Panama Flag 3D Rendering on Blue Sky Building Background

Panama removed from the FATF gray list

Panama removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray list


In a momentous announcement, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) excluded Panama from its gray list, following a process initiated in 2019. This decision represents an important milestone for the country, which has demonstrated its commitment to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The FATF gray list is a supervisory mechanism for countries that do not comply with international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing. Panama’s inclusion on this list in 2019 raised concerns about the transparency of the country’s financial system.

In recent years, Panama has taken significant steps to address these concerns. These measures include:

  • Updating the National Risk Assessment, which includes a more comprehensive assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the country.
  • Increasing staff and resources for the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF), which is responsible for investigating money laundering and terrorist financing cases.
  • The implementation of a risk-based supervision plan for regulated entities, which are individuals and entities that are required to comply with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws.
  • The adoption of a lower threshold for domestic tax evasion, demonstrating that the country is committed to international cooperation.
  • The AML/CFT (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) regulation was modified, increasing the penalties for non-compliance up to 5 million balboas (Law 254 of 2021).
  • The Single Registry of Beneficial Owners (RUBF) was adopted by means of Law 129 of 2020, which currently has an advance of 82% of the information population and the verification of the corresponding information is also being implemented.
  • In conjunction with these actions, the following AML/CFT laws have been enacted since 2019: 70, 116 and 123 of 2019; 124 and 129 of 2020; and 254 of 2021. In addition, the issuance and publication of the Executive Decrees enacted from 2019 to date: 905 of 2019, 721 of 2020 and 13,15 and 35 of 2022.

The exclusion of Panama from the gray list is a recognition of the progress that the country has made in terms of transparency. This decision will have a positive impact on the Panamanian economy by facilitating foreign investment, improving access to credit and strengthening international relations.


Benefits for Panama

The exclusion of Panama from the FATF gray list will have the following benefits for the country:

  • Improved international image: The exclusion of Panama from the gray list will strengthen the country’s image internationally, as a country committed to transparency and the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Increased foreign investment: The exclusion of Panama from the gray list will facilitate foreign investment, which will boost the country’s economic growth.
  • Improved access to credit: Panama’s exclusion from the gray list will facilitate access to credit for companies and individuals, which will support investment and economic growth.
  • Improved correspondent banking and international relations: It will lead to a significant improvement in relations between Panama’s local banks and their international correspondents. The basic links necessary for financial operations will be strengthened.
  • Reduced pressure on the financial system: With the elimination of the pressure associated with special reviews, Panama’s financial system can operate more effectively and with greater confidence.
  • Benefits for the insurance and securities industry: The removal of Panama from the gray list will attract the world’s leading reinsurers, which will be able to establish themselves in Panama and serve the Latin American market.

Panama’s exclusion from the FATF gray list is an important achievement for the country. This recognition is the result of the joint work of the Panamanian authorities, the private sector and the international community.


Source: Press release from the Presidency of the Republic of Panama

Panama Flag 3D Rendering on Blue Sky Building Background

Panama | New Moratorium Law

Law 401 of 2023 – Official Gazette of Monday, October 9, 2023

This Law creates transitory measures for tax recovery and a special transitory treatment of abbreviated control, management and tax debt.


Taxes - IgraA. Ex Officio Prescription of debts from 2015 or previous years:

Within the transitory measures of tax recovery, Law 401 establishes that the debts for tax obligations of administration of the General Directorate of Revenue (from now on DGI) that are reflected in the current account of the taxpayer corresponding to fiscal years of 2015 or previous years concerning:

  • Income Tax
  • Educational Insurance
  • Notice of Operation


Excluded from this benefit are:

  1. Withholding agents
  2. Debts caused by rulings issued by competent authority.
  3. Zero or loss returns filed by taxpayers in 2016 concerning the 2015 tax year.


Requirements to benefit from the ex officio statute of limitations:

  • Be up to date with the obligations for the years 2016 and subsequent years.
  • Not being subject to investigation for tax evasion or tax fraud.
  • Not being subject to an ongoing tax audit process or being appealed in any instance.


