Panama: Consideraciones En La Creacion De La Ley 50

Last Updated: 2 January 2018
Article by Belisario Porras

¿Por qué la creación de esta ley?

En el mundo marítimo existen ciudades que, en base a sus condiciones geográficas y económicas, son conocidas como centros financieros marítimos internacionales. Ejemplos de tales centros lo son: Nueva York, Londres y Singapur.

  • Panamá goza de una situación geográfica privilegiada en la región y a nivel global;
  • Desde 1970, Panamá se ha convertido en un centro financiero en donde operan diversos bancos de capital local e internacional. En los últimos años el origen del capital de varios de sus miembros ha provenido del sector regional;
  • Panamá mantiene regulaciones flexibles en cuanto a movimiento de capital;
  • Panamá maneja el dólar, moneda preferida en los financiamientos de proyectos sindicados;
  • Panamá tiene la marina mercante más grande del mundo con cerca de 8200 naves registradas bajo su bandera; y
  • Junto con el canal expandido, sus puertos, servicios marítimos auxiliares, zonas francas, Panamá es un hub logístico marítimo de importancia mundial con potencial de constante crecimiento y atracción a entidades financieras que deseen explotar las oportunidades que esta brinda.

¿QUIÉNES PODRAN OFRECER, ESTRUCTURAR Y OTORGAR FINANCIAMIENTO MARITIMO DE ACUERDO CON ESTA NUEVA LEY?

El artículo 3 de la Ley 50, establece que los facultados para realizar operaciones de esta actividad financiera serán:

  1. Los bancos de licencia general, internacional o de representación;
  2. Las empresas que realicen operaciones destinadas a diseñar, estructurar y desarrollar las condiciones financieras del crédito marítimo y sus garantías y obtengan la correspondiente autorización y reconocimiento;
  3. Las empresas financieras reguladas por la Ley 42 de 2001;
  4. Las arrendadoras financieras reguladas por la Ley 7 de 1990;
  5. Las entidades de financiamiento marítimo; y
  6. Los consorcios o "Joint Ventures" entre el Estado panameño con entidades particulares.

¿QUIÉNES SERÁN LOS REGULADORES DE LA ACTIVIDAD?

El Capítulo VIII, artículos 18 al 20 de la Ley 50, establecen que las operaciones de esta nueva actividad serán regidas por una entidad gubernamental llamada Consejo Certificador y Supervisor de Entidades de Financiamiento Marítimo.

Se provee que el consejo estará compuesto por miembros representantes de:

  • la Autoridad del Canal de Panamá (ACP)
  • la Autoridad Marítima de Panamá (AMP)
  • el Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas (MEF)
  • el Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias (MICI)
  • el Ministerio de Trabajo (MITRADEL)
  • el Servicio Nacional de Migración (SNM); y
  • el Consejo de Coordinación Financiera

Cada miembro representante será nombrado por un periodo de 5 años que concurrirá con el periodo presidencial, y podrán ser re-elegidos a periodos adicionales.

DE LOS PROYECTOS Y SUS TRAMITES

Para obtener los beneficios establecidos en la Ley 50, las personas o entidades que deseen dedicarse al negocio de financiamiento marítimo deberán obtener una certificación como entidad de financiamiento marítimo mediante las autoridades correspondientes.

Igualmente, los proyectos marítimos que deseen acogerse a los beneficios establecidos en la Ley 50, deberán obtener una certificación que los denomine como "Proyecto Marítimo Financiable" por parte de las autoridades correspondientes, según sea el caso.

El artículo 2 de la Ley 50 define como Proyecto Marítimo Financiable, los siguientes:

  1. Construcción de naves;
  2. Construcción de astilleros y habilitación de otros locales, talleres o patios para construcción de naves;
    c) Construcción y reparación de contenedores que sean utilizados para el comercio exterior; y
    d) Construcción de "Sea Wind Farms" o parques eólicos marinos.

Los trámites para las certificaciones se realizarán a través de una Ventanilla Única Marítima, que vendrá siendo un departamento de la Dirección General de Registro Público de Propiedad de Naves de la Autoridad Marítima de Panamá.

