On the occasion of 100 years of the law that created the Merchant Marine Registry of Panama, Jorge Barakat, Minister of Maritime Affairs of Panama went especially to Marseille to participate in the Conference "Panama Ship Registry - a century promoting the global trade ", organized by the General Consul of Panama in Marseille, Virna Ayala.
It is in the prestigious Intercontinental Hotel in Marseille that Panama has held a particularly rich conference. On the occasion of this day, celebration which recalled the leading role of this small country in Central America and highlighted its 100 years of experience in the service of the world, Virna Ayala presented the new application that now allows French sailors and officers to work on boats registered within the Panamanian flag.
To date, more than 300,000 people around the world, sailors and officers, benefit from a Panamanian Seaman Book, allowing them to work on Panamanian vessels, whereas only 1,833 French currently have this opportunity, because there is no Training Center approved by the Maritime Authority of Panama and the French must go abroad. "There is work for French sailors on Panamanian boats" but few know how to get there.
This new automated system offers all the possibility of obtaining the Seaman Book or his temporary certificate without going through the tedious filings of paper files and the too long mailings of mail by postal way. All you have to do now is to visit one of the 64 Panama Consulates, the only in France is located in Marseille. "We wanted to simplify the procedures, lighten them and of course secure them", said Minister of Maritime Affairs Jorge Barakat. In addition to being less complex, this new procedure is less expensive. "At the Consulate of Panama in Marseille, our customers pay the same fare as the Official Tariff of the Maritime Authority of Panama, without any consular administrative fees or payment to third parties, such as brokers", said Virna Ayala. "We are in a process of securing and transparency", she said. For all these reasons, Panama's Merchant Marine Register is now number one in the world."
“The maritime society knows our seriousness and our expertise”, the Minister said. And the country does not intend to stop in such a good way. It is in the near future, position number one, in the category of private yachts. In the 1950s and 1960s, Panama was the leader in this market, which now accounts only 1% of the world's population. It was the golden age of Aristotle Onassis, the famous Greek millionaire, who sailed on his Panamanian flagship yacht, the "Cristina O." Panama still offers many advantages e.g. secure, fast and transparent exchanges throughout the process.