Maritime & Corporate Services

Situated in the heart of the shipping community of Piraeus, Greece, the Shipping Department of the General Consulate of Panama provides fast and efficient service to meet the needs of Panama flag users.

  • Vessel Registration

The enrollment 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 License, valid for 6 months.

  • Title Registration

The Consulate is authorized to register in preliminary form the Bill Of Sale or any other title of ownership, such as a builder’s certificate.

  • Mortgage Registration

The Consulate is entitled to register in preliminary form a naval mortgage against a Panamanian vessel. Mortgages are bilateral contracts between the mortgagor (ship owner) and the mortgagee (lender). The Consul shall legalize the signature of both parties. The procedure is straightforward and is usually completed within the same day.

  • Mortgage Discharge Registration

The Consulate is entitled to register in preliminary and permanent form a discharge of naval mortgage against a Panamanian vessel.

  • Bareboat Charter Registration (Dual Registry)

Under bareboat charter, a ship owner leases a ship to an operator -the charterer- which 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 effectiveness upon termination of the charter. The authorization of the original flagging state, as well as the ship owner's, is necessary. The Consulate is allowed to handle the required procedure.

  • 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. 

  • Special Provisional Registration

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

  • Taxation Issues

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

  • Legalization of Documents by the Panamanian Consulate

Any official document to be authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate must be an original document or certified copy with original seal and signature. 
In case of original private documents, the signature must be endorsed by a Notary Public. 
The legalization process is completed when the Authentication Department of Panama’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs authenticates the signature of the Panamanian Consular official. The legalization process can be avoided by obtaining an Apostille seal. 
Through Law 6 of June 25, 1990, Panama ratified the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 that abolishes the requirement for the legalization of foreign public documents. This is known as the 1961 Apostille Convention. As a result, a foreign public document authenticated by Apostille does not require the final legalization of a Panamanian Consular official. In the case of a foreign public document endorsed by Apostille and that has been authenticated by a Panamanian Consul, will not be legalized by the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Therefore, either get the public documents Apostilled or authenticated by a Panamanian Consul, but not both. 

  • Notarization of Documents by the Panamanian Consulate
  • Establishing a Panamanian corporation

Panama offers the most favorable and most flexible offshore incorporation laws available in the world. A Panama corporation can be used by individuals from all over the world who are interested in global asset protection, privacy, investment diversification, tax minimization, affordability and convenience.