New digital platform for multinational companies
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MICI) has announced the launch of a new digital platform aimed at simplifying procedures for companies operating under the Multinational Headquarters (SEM) and Multinational Companies for the Provision of Manufacturing-Related Services (EMMA) Regimes. The platform is expected to be operational starting from September 15, 2023, according to the MICI announcement made on August 7th.
The new platform will be available on the Ministry's website and will function as a single point of contact (ventanilla única) for SEM and EMMA companies. The General Directorate of Multinational Company Headquarters has reported that the platform will offer various online services for multinational companies. This includes managing immigration procedures for visa applications, submitting reports such as the Annual Report (Declaración Jurada), SEM and EMMA license applications, as well as updating records for existing multinational companies.
The platform's design has been focused on ease of use and navigation. It is expected that this tool will contribute to reducing costs and time associated with complying with legal requirements and formalizing businesses through SEM and EMMA in Panama. MICI hopes that the platform's implementation will have a positive impact on the country's business landscape, attracting foreign investments interested in establishing a SEM or EMMA in the region.
Although official guidelines or regulations regarding the platform's operation by MICI or the General Directorate of Multinational Company Headquarters have not yet been published, it is anticipated that manuals and regulations will be provided in the future to facilitate effective navigation on the platform.
Prior to the platform's launch, MICI has planned a meeting in the first week of September 2023 with companies and their respective law firms. During this meeting, assistance and information will be provided to address any questions or concerns related to the implementation and operation of the platform. To facilitate the platform's implementation and provide support to the public, MICI has enabled the email address email@example.com for any public inquiries.
The author wishes to acknowledge the contribution of associate Nicolás Ramos in the writing of this article.