Panama Maritime Authority

The Panama Maritime, an autonomous State agency established through Law Decree No. 7 of February 10th, 1998, linked the maritime competencies which till that date were managed by the National Port Authority, the Directorate General Consular and of Vessels, of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance; The Directorate General of Marine Resources from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, and the Nautical School of Panama from the Ministry of Education. The Panama Maritime Authority is presided by and Administrator appointed by the President of the Republic of Panama, and ratified by the Legislative Assembly, who only then assumes legal representation.


The Panama Maritime has within it’s functions, the following:

To act as the supreme maritime authority of the Republic of Panama, to accomplish the rights and give fulfillment to the responsibilities of the Panamanian State within the framework of the United Nations Agreement over rights of Sea, 1982 and other laws and regulations in force. To manage, promote, regulate, project and assume the strategies, norms, plans and programs that are related to the functioning and developing of the Maritime Sector. To promote, coordinate and assume the National Maritime Strategy. To manage the registry of Panamanian vessels. To promote and coordinate development plans of the national ports system, exploit and operate port services and control those that are not directly operated. To safeguard the national interests on maritime spaces and interior waters. To manage and preserve marine and coastal resources. To observe attentively for the strict fulfillment of treaties, agreements and international instruments pertinent to maritime matters ratified by Panama. To maintain the signs and aids to navigation system updated for the safe passing of vessels through the maritime spaces of Panama. To render fulfillment of norms in force over crew, formation, title documents, and safeguard of seafarers.

The Panamanian maritime sector represents 20% of the Gross Product, and is the fastest growing, within the national economy. The investments achieved through the privatizations and port development, overpasses the amount of one billion dollars, whereas plans continue for expansion, privatization and concessions, surrounding the national ports system over both, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The Panama Maritime Authority, promotes national and international investment, as well as the development of the Transshipment Center, since counting upon the railroad which functions from Panama-Colon-Panama, greater operative efficiency is rendered to the Colon Free Zone.