General Consul of Panama in Marseille, France
Mrs. Issamary Sanchez Ortega, General Consul of Panama in Marseille, France

About the Consulate

The Consulate General of Panama in Marseilles is a Consulat of Marine Merchant, whose mission is the registration of commercial boats and yachts and the issuing of Seaman Books.

Ricardo Miro, Consul of Panama in Marseilles
Ricardo Miro (1883-1940)

The history of the General Consulate of Panama in Marseilles began in the year 1908 and his first Consul was Ricardo Miro (1883-1940). He was Consul in Marseilles and Barcelona. At that time, competition between these two cities was lively; so he had to mobilize all his talents to represent Panama.

When he was far from his country, Ricardo Miro wrote the poem "Patria", one of his most beautiful poems: it evokes the love and lack, which all Panamanians, who have lived far from home feel.

The Consuls of Panama in Marseille:

  • Jose Ismael MUJICA 1959/1960
  • Roberto PROCTOR 1968/1969
  • Nelly SUCRE  1974
  • Anibal GONZALEZ  1982
  • Aristóteles GARCIA 1984
  • Nelida ZAMBRANO 1985
  • Nilsa APARICIO 1989
  • Armando ARRELLANO 1990
  • Béatriz FIERRO-ORTIZ 1995/1999
  • Laura CONSTANTINO 1999/2004
  • Antonia CHAVARRIA 2004/2012
  • Giovanni FIORENTINO 2012/2013
  • Maria Isabel VILLEGAS 2013/2014
  • Virna J. AYALA 2015/2019
  • Issamary SANCHEZ ORTEGA 2019
The role of Consulate is special

Our particularity is the promotion of the Panamanian Marine Merchant, because our country has the widest fleet of registered commercial boats.

Our flag is in the white list of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), for this the ship-owners choose the Panamanian flag. In addition, all port authorities are aware of the transparency, efficiency and safety of our services.

The law that created the Panamanian ship registry this year is 100 years old, which means that Panama has a maritime tradition to serve the world since 1917.

There are 64 Panamanian Consulates Marine Merchant around the world, offering to their customers the proximity of Panama and allow them to:

  • pay annual taxes
  • register provisional titles of owners and mortgages
  • legalize sales of vessels and yachts
  • sell official books for Panamanian boats
  • issue the Seaman Books for marines and officers at the same price as the Panamanian Government, without going through brokers or intermediaries and thus without paying additional administrative costs.

The General Consulate of Panama in Marseilles is the only consulate of Panama in France. We are here, because the city of Marseilles is well located. It is an important port of Mediterranean.

What are the characteristics of the Panama Ship Registry?

The Panamanian flag is the most important in the world, with around 18% of registrations on the world market. This represents more than 8,000 vessels, 222.6 million GRT, more than 300 local staff, more than 200 inspectors worldwide, 1.2 million annual ship transactions and more than $ 25 trillion of mortgages.

The conditions for obtaining the Panamanian flag are simple. The formalities to be carried out are thus simplified and the Panamanian flag remains very attractive for shipowners. My role, like that of all Panamanian Merchant Marine Consuls, is to assist vessels and boat owners in obtaining these documents. The Consulate can also deliver the Seaman Books to enable the French and foreigners to work on vessels that have the Panamanian flag.

The Panama Maritime Authority's policy is to be always closer to its customers, in particular by improving its products every year. That's why Panama has the largest commercial fleet of boats in the world for years. Panama also demonstrates its commitment and willingness to respect international rules by being an important member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).


About Panama

As the poem "Patria" has said, Panama is so small that I can keep it whole in my heart. We are only 4 million people, but country is specialized in many areas where we are very competitive. It may seems incredible but Panama is a platform for:

  • International services, including financial services. Indeed, Panama is the largest international banking center in Latin America.
  • Commercial services for transnational corporations. They chose Panama for its economic and political stability.
  • Communications, notably thanks to the optical fibers that cross the continent.
  • Tourism, because the country offers extraordinary landscapes and exuberant nature to those who come to visit us.
  • Port services. With the Colon Free Zone and an extraordinary geographical position, the port services located on each side of the Canal do not stop working day and night.

And then there is especially the Panama Canal, the most important symbol for all Panamanians. Our biggest pride, too. We have a country that has been literally cut into halves to serve the world and allows us to get through the oceans faster. When you first take the Bridge of the Americas through the Panama Canal, you feel a unique and extraordinary feeling: perched above the sea, you get the impression that the land opens to allow the boats to pass. It is an extremely moving experience.

As for the country itself, it is magic! The capital, Panama, is the most modern city in Central America. But nature is very present in Panama and we have beautiful natural parks from ancestral tradition of conservation and protection of wildlife and flora.