Procedure for Ship Registration
One of the key features that place the panama Registry as an Open Ship registry or Flag of Convenience is that any natural or juridical person has the alternative of registering his vessel being a national citizen of Panama or a foreigner person or entity. Furthermore more Panama doesn’t have any limits as to the ownerships of a vessels nationality when it comes to registering a vessel under panama flag, nor is there any type of limitation in respect to the activity the vessel may carry out as long as it is lawful and not contradicts any law in the Republic of Panama.
- Name Availability. Prior to registering a vessel in the Panama Registry , the name by which it will be registered needs to be checked and confirmed as available or not in use by any other vessel under Panama Flag . Name reservations are allowed at theShipregistry in Panama for a cost of usd. 20.00.
- Application for registration. The process forshipregistration in Panama is straight forward . Once that documents that serve as base for the registration have been prepared and submitted to a law office in Panama or a Maritime Consulate in Panama , the information and documents is uploaded to the PKI registration system of the General Directorate of Merchant Marine in Panama.
- Provisional Registration. After placing the information on the PKI system, and registration fees have been paid (corresponding annual fees or taxes in accordance to the vessel service and its net and gross tonnage), the General, the General Directorate of Maritime affairs DIGEMAR , proceeds to issue the provisional patent of navigation as well as the provisional radio license which contains the MMSI number of the vessel and the call sign. The provisional patent of navigation is valid of 6 months and the provisional radio license has a validity of 6 months. Both patents are renewable for the same period of time. The complete process to obtain the provisional registration and radio license should take approximately one working day.
- Title of property. The respective Bill of Sale or title deed must be duly recorded at the naval public registry office at the Panama Maritime Authority , within 6 months of the provisional registration or at any time prior to its expiry. Once the Title deed has been registered a request to the Panama Maritime authority should be made to obtain the full term patent of navigation valid for 5 years.
- Documents & information that is demanded to engage in the registration of the vessel at the Panama Maritime Authority through the PKI system:
- Copy of the “Safe Management Certificate” SMC and the Document of Compliance
- (DOC) both derivatives of the ISM Code.
- Deletion Certificate duly legalized and apostilled or in absence it can also be attested before a Panama Consulate in the place of issuance of the Deletion certificate.
- Bill of sale as evidence of ownership
- In the application form in the PKI system the appointment of a resident agent in Panama must be stablished ( Gerli & Company ) as well as the provision of a Power of Attorney in favor of Gerli & Co., duly legalized by a Panama Consulate or by apostille.
- Owners Statement advising on the goods the vessel will carry and its main activity or type of vessel.
- Depending on the type of vessel , all technical certificates must be furnished through the OKY system, i.e. , CSR, ITS, ISSC, SMC, DOC, IOPP, WRECK REMOVAL, MSMC , among others.
- Provisional Radio License. All vessels navigating in high seas must have on board a Radio License . Panama issues a radio license at the same moment when a vessel is registered and a provisional patent is issued. The provisional radio license will contain a description of radio equipment on boards , the MMSI distress signal identification, Call sign numbers . Such license will have a validity of 6 months.
- Permanent Radio License. A permanent radio license will include all the information contained in the provisional license , but additionally will have a more in depth description of all the radio equipment on board as well as the name and distinctive number of the radio accounting authority that will take care of all accounting needs for communications with port stations and also those that carry Inmarsat communication facilities.