all shipping (regardless of the place of business of the owner).

Why register your ship in Panama? Here are some of the benefits & advantages:

  • No minimum tonnage requirements
  • Simple and fast registration procedure. AMP implemented in 2008 an electronic ship registration process. This new system will save 80% of processing time.
  • No income or withholding taxes on international trade for Panamanian vessels
  • No nationality restrictions (any person can register a ship under the Panamanian flag)
  • No nationality restrictions for personnel
  • No re-inspection of vessels with transfer to the Panamanian flag
  • Dual flag registration
  • Additional discounts can be applicable (special fleet, new construction, loyalty)

Procedure for ship registration:

The procedure starts with registering a name which is free and available. After registry, a Provisional Navigation Patent will be issued, which will be valid for 6 months. You will have up to 6 months to present the documents and requirements for obtaining the Permanent Registration of your vessel.
A permanent patent is valid for 5 years and 2 years for private vessels (yachts, pleasure ships).
It is renewable for equal terms, as long as the vessel is in compliance with the laws and regulations and is up-to-date with the payment of its taxes and fees.
Additionally, a radio license issued by the Government of Panama is also required for all vessels registered with the Panamanian Registry. You will first receive a Provisional Radio License followed by the Permanent Radio License. 
Further, you can get a Dual Registration or Special Registration for temporary navigation, which can also be issued after standard registration. 

Panama’s legislation requires that any ship registered in Panama maintain a legal representative or registered agent locally. This agent must be an attorney or law firm.
Here at Marosv, we work together with an excellent team of lawyers and will help you through the whole process of ship registration. 
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice, information or cost details.

Other useful links:

Please submit the following form for a vessel registration quote, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!
Name of vessel
Type of vessel
IMO number
Built year
Present flag
Class society