The DGI will verify each month the list of taxpayers susceptible to benefit from the application process for the ex officio statute of limitations. After this verification, within a term no longer than 5 working days, the DGI will send an e-mail to each taxpayer certifying the amount that can be ex officio prescribed. It will be necessary to keep the e-mail address registered in the DGI’s e-tax system up to date.

The DGI may ex officio decree a statute of limitations on debts that maintain appeals in an administrative (e.g. DGI) or jurisdictional (e.g. courts) venue. Such appeals will be declared non-existent because the tax obligation has been extinguished.


B. Transitory Procedure of Abbreviated Audit:

This procedure consists of obviating, on the part of the Tax Administration, the phase of discussion of the adjustments in an audit process and directly incorporating the technical evaluation.


This abbreviated audit will be carried out with respect to the following taxes:

  1. Income Tax
  2. Educational Insurance
  3. Notice of Operation
  4. ITBMS


Important details:

  • Tax audits for alleged tax fraud or evasion are excluded.
  • A request for an abbreviated audit procedure must be formalized before the DGI.
  • The request must be accompanied by a CPA certification stating the preliminary verification of full compliance by the taxpayer.
  • The DGI must accept or reject the request within a maximum of 60 calendar days and in no case shall the omission of a response represent positive administrative silence.
  • All resolutions will be sent to the taxpayer’s RUC e-mail address.
  • The resolution resulting from the abbreviated audit will contain the reasoned relation of the audit tests carried out in relation to the control of contingent risks involved in the taxpayer’s business model.
  • After notification of the resolution, the taxpayer has a term of no more than 30 calendar days to pay the tax.


C. Benefits of the Tax Regularization:

  1. 25% discount is granted to all taxpayers who pay the total real estate tax corresponding to fiscal period 2024, before November 30, 2023.
  2. A 25% discount is granted to all taxpayers who pay the single rate corresponding to the 2025 tax period, before November 30, 2023.
  3. The remission of 50% of all fines charged or not in the e-tax of taxpayers who, before November 30, 2023, pay the remaining 50% of the fines is authorized.
  4. The penalties applied to the 2022 period to taxpayers on the filing of the Form 03 Return and Sales Form will be completely exonerated. If the taxpayer paid such fine, a non-transferable credit will be generated and it will only be offset with the debt of the same tax.
  5. Interest and surcharges are eliminated for all taxpayers who pay 100% of the delinquent taxes, fees and contributions that are in the administrative or coercive collection phase and 50% of the fines on these taxes, fees and contributions, before November 30, 2023.


For further information please contact Nancy Ardines at or Nicole Fernández at

Firm Logo (3)

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán ranked by Chambers Latin America 2024

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán recognized by Chambers Latin America 2024


Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán has been recognized by Chambers Latin America 2024, which ranks the best lawyers and law firms in the region.

The firm has been highlighted in the areas of Intellectual Property as Band 2 and Banking & Finance in Band 3. The publication also ranked the following lawyers:

  1. Gabriela Tejada de Britton – Intellectual Property – Band 1
  2. Gabriel González-Ruiz
    1. Banking & Finance – Band 2
    2. Capital Markets – Band 3
  3. Marisol Ellis – Dispute Resolution – Band 4
  4. Alfredo Fonseca Zauner – Banking & Finance – Up and Coming

We thank our clients, who have allowed us to obtain this recognition and motivate us to continue to provide them with the highest quality of service.

Chambers HNW 2023

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán ranked in Chambers High Net Worth 2023

Icaza’s Private Wealth practice recognized by Chambers High Net Worth 2023


Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán has been recognized by the prestigious publication Chambers High Net Worth 2023, which ranks the best lawyers and firms advising high-net-worth clients worldwide.


The firm has been highlighted among the best law firms in Private Wealth in Panama. In addition, our associate Domingo Díaz de la Guardia has been ranked as an “Associate to watch” for his outstanding work the area.


