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Old 17-07-2012, 07:19   #1
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Panama Outboard Boat Licences

Ok, so on the Net here in Bocas del Toro we have been discussing a new licence/user fee. Everyone who drives a boat with an outboard motor in Panamanian waters has to get a licence. The cost, if you get one in the next couple months $160, and if you wait something like $280. It last for 3 years. Locals are being charged $18......

So I think people will just start avoiding it, getting fines (if it is enforced), and leaving the country without paying them.....

Not a well thought out issue.

Any more info out there on this, any thoughts?
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Old 17-07-2012, 08:24   #2
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

Where did you see/hear about this? This is news to us and everyone around us right now.

Mark
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Old 17-07-2012, 08:25   #3
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

we had the port captain on the vhf net this morning responding to questions..... people are not happy
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Old 17-07-2012, 08:49   #4
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

yachty tax! either pay it or get a rowing dinghy..........
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Old 17-07-2012, 09:28   #5
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

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Originally Posted by youmeandthed View Post
we had the port captain on the vhf net this morning responding to questions..... people are not happy
Is this a local Bocas thing? We just (yesterday) visited the port captain in Porvenier, San Blas and he didn't mention anything about this. Likewise, several boats have arrived here in the past 2 days from Portobello and Colon and they were not told about it either in Portobello, Colon or in Porvenier.

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Old 17-07-2012, 11:14   #6
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Is this a local Bocas thing? We just (yesterday) visited the port captain in Porvenier, San Blas and he didn't mention anything about this. Likewise, several boats have arrived here in the past 2 days from Portobello and Colon and they were not told about it either in Portobello, Colon or in Porvenier.

Mark
According to the port captain this morning, it is a nationwide thing, but being rolled out in this area first (don't know that I believe it). Apparently mainland officials are here next week to do the licensing. Rumor is that one has to take a class (in spanish) to get the license! According to the port captain (who I think was just the messager), it does not matter if you hold another license (such as a USCG Masters), you still have to get a Panamanian license to drive a boat with an outboard.

This comes after they started trying to collect $12 a month from each boat for utilization of the shoreside trash containers. This is all just another tax on us boaters.
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Old 17-07-2012, 11:30   #7
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

Are they charging boats in transit also?
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Old 17-07-2012, 11:36   #8
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

Another thing to add, the license fee is for the person, not the boat, so every person that drives the dinghy has to have a license. Since my wife takes the dinghy out, that means for us it would be $320.

The local authorities here in Bocas are also having fun giving out $50 tickets to everyone that is not wearing a life jacket in their dinghy.....
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Old 17-07-2012, 11:42   #9
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

Keep the motor aboard, and row or sail if ya can !! we can do all 3 in our dink! LOL always knew I get one up on the RIB guys LOL Sounds like another real money maker for panama LOL just another dumb rule to circumvent!! I wonder if I have to speak spanish to row ??
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Old 17-07-2012, 12:06   #10
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

Get one of the electric torqueedos, and a Mirage Drive fitting from Hobie, and make an inboard dinghy?
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Old 17-07-2012, 12:29   #11
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

I wonder if they can make people actually pay. If this gets out of hand, people will stop coming here and only the rich will be able to afford it, then the locals will think they are really poor, and the cycle will get worse.

Honestly Panama is beautiful, but it is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to bureaucracy and hitting cruisers with dumb taxes and fees. Plus if they want to justify it as worth the money they need to keep it a bit safer.
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Old 17-07-2012, 12:38   #12
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

I wonder what they have in mind for the revenues, Do you think they will purchase a police boat and hire more policemen? They already have waterfront dock.
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Old 17-07-2012, 13:03   #13
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

We are in Panama City... As you know a very large cruiser anchorge with a lot of dinghies...

We have have heard nothing about a Panamanian Boat License requirment either on the net or from the Port Captain, who office I was in last Thursday when I checked in.

Sounds like your Port Captain is mis-interpreting rules or the goverment is keeping this a secret!
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Old 17-07-2012, 13:07   #14
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanssouci View Post
Are they charging boats in transit also?
The in transit thing apparently is the big change, as well as the amount. But yes, specifically it applies to in transit we are being told.
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Old 17-07-2012, 13:16   #15
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Re: Panama Outboard Boat Licences

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We are in Panama City... As you know a very large cruiser anchorge with a lot of dinghies...

We have have heard nothing about a Panamanian Boat License requirment either on the net or from the Port Captain, who office I was in last Thursday when I checked in.

Sounds like your Port Captain is mis-interpreting rules or the goverment is keeping this a secret!
Don't know... he may have been mis-interpreting, although I will have to admit he was very clear that his superiors told him exactly what to say. There is a representative group of us that are trying to setup a meeting with his superiors when then arrive on Monday to start enforcing this. We are asking for them to show us the official law that states the requirements. There is currently a boat license requirement for vessels doing trade, or non-transient vessels, so the change appears to be for the transient ones. He did say that this was initially being rolled out in Almirante and now Bocas, and eventually in other areas. More news later.
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