The Republic of Panama has the largest and most popular shipping registry in the world today. Over the years, international shipping companies have flocked to Panama to take advantage of the low registration taxes and fees applied by the Panama government as compared to other countries.

Panama Ship Registration Key Features

  1. All vessels are subject to a one-time enrollment fee that is based upon a variable scale, plus a government fee, at the time of registration.
  2. Registration of the bill of sale is $0.20 per net ton registered or fraction thereof plus a 20% surtax.
  3. The annual tax that is due is $0.10 per net ton plus other charges.
  4. All international shipping income is exempt from Panama taxes.

Panama Yacht Registration Procedure

Registration certificates for yachts in Panama are issued for 2 year periods and must be renewed every 2 years for as long as the yacht is registered in Panama.

Documents Required For Registration

  • Purchase & Sale Agreement, Bill of Sale or a Builder’s Certificate if the boat is new
  • Power of Attorney (to our law firm)
  • Deletion Certificate from the previous registry or Builder’s Certificate if the boat is new

Panama Yacht Registration Process

  1. Panama’s Maritime office will issue a “temporary” Provisional Navigation License which is valid for a 6 month period and can be renewed. Within this 6 month period the applicant needs to apply for a “permanent” or Definitive Navigation License which is valid for a 2 year period.
  2. All boats registered in Panama must also meet the Radio Operator licensing requirements. First, a “temporary” Provisional Radio Operator License will be issued which is valid for a 3 month period. A “permanent” Definitive Radio Operator License must be obtained within this first 3 month period or fines are imposed until the Definitive Radio Operator License is acquired.

If the yacht is over 20 years of age it will also be required to undergo a safety survey and other safety requirements.


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