ADMINISTRATIVE LAW


Insurance, Reinsurance and Captive Insurance

The Republic of Panama has one of the most active and diversified insurance sectors in the region. Insurance, reinsurance and captive insurance are regulated services and offer significant tax advantages and position our country as a center with the highest potential for captive settlement throughout Latin America.

Under the legislation enacted in 1996 on insurance, reinsurance and captive insurance companies, substantial reforms were introduced in this sector. Law 12 came into force in 2012 to update the prior insurance law .

Patton, Moreno & Asvat provides legal advice for each type of client in this sector, whether insurance company, reinsurer, intermediaries, financial institutions or government, in all regulatory, contractual and claims matters.

 

Contact

Nadya Price - nprice@pmalawyers.com
Khatiya Asvat - kasvat@pmalawyers.com

Public Bidding

Our Public Contracting specialists have advised on several of the most relevant government privatization and contracting projects in the Republic of Panama. The laws regulating public procurement in Panama were reformed in 2006 and are still subject to review in order to modernize and reduce bureaucracy in their procedures.

The regulation of investment in infrastructure and public works has been the legal framework of major highway projects, bridges and port development, multimodal logistics and transportation centers, among others.

The Fourth Bridge over the Panama Canal, Line 3 of the Metro of Panama and other similar projects to be develop, provide significant potential to attract foreign direct investment to our country.

 

Contact

Nadya Price - nprice@pmalawyers.com
Khatiya Asvat - kasvat@pmalawyers.com

Telecommunications

Panama has become a telecommunications hub for the Americas, which has not yet reached its full potential. All of the main fiber optic submarine cables pass through our Isthmus, and substantial investments in recent years in the area of call centers and telecommunications providers demonstrate that Panama’s strategic advantages have attracted important international players, such as Dell, Spherion, Global Crossing, Nortel, among others.

The telecommunications industry has generated, in the period from 2013 to 2015, an average gross revenue of US $ 1 trillion per year, directly. Telecommunication services are authorized by the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) to be commercially exploited or for their own purposes, by 2016 more than 1,346 concessions were granted. Our attorneys have been advisers on a significant number of these and on derivative actions for their operations.

The basic telecommunications sector in Panama was deregulated as of January 2, 2003. The services open to competition are the following:

  • 101 LOCAL BASIC TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE
  • 102 NATIONAL BASIC TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE
  • 103 INTERNATIONAL BASIC TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE
  • 104 SERVICE OF PUBLIC AND SEMI-PUBLIC TERMINALS
  • 200 TELECOMMUNICATIONS TRANSPORTATION SERVICE
  • 201 SERVICE OF CONVENTIONAL TRONCAL SYSTEMS FOR PUBLIC OR PRIVATE USE
  • 202 FIXED AND MOBILE RADIOCOMMUNICATION SERVICE
  • 210 PERSONAL SEARCH SERVICE
  • 211 INTERNET SERVICE FOR PUBLIC USE
  • 212 FACSIMILE RETRANSMISSION SERVICE
  • 213 MARITIME MOBILE COMMUNICATION SERVICE
  • 214 AERONAUTICAL MOBILE COMMUNICATION SERVICE
  • 217 BAJA ÓRBITA SATELLITE TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE
  • 218 LINK AND / OR TRANSPORTATION SERVICE FOR BROADCASTING OR TELEVISION STATIONS
  • 221 SERVICE OF PERMANENT OR OCCASIONAL TRANSMISSIONS OF RADIO OR TELEVISION SATELLITE.
  • 222 SATELLITE MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE IN FIXED ORBITAL POSITION
  • 223 CENTERS OF CALL CENTERS FOR COMMERCIAL USE
  • 300 INTERACTIVE TELEVISION SERVICE WITH OR WITHOUT USING THE RADIO SPECTRUM
  • 400 AGGREGATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS VALUE SERVICE
  • 500 TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES RESELLING SERVICE

 

Contact

Nadya Price - nprice@pmalawyers.com
Khatiya Asvat - kasvat@pmalawyers.com

Energy

In 1996, the Republic of Panama began to restructure the electrical sector, through the enactment of laws and regulations to promote the development of competition in its activities. The only regulated activities are those, which by their very nature, cannot sustain competition and are open to monopolistic practices. The law contemplates the state's intervention only in cases of abuses of a dominant position.

Patton, Moreno & Asvat provides advice in the following aspects, but not limited to:

  • General legal advice on energy laws and regulations
  • Concession regimes for the construction, operation, transmission and distribution of energy
  • Legal advisory on regulatory matters before the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP).
  • Legal advice on licensing agreements and operations and purchase of energy
  • Mergers and Acquisitions of energy companies
  • Government Contracting
  • Financing and joint venture contracts for energy projects

 

 

Contact

Nadya Price - nprice@pmalawyers.com
Khatiya Asvat - kasvat@pmalawyers.com
Fernando Aued - faued@pmalawyers.com

Hydrocarbons and Gas

The Panama Canal and our geographic position of the Republic of Panama is, in most of the cases, an obligatory stop for most of the international service vessels. This offers a great advantage to companies interested in participating in the hydrocarbon market, as much local as internationally.

In this sense, our country counts with eleven (11) Free Zones of Petroleum with a capacity of storage of approximately 30.7 million barrels. In these Zones, as much the nationals as the foreigners, naturals or companies, can import, process, refine, store, trade, sell, provide, export, re-export and conduct oil operations of any kind. All this duty free, whenever you export or sell to vessels that are users of the Panama Canal or the aircrafts users of the Tocumen International Airport or any other international airport.

