Panama's Open Registry. The Panama Shipping Registry is the oldest, the most active and biggest with the highest registered tonnage in the world. In accordance with official estimates the registered tonnage under Panamanian flag in the world was above 90 million gross registered tons (GRT) and nearly 60% of new ship constructions are entering the Panama Shipping Registry.
The work of the registry and the inspection through the numerous Merchant Marine General Consulates of Panama, located in the major ports of the world, as well an extensive number of companies and inspectors authorized by the government of Panama, have assured a great agility in the proceedings and an enviable service quality that no other country or maritime registry in the world possesses.
Besides that, our country has signed, ratified and it is member of the majority of organizations and international conventions that govern the diverse aspects of the admiralty laws and the international maritime activity, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO); the Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions in High Seas; the Safety of Life at Sea Conventions (SOLAS); the International Maritime Satellite System (INMARSAT); the Crew Training, Certification and Supervision Standards; the Maritime Pollution Prevention (MARPOL); Maritime Pollution by Spills, Wastes and other materials Prevention; Civil Liability for Oil Spills; Loadlines and Tonnage Measurements, among others.
Registration, Patents and Licenses.
In accordance with enforceable Panamanian legislation, over 70 years old, any person or corporation, national or foreign, may register vessels in the Merchant Marine Registry of the Republic of Panama. Furthermore any vessel of any type is subject to registration in Panama, provided that it fulfills the minimum requirements of navigability, safety, and environmental conditions, required by international conventions and national regulations related to the subject.
Panamanian law is very flexible when it comes to naval mortgage registry. Naval mortgages registered in the Republic of Panama are widely accepted and recognized as executable by all financial institutions in the United States, Asia and Europe
Special Registries. In addition to navigation patents and radio licenses' registration, the Panama Shipping Registry offers other special registries for vessels of special class, among which we can mention the following:
Vessels under Naval Charter:This registration allows the owner of a vessel registered in our country, to register said vessel in other countries, without losing our flag, provided that said vessel is chartered (bareboat charter) and that the other country's registry allows the registration of the Panamanian vessel in such condition. This is also applicable in reverse, that is, it is allowed that the vessel previously registered in other country, be registered in our country, as a chartered vessel, without losing its original registration. Yachts and pleasure vessels:Any yacht and pleasure vessel, or vessel qualified as such by IMO, may be registered for a two (2) year renewable period. Transit registration:Allows registration of a vessel for a non-renewable period of three (3) months, provided that said vessel of international service is destined for break up, delivery voyages or any other modality of temporary navigation.