BIERMAN PAUTT LEGAL BUREAU can provide complete services on the registration of vessels and ship mortgages in various jurisdictions, as well as the formation of the maritime object company and its management, including the payment of annual licenses, taxes, navigation patents, ship station radio licenses, applicable in each jurisdiction.

These jurisdictions offer low company formation and ship registration costs, no restriction on the nationality of crew members of the vessels, and no restriction on the sale or transfer of shares of a company owning ships.

Companies operating these ships can enjoy all the exemptions and benefits provided for by each of these offshore legislations.

BIERMAN PAUTT LEGAL BUREAU is located in The Republic of Panama. Panama is at the center of the American Continent with has coastlines, one on the Atlantic and one on the Pacific Oceans. Panama links the two oceans through one of the world's great inter-oceanic waterways, The Panama Canal.

Panama nowadays has the responsibility of administering the world's largest fleet of vessels. It is introducing new programs aimed at making the Panamanian Registry one of the most respected and active in the international maritime community.

The General Directorate of Merchant Marine is in charge of all administrative proceeding related to the registration of ships.

Panama has become one of the world's most prominent jurisdictions for ship registries. Its status offers many advantages both to the ship-owners and to mortgagees. Between these advantages, we must note the incentives regarding the fiscal laws of Panama. All the activities of vessels registered in Panama done outside the country are not subject to income taxes or any other levy.

Additionally, Panama does not require that vessels be owned by a Local Resident of Panama. Nevertheless, since the Republic of Panama has a favorable law concerning incorporation of companies it is recommended that the vessel be owned by a Panamanian entity in order to take advantage of the limited liability in cases of collisions or accidents of the ship.

With regards to the crew members, any vessel under the Panamanian flag may hire crews from any nationality. The procedure for registration of a vessel under the Panamanian flag is very simple and straightforward. Provisional registration may be requested through our office by submitting the relevant information with the appropriate fees. The provisional Panamanian registration valid for six months can be obtained within two business days. The permanent registration has duration of four years for merchant ships and two years for yachts, and is renewable for a like term.

For more than 70 years, the Republic of Panama has offered various facilities for the registration of vessels engaged in all type of maritime activity. The procedure for the registration of vessels was adopted through Law No 8 of 1925, which permits the enrollment of cargo and passenger vessels, as well as dredges, barges, floating docks and other types of vessels.

Documentation requirements:

  1. Bill of sale
  2. Admeasure certificate of vessel
  3. Cancellation of previous registry of vessel (if not a new vessel), and
  4. Special Power of attorney authorizing our law firm to handle the application

Registering a marine vessel in Panama is handled efficiently, and the procedure involves two simple steps:

  1. The Provisional Navigation Registration can be processed and approved if you fax us copies of the necessary documents. The time frame is approximately 5 to 7 business days
  2. The Permanent Navigation Registration can be processed as soon as we have the original copies of the documents required. The time frame is approximately 5 to 7 business days.

The registration cost is based in the gross and net tonnage and the type of vessel, where the tonnage should be based on the 1969 london convention (international tonnage certificate 1969).


  1. Simple Power
  2. Document of Compliance DOC (only for all passenger high speed vessels, tankers and bulk carrier vessels over 500 GRT)
  3. Safety Management Certificate SMC (only for all passenger high speed vessels, tankers and bulk carrier vessels up to 500, exempting new built vessels)
  4. Copy of the vessel registration form
  5. INMARSAT application (only for general cargo vessels up to 300 GRT and passenger vessels)
  6. Money transfer confirmation.


  1. Power of Attorney, appointing a Panamanian Attorney as legal representative of the vessel
  2. Bill of sale or Builder's Certificate for new vessels and the Acceptance of sale
  3. International Tonnage Certificate, certified by the surveying company (does not need to be notarized).
  4. Special Safety inspection for vessels over 20 years monitored by the Department of Safety (SEGUMAR) in New York.
  5. Deletion or Cancellation Certificate
  6. Copy of the vessel registration form
  7. INMARSAT application (only for general cargo vessel up to 300 GRT
  8. Money transfer confirmation
  9. International Tonnage Certificate 1969 (ITC 1969) which must indicate the same tonnage as it was stated for the provisional registration
  10. All documents must be notarized and bear the Apostille stamp or the authentication of the Panamanian Consulate.