We thank our clients for this recognition, as they motivate us to continue working with the highest quality and excellence, and our staff for providing the best service to our clients.


Panama Flag 3D Rendering on Blue Sky Building Background

Temporary Protection Permit in Panama

Executive Decree No. 112 of July 13, 2023 creates the Temporary Protection Permit


By means of this Decree, the temporary protection permit is created to which all foreigners can apply, regardless of nationality, who, at the entry into force of this Decree, are irregular within the national territory and have remained in the country for not less than one year, without having started an immigration process, as a temporary protection immigration status in Panama.


Interested parties must meet the following requirements:
1. Power and request;
2. Two (2) passport-size photos;
3. Complete the Single Immigration Pre-Registration (RUEX) or update it according to each case;
4. Not having a current immigration procedure before the National Immigration Service;
5. Simple copy of the passport, which must be checked against the original at the time of presentation;
6. Proof of the applicant’s address;
7. Criminal Record Certification that, in the case of minor applicants, will be exempted from presenting this requirement. The presentation of the Criminal and Police Background Record issued by the Judicial Investigation Directorate of the National Police of Panama (DIJ) will be acceptable.
8. Sworn Notarial Declaration to prove the date of entry into the national territory, if applicable;
9. Evidence of work permit processing carried out before the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development;
10. If the foreign applicant is a minor, a power of attorney must be granted by one of her parents or her legal guardian, accompanied by the document proving the relationship.


After receiving the documents, the National Immigration Service will verify the legitimacy of each requirement, and if it finds inconsistencies, it will generate the appropriate criminal and administrative consequences for the applicant or whoever is responsible for them.


Additionally, the applicant may be subjected to an interview or evaluation by the National Immigration Service to determine whether or not the respective permit is granted.


The costs related to this procedure are the following:
1. Certified or cashier’s check from the National Bank of Panama, in favor of the National Immigration Service for US$500.00 for immigration services. For minors, US$250.00. This payment is unique and total for immigration services and other obligations that the foreign person may maintain, which applies to this temporary permit;
2. Payment for US$100.00 for a valid card to travel for the requested permit;
3. Certified or Cashier’s Check of the National Bank of Panama, in favour of the National Immigration Service, for US$200.00, non-refundable, as a contribution to the Repatriation Deposit. Foreigners under twelve years old will be exempt from this payment;
4. Certified or Cashier’s Check from the National Bank of Panama in favor of the National Treasury for US$150.00, as a contribution for tax obligations.


The Temporary Protection Permit will be granted for a single period of two years, non-extendable, individually for each applicant; therefore, it will not admit dependents, so that the benefited persons can reside in the territory of the Republic of Panama, during that period, in compliance with tax, social security, health and legal obligations in general, that their activity demands.


Before the expiration of the term of the granted permit, the beneficiaries must make a change of status to some of the immigration categories regulated under Decree Law 3 of February 22, 2008 and its regulations.


The Temporary Protection Permit may be requested from July 17, 2023 to July 19, 2024.


Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán ranked in IP Stars 2023

Icaza’s Intellectual Property department ranked in IP Stars 2023


Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán’s Intellectual Property department has been ranked as a Tier 1 firm in IP Stars by Managing IP in its 2023 ranking.

Our partner Gabriela Tejada de Britton was also ranked by the publication as a Trade mark star.

Access the publication by clicking on the following link: Rankings

About IP Stars

IP Stars is the leading specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide. Managing IP’s legal directory started in 1994 but was rebranded in 2013 as IP STARS. The research for IP STARS covers a variety of IP practice areas and more than 70 jurisdictions, making it the most comprehensive and widely respected IP guide in the legal profession.

Entrada de perros a Panama 4

New requirements and procedures to travel with dogs to Panama

Get to know the new requirements to travel with dogs to Panama.

By: Ayleen Quintero

Traveling with a pet usually becomes a significant issue for an animal-loving person. Recently, the Ministry of Agricultural Development of Panama, through the National Directorate of Animal Health, issued Resolution No. ADM-DSA-073-2023 of May 17, 2023, through which the Animal Health Requirements and Procedures for the entry of dogs into the national territory are established.


