Panamá,25º

21 de Jan de 2020

Nacional

Crisis favors local ship registry

PANAMA. Amid the crisis, shipping companies are continuing to opt for a Panamanian ship registry because the process is faster.

PANAMA. Amid the crisis, shipping companies are continuing to opt for a Panamanian ship registry because the process is faster.

According to the Director of Merchant Shipping in Panama’s Maritime Authority (AMP), Alfonso Castillero, the process takes only hours, which is giving the country the opportunity to maintain and even increase its number of ship registries.

Castillero said that the direct annual income from ship registration in Panama amounts to $70 million, while indirect income is $150 million.

Panama has 8,400 ships registered under the Panamanian flag, the largest in the world.

In 2008, ship registry in the country rose 11 percent compared to 2007. This year, Castillero expects ship registry to grow between 9 - 12 percent.

In the first quarter, 347 ships have been registered in the country, of which 151 were brand new. A similar number of ships were registered during the same period in 2008.

The merchant shipping specialist from Morgan & Morgan, lawyer Enrique De Alba, said shipping companies are bound to continue opting for Panamanian registry, because the country has one of the most favorable legislation in the matter, and offers added discounts according to the ship’s tonnage and its type.

Similarly, the flexibility offered in nationality of the crew and of the ship’s owners, judicial safety to clients, and the array of consular offices around the world all play to Panama’s advantage.

De Alba added that these characteristics have placed Panama as a competitor of “great prestige” in the international maritime market, making the country shipping companies’ first choice of registry due to its renowned trajectory.