Vessel Registration

The Registration consists of two stages: Provisional and Permanent.

The Consulate will handle the initial paperwork and is authorized to issue temporary documentation including a provisional Certificate of Registration (also known as “Patente”), valid for 6 months and a Provisional Radio Licence, valid for 6 months. (application form attached).

The Permanent Registration will be completed by the Resident Agent of the Vessel in Panama who will present  all the appropriate Certificates of the Vessel to the Panama Maritime Authority.

This Consular office handles the Preliminary Registrations and Provisional Documentation.


Name Registration

It is possible to reserve in advance the name of a vessel in construction, or scheduled for construction, provided this name is available. 


Taxation Issues

Panamanian vessels are subject to the payment of a moderate annual fee calculated on the basis of their tonnage. This Consulate is specifically appointed to collect those fees and is entitled to issue official receipts immediately, to avoid any administrative delay.


Special Provisional Registration

Vessels of international service destined for scrap, delivery voyages or any other form of temporary navigation may apply for a provisional Registry and a Radio Permit, both of which are valid for three months.


Bareboat Charter Registration (Dual Registry) 

Under bareboat charter, a ship owner leases a ship to an operator -the charterer- who becomes responsible for the operation of the vessel. According to Panamanian Law, which allows Dual Registry, that vessel, already registered in one state, may be registered under the flag of another state for the duration of the charter (up to two years, renewable).The dual registry system allows a charterer, leasing a ship registered in a country without an open registry, to benefit from the advantages of the Panamanian Registry. It also allows the ship owner to maintain the original registration, which is merely suspended during the dual registration but regains its validity upon termination of the charter. The authorization of the original flagging state, as well as that of the shipowner’s, is necessary. The Consulate is authorized to handle the required procedure and will issue the Certification.


Preliminary Registration of Title/Mortgage and Discharge of Mortgage:

The procedures for the registration of Preliminary Registration of Mortgage and Title Deeds are straightforward so that the whole process can be expeditiously completed. Preliminary Registration may be requested at Panama Consular Offices abroad. An appointment must be made for this purpose.

The procedure takes only one business day. Provisions have been made to allow the preliminary registration of mortgage and title deeds after working hours. For this purpose the interested party must arrange an appointment at least 2 days in advance. The ship owner can be assured by the acceptance by the United State, Far Eastern and European banks of the Panamanian mortgage, providing satisfactory security. Hence the Panamanian Ship Mortgage, once registered, grants a right in rem to the mortgagee. The encumbrance follows the ship even when sold. The mortgagee thus has a right to pursue, attach or have the ship sold in order to collect his credit, with preference over the creditors of lesser standing.