DECISION OF THE PANAMANIAN SUPREME COURT OF JUSTICE SUPPORTS THE USE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN THE PROCESS OF REGISTERING SHIPS.

A decision of the Supreme Court of Justice establishes that the registering of mortgages, in English language, with the Public Registry of Ships of the Panama Maritime Authority does not contravene the Panamanian Constitution.

Although the decision of the Panama Maritime Authority of giving its customers the possibility of accomplishing the Registration of Ship Mortgages in English is a milestone in the history of the Panamanian Registry, it has brought an action challenging its constitutionality, with regard to the article 251-A of the Panamanian Constitution.

However, eight Magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice stated that this decision was in accordance with the Panamanian Constitution, while one Magistrate refrained from casting his vote.

The decision rests upon the use of the clause “it will be possible.” The decision, thus, does not disregard Spanish as Panama’s official language. Quite the opposite, it gives the customer a language option when registering the contracts of the property titles and encumbrances. It becomes increasingly clear if we take into account the fact that, the customer must attach an excerpt of the fundamental parts of the contract, in Spanish, to the original contract in English.

It is worth stressing that the registering in English of deeds of Ship Mortgages strengthens the Panamanian Registry as the ship registry with the highest standards of efficiency and reliability. The adoption of this procedure gives a boost to our competitiveness and enhances our global presence as leader country in registering of ships.

The advantages for the Panama Maritime Authority reside in the fact that the banks that give the loans can instantly check the deeds of ship mortgages in the Website of the Panama Maritime Authority, which, in turn, builds confidence, increases the safety and the immediacy of the Panamanian system of registering ships.