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Focus on Panama

Panama renews maritime transport agreement with China

Photo: Panama Maritime Authority PANAMA SHIP REGISTRY.jpg
The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) and Panama’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have renewed the Agreement on Maritime Transport between the Government of the Republic of Panama and the Government of the People's Republic of China.

The new agreement came into force 21 July 2021 but in order to avoid interrupting its implementation it was considered that from 17 May 2021 until its entry into force, both parties would continue to benefit from its provisions.

The agreement will be extended to five years, up from three years from the precedent agreement that started 1 July 2018 giving Panama-flagged advantages and vessels lower port costs in China.

In November 2017 in Beijing, Panama and China signed a bi-lateral Agreement on Maritime Transport that included Panama in the list of co-operative nations and promoting the competitiveness of the Ship Registry. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on maritime matters was later signed by China’s Ministry of Transport and the AMP

The renewal of this Agreement represents a series of advantages for Panama-flagged vessels.

  • Appropriate measures to facilitate and expedite maritime transport to avoid unnecessary delays; granting favorable treatment in the collection of tonnage fees based on preferential rates.
  • Promote maritime and port development; full and efficient use of the maritime fleet to meet foreign trade demand.
  • Ensure the safety of navigation and protection of the environment (including the safety of vessels, crews, passengers and cargo).
  • Improve the business relationship and exchange of scientific and technological experiences; and exchange information on international maritime organizations and conventions.
  • Include the protection of the maritime environment, the development of marine resources, the observation of the sea, forecasting and warning of natural disasters and research, development and training on marine maritime issues.
  • Promote the supply of services to Panama-flagged vessels.
  • Increase the demand for maritime transport services for export and industrial production.
  • Maintain close relations that allow free and unimpeded access of Panama-flagged vessels for cargo traffic to and from China.

Panama-flagged vessels will maintain the same uninterrupted port tariffs benefits and preferential treatment in the ports of the People's Republic of China, reaffirming the status of "Most Favoured Nation".