La Ley 50 dispone que aquellas entidades públicas que han de tener funciones compartidas con la Autoridad Marítima de Panamá para el desarrollo de la mencionada Ventanilla Única Marítima deberán celebrar acuerdos inter institucionales para precisar funciones y designar funcionarios, dentro de los 90 días calendarios siguientes a la promulgación de la Ley 50 y que tales acuerdos serán aprobados mediante Decreto Ejecutivo.

TIPOS DE INCENTIVOS

  1. INCENTIVOS FISCALES

La Ley 50 otorga ciertos incentivos fiscales a través de reformas efectuadas a artículos del Código Fiscal de la República de Panamá y leyes especiales de la República de Panamá como lo son la Ley 7 de 1990 de Arrendamiento Financiero.

Tales modificaciones están establecidas en el Capítulo IX de "Disposiciones Adicionales" las cuales podemos mencionar entre otras las siguientes:

  • El literal e) del artículo 708 se modifica al tenor que adicional a las rentas provenientes del comercio marítimo internacional de naves mercantes nacionales inscritas en Panamá, no causarán igualmente el impuesto sobre la renta, las rentas provenientes del financiamiento para la construcción y compra de naves que formen parte de la Marina Mercante Nacional y que se encuentren debidamente inscritas.
  • Se adiciona de igual manera un párrafo al artículo 708 el cual establece una exoneración al impuesto sobre la renta a:
    • Las rentas de empresas que establezcan sus operaciones en la República de Panamá, con la finalidad de crear astilleros de construcción a barcos comerciales, yates, buques militares y otros tipos de barcos para transporte de mercancía o pasajeros y/o empresas dedicadas a proyectos marítimos financiables.
    • Las rentas de los ingresos provenientes de intereses y comisiones que devenguen los bancos y/o entidades de financiamiento marítimo por el otorgamiento de una hipoteca naval.
    • Las rentas de los ingresos provenientes de seguros y reaseguros que aseguren créditos de entidades de financiamiento marítimo debidamente certificadas y/o de proyectos marítimos financiables
  • Adicionalmente, como parte de los incentivos fiscales, la Ley 50 provee lo siguiente:
    • Su artículo 24 modifica el artículo 23 de la Ley 7 de 1990 el cual regula el contrato de arrendamiento financiero de bienes, estableciendo que los contratos de alquiler provenientes de los arrendamientos financieros o "leasings", debidamente inscritos de las naves mercantes dedicadas al comercio marítimo internacional, no causarán el impuesto sobre la renta en la República de Panamá.
    • Su artículo. 6 establece el impuesto de importación y demás tasas en un 3% por la introducción al país de maquinarias, equipos marinos, industrias rodantes, materiales, herramientas y otros elementos necesarios para la construcción de naves o el uso exclusivo de los astilleros.
  • Por último, el artículo 28 de la Ley 50 provee que las exoneraciones e incentivos fiscales otorgados, y establecidas en el literal e) y el párrafo final del artículo 708 del Código Fiscal y el artículo 23 de la Ley 7 de 1990, tendrán un periodo de duración de 20 años a partir de la entrada en vigencia de la Ley.
  1. INCENTIVOS MIGRATORIOS Y LABORALES

Los Capítulos IV y V de la Ley 50 regulan los incentivos migratorios y laborales.

Entre otros se establece lo siguiente:

  • La creación de un permiso migratorio y un permiso de trabajo de trabajador extranjero para entidades de financiamiento marítimo o proyectos marítimos financiables;
  • El permiso migratorio conllevará el permiso de entrada y salida múltiple del país;
  • Los permisos migratorios se otorgarán dentro de los rangos del 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% y trabajadores de confianza, así como en empresas donde laboren menos de diez personas, por un máximo de hasta cinco años; y
  • Los permisos laborales serán otorgados por el término de un año prorrogable hasta por un máximo de cinco años.

CONCLUSIONES

  • La nueva ley ha sido creada para poder aprovechar las ventajas geográficas, logísticas y económicas de la República de Panamá con efectos de potenciar nuestro centro financiero y crear un nuevo polo de desarrollo económico para el país;
  • La nueva ley en base a los incentivos que ofrece y bajo trámites expeditos y centralizados a través de una caja única, busca el atraer inversión al sector marítimo y logístico a través de las entidades financieras y bancarias tanto locales como extranjeras; y
  • La meta final de la ley es convertir a Panamá en un centro financiero marítimo internacional enfocándose primero a corto plazo en el mercado regional para luego pasar a mediano plazo al mercado.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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