Among the requirements, we must mention the following:

  • Before entering Panama, the canine must be covered by an Export Animal Health Certificate, issued by the Health Authority of the exporting country, which states a series of health and immunization (Rabies, Distemper, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis) conditions of the canine prior to the flight. 
  • Upon arrival, you must request the Animal Health Import License issued by the Executive Directorate of Agricultural Quarantine (DECA), fill out the respective forms, and pay the fees established by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agricultural Development. These fees total $155.00. 
  • The dogs will also be inspected at the Airport by the Official Veterinarian of the Executive Directorate of Agricultural Quarantine of the Ministry of Agricultural Development.
  • Once all of the above has been fulfilled, the canine may leave with its owner or authorized person to the place where it will maintain home quarantine.


It is important to note that these requirements will also apply to emotional support or special training dogs and that the only item that the owners can bring along with the pet is its portion of food for the day of arrival. It will not be possible to travel with beds or additional pet items.


Our firm’s Immigration department now provides assistance related to these procedures so that the arrival of your pet is one less issue to worry about. Click here to contact us for more information.


For information on entry of pets in general to Panama, read our article Travelling with Pets to Panama.


Cocktail in Medellin: Panama, the best options for Residence and Investment

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán presented the best options for Residency and Investment in Panama.

Our associate Ayleen Quintero, specialist in Immigration and Real Estate Law participated in the Cocktail: Panama, the best options for Residency and Investment, held in Medellin, Colombia, where she presented the benefits of the Residency Programs in Panama together with real estate company Pacific Hills, who presented the best real estate options and the areas of highest return in the country.


View pictures from the cocktail in the gallery below.


Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán names Alfredo Fonseca Zauner its newest partner

Alfredo Fonseca Zauner – New partner of Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán


Alfredo FonsecaIcaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán is pleased to announce the appointment of Alfredo Fonseca Zauner as a new partner of the firm.


Our new partner has fifteen years of experience and specializes in the areas of Banking and Finance, Energy and Infrastructure.


He obtained his undergraduate degree in Law and Political Science from Universidad Santa María La Antigua and later obtained a Master of Laws degree from King’s College London (London, United Kingdom). He continued his studies with a Master in Business Administration (International MBA) from IE Business School (Madrid, Spain) and a Specialization in Electricity and Gas Regulation from Universidad Externado de Colombia (Bogotá, Colombia).


He is currently a member of the Panama Bar Association and the American Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Panama (AMCHAM), where he participates in the Energy and Legislation and Tax committees.


The promotion of our new partner reflects the firm’s commitment to the development and advancement of lawyers who have played a pivotal role in our growth and who are dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of our clients and the firm’s values.


We congratulate Alfredo and wish him success in this new professional stage.


Panama opens process to obtain manufacturing license for medical cannabis derivatives

Opening of the call process for companies interested in obtaining a license to manufacture medical cannabis derivatives


The Ministry of Health (MINSA), through the National Directorate of Pharmacy and Drugs, invites applicants to participate in the selection process of companies interested in obtaining the License to Manufacture Medicinal Cannabis Derivatives.


Companies interested in participating can download the rules of the call on the MINSA website, which include the requirements that applicants must meet to be considered in the selection process.


According to the schedule for submitting proposals and their qualification, a meeting will be held on June 19 to standardize the bases for the selection and until August 29, consultations will be received and clarifications will be made. The last day to receive applications is September 18, 2023 at 4:00 pm.


It is important to remember that according to Law 242 of October 13, 2021, only seven companies that meet all the requirements will be able to carry out the entire production chain from planting, controlled environment, harvest, drying, to dispensing.


The process is governed by Law 242 of October 13, 2021, and Executive Decree No. 121 of September 1, 2022, as well as Law 1 of 2022, Law 14 of 2016 and its due regulations and other regulations applicable to the selection process.


For assistance related to this call process, contact us at

Download the rules of the call for proposal

Open chat
How may we assist you?