yacht registry of Panama

Via the services of the General Consulate of Panama in Marseille, you can make registration procedures for ships, yachts, superyachts, megayachts or sailing ships into the Panamanian Ship Registry. It should be noted that this Registry celebrates 100 years of experience and that Panama is an A-grade member of the IMO Council.

The Consulate offers registration and customer service, along with 64 Consulates and 9 Technical Documentation Offices strategically located around the world.

The Panama Ship Registry is public. It ensures security, transparency. Sales or mortgage registrations are made faster and more efficiently, which allows financing and bank guarantees.

Required documents on yacht registration


  •  Sworn declaration of yacht owner stating the yacht won’t be use on lucrative purposes
  •  Copy of passport or copy of Commercial Registry for the moral person
  •  Power of Attorney to a resident agent to represent him in front of AMP
  •  Ownership certificate
  •  Copy of previous registry cancelation, not in case of new construction
  •  Fill in the application form to affiliate the panama flag
  •  Specify the coordinates of navigation of the yacht


  • Declaration of owner stating the maximum of passenger on board
  • Safety Management Certificate (SMC) for yachts more than 12 passengers and 500 brut tonnage.
  • Power of Attorney to a resident agent to represent him in front of AMP
  • Builder Certificate, in case of new construction issued by the builder
  • Safety Management Certificate (SMC) for yachts of older construction
  • Copy of previous registry cancelation, not in case of new construction
  • Ownership certificate
  • Fill in the application form to affiliate the panama flag
Rates of bi-annual taxes

By registering a pleasure yacht under the Panamanian flag, yachts owners pay a bi-annual tax, paid every two years. This tax excludes the payment of any other tax and owners of yachts registered in Panama are not submit to VAT. The amount of taxes charged by the Panama Maritime Authority, are among the most competitive rates in the world for yacht registration.

Bi-annual taxes
Pleasure yachts of Panamanian owner1 000,00 $
Pleasure yachts of foreign owner1 500,00 $

For yachts designated on commercial use or "charter", the corresponding taxes will be paid each year. In the same way as commercial boats, they can benefit, during a period of 3 years, of “right of reductions” reaching 50% in the case of a new construction.

In the very near future, the Panamanian Merchant Marine will have a mixed register that will allow pleasure yachts to benefit from commercial use or "charter" use for a period between 90 to 120 days a year.

To register a ship, a superyacht, a megayacht & sailing boat, under the Panamanian flag or to make Seaman Book,

contact the General Consulat of Panama in Marseille
11, quai des Belges • 13001 Marseille (France)
Phone: +33 (0)4 91 90 05 84
via our contact form or by email :

yacht registration in Panama
The registration of yachts under the flag of Panama can be done at the General Consulate of Panama in Marseille


Questions on...

The registration of yachts in Panama


The pavilion (or flag) where a yacht is registered, determines the obligations and taxes, which the owner have to pay. It also defines the embarkations, the legal system and the procedures, as well as the status of the captain and the crew. It is therefore an important choice that takes the owner or the shipyard when making the move to register the yacht.

Every natural or legal person, regardless the nationality and place of origin, is entitled to register vessels under the Panamanian flag. However, certain exceptions are set out in the Merchant Navy's Official Resolution to be in line with the UN's international conditions for restricted nationality.

The General Merchant Shipping Act has the power to regulate the general and special procedures and requirements that ships and merchant marine users must meet, taking into account, among other things, the type and size of ships, their technical conditions, the services provided, the size of the fleet, the country of origin, the navigation zone or the market situation. For these same reasons, the Panamanian maritime register can dispense, through a reasoned resolution, the collection of royalties and fees, in order to promote the competitiveness of the Panamanian merchant fleet. In addition, no other restrictions are applied by the Panamanian Merchant Shipping Registry on the age of vessels or yachts to the extent that they meet the conditions of airworthiness and the requirements of this Act.

