Although the process of arranging your Panama Canal transit is not too difficult, an agent can smooth the way and make things happen more quickly. The more expensive ones will organise everything and cover your buffer deposit, but you can also just ask an agent to provide lines and fenders and do the paperwork yourself.

Tasks the agent will help with

  • Booking the Canal transit and getting your details into the system
  • Arranging the Admeasurer
  • Arranging linehandlers
  • Sorting out all the paperwork and copying of documents
  • Delivering lines and fenders to the Causeway, Colon or Portobelo
  • Guaranteeing your payment (covering the bond)
  • Arrange confirmations of timing for the transit
  • Handle immigration and customs
  • Obtain a cruising permit

If you email all of your documents and details to the agent ahead of time, they can often arrange an Admeasurer to inspect your yacht soon after you arrive.

Official agents will be registered with the Canal Authorities. Unofficial “agents” are often taxi drivers who understand the procedures and where the various offices are located, but will be unable to assist should any problems occur during transit. Whilst official agent fees may be a little higher, this includes insurance against problems.

Agent Contacts

  • Stanley Scott
  • Tel: +507 6523 3991
Tina McBride Yacht Services
  • 6617 7889
Centenario & Co. SA
  • POC: Erick Galvez
  • Tel.: (507) 314-1681/83 Mitzila Montero
  • Mobil.: (507) 6676-1376 Erick Galvez
  • Back- up.: (507) 6655- 1015 A. Quiroz
  • Skype: erick.galvez.centco
  • Facebook: Centenario & Co S.A. Ship & Yacht agent Panama
Emmanuel Agencies SA
  • Tel:+ 507 6678 6820
  • Contact: Roy Bravo
Transshipping PortAgents Panama

Lines and fenders without doing the whole agent service:

Tito (Atlantic)
  • +507 6463 5009
Roger de Hoyos (Pacific)
  • +507 6717 6745


  • +507 6427 3044 or +507 6573 3613


Many yachts stop at Shelter Bay Marina to prepare for the transit, and they will have most information you could need about your adventure. 

The Facebook group Panama Cruisers is a good resource for asking questions and reading about other yacht experiences.

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