Ship Registration

Yacht Registration in Panama

Panama is a small country located in Central America, famous for its channel that joins the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. There is the largest Registry of yachts and ships in the world. 20% of all ships in the world sail under the flag of Panama, that is 23% of the total tonnage worldwide. Panama is included in the Guinness World Records as a small state with a giant fleet. Under the flag of Panama cruise more ships than under the flag of the United States and China taken together.

Pleasure Yachts (incl. MMSI)
$ 2750
For Non-Residents
More Info
National Flag

The ship registration process in Panama is divided into two steps. The first step is obtaining a provisional registration and radio license for a period of 6 months. The second step is to obtain the registration and radio license for a period of 2 years, with the possibility of further renewal every 2 years.

Registration of Pleasure Yachts

The first step: obtaining a provisional
registration + radio license

Documents Required
for Boat Registration:

  • 1. Copy of the passport (page with photo) or ID card of the yacht owner*;
    * In case of a corporate owner – the copies of all corporate documents of the company (certificate of incorporation, M&AoA, appointment of the director, share certificates, etc.), including a copy of the director's and shareholder’s passport or ID card. If the documents are more than 6 months, an up-dated extract from the Register is required.
  • 2. The scan of the signed Power of Attorney to register the yacht in Panama Maritime Authority - we will provide you with a sample;
  • 3. The scan of the completed and signed Application Form for registration, where it is necessary to provide detailed information about the boat and its owner, such as contact details, technical characteristics of the boat, navigation area, proposed name, etc. We will provide such form to you and will help you to complete it;
  • 4. The scan of a document signed in the presence of a notary certifying that the yacht will be used as pleasure one only (such as for instance “Affidavit of Non-Commercial Use”);
  • 5. After prior checking of all the documents, it is necessary to pay a government registration fee:
  • $ 1500 - for non-residents of Panama;
    $ 1000 - for residents of Panama, both for private and corporate person.
  • Plus:
    $ 1250 - our services fee;
    $ 500 - Bill of Sale Registration.

Второй этап: получение постоянной регистрации сроком на 2 года

Подготовку документов нужно начать сразу после получения временной регистрации.

В течение 120 дней с момента получения временной регистрации необходимо переслать в бумажном виде следующие документы в панамский регистр:

  • 1. Notarized and apostilled original of Sales Agreement / Sale and Purchase Agreement / Bill of Sale and Acceptance of Sale, etc;
  • 2. In case of new yacht - notarized and apostilled Builder's certificate;
  • 3. If the yacht was registered earlier then the apostilled original of the Deletion Certificate issued by the previous yacht register is required;
  • 4. Radio license application form where it is necessary to provide a list of all radio devices on your yacht, information about your radio operator's license or certificate.

Please, note, that you should follow the Radio Operator requirements in order to register a boat in Panama. We strongly recommend you to begging the registration exactly with the radio operator's certificate – please e-mail us the scans for checking first.

For more information, click ‘Contact Us’.


Renewals are once in two years:
$ 1500 - for non-residents of Panama; or
1000 - for residents of Panama, both for private and corporate person.

Yacht Registration for Commercial Use

  • Registration of boats for commercial use is more complicated and in some cases requires additional documents, such as:
  • – Declaration stating the maximum of passenger on board;
  • – Ownership Certificate;
  • – Document of Compliance;
  • – Safety Management Certificate;
  • – International Ship Security Certificate;
  • – Continuous Synopsis Record;
  • – International Tonnage Certificate.

An individual approach is needed when register the yachts for commercial use in Panama. The larger the vessel, the more requirements. Contact us, we will study your case.

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More Information


Panama is the oldest registrar of yachts and ships. First registration of Panamanian flags began in 1922. Thanks to favorable conditions that Panama provides to shipowners, its fleet has become the largest in the world.

Provisional Registration of the Panamanian flag takes 1-2 days after submitting of all documents. It is issued for 6 months and includes a provisional radio license.

Permanent registration is issued for 2 years, then has to be renewed every two years. Together with the flag registration, you get a permission to use radio communications. In order to obtain MMSI registration, you have to take radio operator courses in organizations that the boat register recognizes as suitable. Registration of flags takes place in the Panama Maritime Authority. On-line registration is available. Also, you can register a yacht through the Consulate of Panama. Now there are 64 Consulates, many of them are located in major ports of the world.

No surveys and technical certificates are required for pleasure yachts. The exceptions are: 20-year-old yachts or more and the yachts with wooden hull.

Panama’s boat register is opened and available for all nationalities (countries under sanctions are discussed individually).

Yacht Registration can be for an Individual or a Company. Registration with a Panamanian company is possible with respect for the tax law in your country. The tax authorities should be aware of the presence of a Panamanian company.

In Panama, there is a "dual registration" of a flag. It is suitable to yachts registered in countries that allow this possibility. So, the vessels that never had a Panamanian registration and fly the flag of another state can be chartered by Panama for a period of two years. At the same time, a ship does not lose its home registration.

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Interesting Facts

The unique capabilities of the Panamanian flag were first discovered by American smugglers during the dry law in the USA. They used ships under the flag of Panama to transport alcohol. As for the passenger ships they could legally sell alcoholic beverages to American travelers on board.

The construction of the Panama Canal was started by the French in 1881 and ended with a grand fraud. They created the company and sold its shares to more than 800 thousand people. Big money was raised for the construction of the Channel, however the company failed.

Later on, the Americans studied the experience of the French, learned mistakes, finalized the project and successfully launched the Panama Canal on August 15, 1914.

For the significant ceremony the 4000 km-electric-cable was specially laid from the Panama Canal to the White House. On October 3, 1913, the US President solemnly pressed the golden button in his official residence, and twenty thousand kilograms of dynamite destroyed the last barrier that separated the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The Panama Canal has become the important project of the world. 3700 km can be saved by ships that cruise between Europe and East Asia or Australia. 6500 km is saved by ships that run between opposite coasts of North and South Americas.

14 thousand ships pass through the Panama Canal every year, that is 5% of the world's ocean cargo traffic

Summary of Panamanian Flag

The Largest Fleet
in the World
In the White List
of the Paris MoU
Valid Worldwide
Private or Commercial Use
is Possible
The Oldest Ship Registry
Flag Registration with MMSI
is Valid for 2 Years
Provisional Registration
is in 1-2 days & you can go to
No Maritime Restrictions
Dual Flag Registration
is Possible
Survey Inspection is not
Required for Pleasure Yachts
Registration on Private
or Corporate Person
Available for all Nationalities
(countries under sanctions
are discussed individually)
Start registration
Pleasure Yacht Registration + MMSI
Price ($)
For Non-Residents of Panama
Our Service Fee
$ 2750
Additional Services
Price ($)
Bill of Sale Registration
National Flag
$ 700
Renewals - every two years
Price ($)
For Non-Residents of Panama
Our Service Fee (optional)
$ 1750