We count in addition, with a Pipe line of 131 kilometers in length and transfers crude petroleum from the Pacific to the Atlantic. This Pipe line has a capacity of pumping of 800.000 barrels per day and 2,5 million barrels of storage in each one of its terminals, the Pacific (“Charco Azul”) and in the Atlantic (“Chiriquí Grande”).

Additionally, we offer a series of harbor facilities through the international ports located in Balboa, Roadman, Cristóbal, Charco Azul, Chiriquí Grande and Bahía Las Minas, which are equipped and with storage infrastructures, pumping, mixes and hydrocarbon transfer, among others.

In this sense, the regulatory frame of the Panamanian hydrocarbon market is it the Decree No.36 of 2003, which establishes a series of obligatory requirements in order to obtain the required concessions, permissions or registries to participate in local and international hydrocarbon market.

Between services that we rendered in this area are the followings:

  1. Obtaining petroleum free zone concessions.
  2. Obtaining of required permits necessary in order to execute the activities related to import, export, storage, sale, distribution, inspection, analysis and transfer, among others, of petroleum derived products.
  3. Registry of companies in the General Directorate of Hydrocarbons of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Panama.

 

Contact

Nadya Price - nprice@pmalawyers.com
Khatiya Asvat - kasvat@pmalawyers.com

Tax Law

With the purpose of keeping our clients duly informed and updated with regards to taxation matters, aware of the constant changes in this type of legislation, and the importance for national and international corporations to consider those changes in their financial operations, our lawyers keep up to date with the laws, rulings, administrative and judicial decisions governing this branch of the law, as well as with the different amendment that may arise.

We offer specialized counseling in the structuring of the activities of the corporation in order to take advantage of special incentives, benefits, exonerations and other mechanisms that allow a reduction in the tax impact over their activities.

We provide legal advice to our clients regarding:

  • Planning the tax impact in present and future activities.
  • Structuring the business to benefit from the most efficient tax treatment, in coordination with the company’s auditors and other advisors.
  • Representation before the administrative tax authorities in all types of matters related to their activities.
  • Representation of their interests regarding legislative proposals that may affect their activities.
  • Assistance in the recognition of special tributary regimes that may benefit them.

 

 

Contact

Ebrahim Asvat K. - easvat@pmalawyers.com
María de Lourdes Marengo - mmarengo@pmalawyers.com
Khatiya Asvat - kasvat@pmalawyers.com

Trusts

Since 1984 Panama has a law that regulates trust and grants the Superintendent of Banks the faculty and the obligation to supervise and audit the activity.

Panama’s objective at regulating the fiduciary activity is to facilitate the use of the jurisdiction in an orderly and organized manner, but always thinking of the convenience of the customer. That being the case, the law states the total exoneration of taxes regarding the formation, modification or termination of the trust, as well as the transfer of the assets placed in trust, including the proceeds of the same or any act regarding the same, as long as the income produced by those assets are not a Panamanian source.

 

Contact

Ebrahim Asvat - easvat@pmalawyers.com

Private Interest Foundation

Panama created the Private Interest Foundation ("PIF") in 1995 taking characteristics from our corporations and merging them with elements from the European and Common Law Trusts.

FIPs are modern and flexible and at the same time their creation and maintenance big virtues in comparison to their cousins from the old continent. This makes them more attractive to those looking to protect their patrimony in an organized manner.

There are several advantages to FIPs, such as:

  • Offer a fiduciary structure for organized transfers and the disposition of assets to beneficiaries after death of the Founder, basically replacing a testament, avoiding a probate process;
  • The laws of inheritance applicable to the Founder and the beneficiaries do not affect the assets of the Foundation, nor do the laws affect the validity or execution of the main objectives of the Foundation;
  • They may from time to time perform commercial actives, exercise rights relative to its securities and possess property and other obligations.
  • The assets of the Foundation are considered legally independent and do not form part of the patrimony of the Founder. Said assets cannot be attached and may not be subject to any action or preventive means, with except under certain circumstances.
  • The transfer of property, titles, deposit certificates, assets, funds, securities or shares undertaken in order to comply with the objectives of the Foundation, or its termination, in favor of relatives in the first degree or the spouse of the Founder are also exempted from all taxes.

With all these advantages, the flexibility in the structure and the legal certainty that regulates them, they are among the best instruments for asset protection.

 

 

Contact

María de Lourdes Marengo - mmarengo@pmalawyers.com

Immigration

Panama is being considered as one of the best places for living, why not, “the best way of living”, there is no doubt that Panama has all the advantages for being between the first places in the list of preferences for the investors, retired and pensioned and for all who had decided to choose the way of life that our country has to offer.

In Panama, the legal migratory status is obtained by a process with the Ministry of Government and Justice and its National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization. The obtainment of the legal migratory status has to be done by a lawyer.

For those who have decided to live in Panama, there are a great range of visas that any foreigner can apply, such as:

  • Retiree Visa
  • Pensioned Tourist Visa
  • Self Economic Solvency Visa
  • Small Business Investor Visa
  • Temporary Visa in agreement with the City of Knowledge
  • Temporary Visa for students
  • Visa by virtue of a Resolution of the Ministry of Labor, and Work Permit

 

Patton, Moreno & Asvatis vastly experienced in Immigration Law and recognizes the importance of this area of practice to the success of international clients setting operations in Panama.
In addition to the above mentioned visas, Patton, Moreno & Asvat, offers other immigration services such as:

  • Authorized Visas for countries of restricted nationality
  • Multiple Return Visa
  • Frequent Flyer Visa (non resident)
  • Work Permits
  • Other related immigration services

 

Contact

Khatiya Asvat - kasvat@pmalawyers.com