CHENNAI: A small country of about three million, Panama has the largest shipping fleet with 8600 ships ahead of global power like the US and China. Apart from the Panama Canal, Panama offers other benefits for countries that wish to register their ships here.
Open registry: Registering ships under the Panamanian flags is easy, often done online. Another feature is the dual citizenship registration, which allows ships under the Panama flag to be also registered in another country.
Cutting Corners: According to PMA certification, a Panamanian registration company, owners who wish to transfer their registered ships to Panama may not need it to get it resurveyed for safety if they have the mandatory (tonnage and safety) certificates at the time of registration in Panama.
Shadow owners: According to PMA certification, "Any person, or company, regardless of nationality and place of corporation is eligible register ships under the Panamanian flag." When you register a ship in Panama, you are automatically eligible Panamanian corporation registration. Thus it provides owners protection of the vessel while offering them the advantage of anonymity.