All port authorities around the world recognize the seriousness and expertise of Panama. There are the reasons, why the Registry of Merchant Marine of Panama is today the most important in the world. The Panama Maritime Authority aims in the near future to become the leader in the category of private super yachts and mega yachts... and reconnect with his history. Indeed, in the 1950s and 1960s, in the golden age of Aristotle Onassis, the famous Greek millionaire traveled on his yacht, the "Cristina O.", with Panamanian flag. Panama was then leader of this market which currently only affects 1% of the world population.

In addition, Panama offers many advantages, including secure, fast and transparent exchanges throughout the process or a new regulation for Mega Yachts in the Panama Ship Register.


The annual fee for pleasure yachts owned by Panamanian nationals is fixed at $ 1,000.00. For those whose owners are of another nationality, the amount is $ 1,500.00. Taxes are paid every two years. This tax excludes the payment of any other taxes. Thus, yacht owners do not pay VAT.

Yachts designated on commercial use or "charter", will pay the corresponding amount every year.


In order to comply with international transparency commitments, the Republic of Panama has included a series of OECD recommendations in its national legislation in order to contribute to the exchange of information and avoid tax evasion in the main economic powers.

In this sense, it has been confirmed that Panama has the legal, regulatory and institutional framework defined in the Action Plan for the Prevention of Money Laundering, the Financing of Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction through the Law 23 of April 27, 2015.

On the other hand, with the approval of Law 18 of 23 April 2015 amending the articles of Law 47 of 2013, "which adopts a regime of custody applicable to the actions of the carrier", Panama undertook to greater transparency in societies.


The Panama Ships Registry offers competitive advantages that include:

  • no minimum tonnage required for yacht registration in Panama
  • all nationalities are allowed for builders or owners of yachts
  • an amount of US $ 1,500 to pay taxes, per yachts every 2 years, when its owner has a foreign nationality and when the use is exclusively private and pleasure. On the other hand, if the yacht is held by a owner of Panamanian nationality, a company or a Panamanian foundation, the fee is US $ 1,000
  • an exoneration of any other tax or fee in accordance with the laws in force (in Panama, the yacht owner does not pay VAT).

In addition, it should be noted that the Panamanian vessel register is public, which gives transparency and security to ship-owners, whether as a natural or legal person. As a result, the registry is supported by the Republic of Panama, unlike other registries that are managed by private owners.

Moreover, the registration of sales and mortgages is facilitated for vessels registered under the Panama Ship Register. This speed and increased efficiency allow financing and bank guarantees for the purchase of merchant ships as well as yachts.

If a yacht is registered for commercial purposes in Panama as charter, certain incentives approved by merchant vessels established by the General Merchant Shipping Act as well as special resolutions, will be applied. These incentives are detailed in Circular MMC-298.

See the Circular MMC-298


The Panama Ship Registry does not provide any benefits for pleasure yachts as new construction. Shipbuilding discounts apply only to merchant ships.

However; if the yacht has Panamanian flag and is designated on commercial use, some discounts, included in circular MMC-298, may be applied. One of the applied reduction on the design and construction of commercial vessels is related to the energy efficiency of the vessel, called "Eco-Ship Discount". This is a 50% reduction over a 3-year period in favor of vessels wishing to register into the Panama Ships Register, in condition they present their social responsibility programs focused on reducing pollution of the air or the sea.

The reduction is applied in following areas:

  • Registration fees
  • Annual taxes
  • Annual consular fees
  • Survey of annual accident costs
  • Annual inspection fees
  • Taxes of 0.03% per ton net

In terms of reliability, the International Ship Registry of Panama offers several advantages such as:

  • 100 years of experience in the ship registry: Panama has been in the forefront of vessel registration since 1993. It is also one of the oldest international registers, established in 1917 by the law 63.
  • a classification in category "A" of the International Maritime Organization since 2002.
  • Quality management certification ISO 9001 by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance since 2008.
  • an inscription on the "White List" of Tokyo MOU since 2002 and on the "White List" of Paris MOU since 2010.
  • Worldwide coverage of registration and maritime services: the 64 Merchant Marine Consulates and the 9 Documentation Offices, strategically located around the world, can provide support and assistance services closer to their clients. This concerns the payment of annual taxes and certificates, the issuance of Seaman Book for officers and marines, etc.