New special EMMA law regime is enacted to counteract the imminent economic impact generated by COVID-19

On Monday, August 31st, 2020, in a ceremony at the Colon Free Zone (ZLC), the law that creates a new special regime for Multinational Manufacturing Services (EMMA) companies was enacted, with the aim in establishing these companies in Panama for the provision of manufacturing services such as: assembling, manufacturing, re-manufacturing, conditioning, maintenance, logistics services, repair and processing of products to the same economic group.

This regime is aimed at new companies that want to take advantage of the incentives, or for companies that are currently registered under the headquarters of multinational companies (SEM) regime, and wish to expand their services within the same economic group under a new light-manufacturing division, therefore, at the time that a SEM company applies to join this regime, it obtains a “fast track” benefit for the issuance of the EMMA license.

The objective of this regime is to reactivate the economy, boost economic growth, generate new jobs and capitalize on technology transfer.

Among the greatest advantages and incentives of the EMMA regime is that Panama has a strategic geographical position, with twenty-three (23) Free Trade Agreements, tax, labour, immigration, customs benefits, free economic zones, ports, railways, airports, logistics centers, and additionally companies under the EMMA regime will automatically enjoy the guarantees established by Law 54 of 1998 on the Legal Stability of Investments.