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Semiconductores Panama

Are Panamanian legal standards adequate to accommodate investment from companies dedicated to the assembly, packaging, and testing of semiconductors?

Special Regime for the Establishment and Operation of Multinational Companies for the Provision of Services Related to Manufacturing – “EMMA”.

  1. Since 2020, the Special Regime for the Establishment and Operation of Multinational Companies for the Provision of Services Related to Manufacturing, better known as EMMA, was created with the purpose of attracting foreign direct investment by emulating the successful scheme of the Multinational Companies Headquarters (SEM). “EMMA” seeks to create a new regime aimed at companies from the same economic group setting up in Panama to carry out their manufacturing-related services. The Law can only be applied to operations of Multinational Companies for the provision of services related to Manufacturing and with assets of 75 million dollars.
  1. Allowed Activities to be eligible for an “EMMA” License:
    Services related to the manufacturing of products, including: assembly services, repacking research, testing and other services all related with the manufacturing. 
  1. Benefits of “EMMA” Corporations
    Tax Exemption Incentives for the Company:
    – Exemption from Income Tax: exempt from paying Income Tax of the Republic of Panama for the first five (5) years from their registration.
    – They will pay 5% Income Tax after the five (5) year period from their registration, but because the Law allow the application of Foreign Income Tax Credit, when this tax credit is applied, the “EMMA” company must pay, at a minimum, 2% of the net taxable income generated in the Republic of Panama, as income tax.
    – Exemption from Dividend Tax Payment.
    – Exemption from the Use of Panamanian Fiscal Equipment.
    – Exemption from the Operation Notice.
    – Exemption from the Services taxes (ITBMS).
    – Exemption from Import Tax:
    Immigration Incentives
    Labor Incentives

Once a company dedicated to the assembly, packaging, and/or testing of semiconductors is established in Panama, what other legal issues should be considered?

The main law that semiconductor companies can apply in Panama is the EMMA law. However, Panama has always been a state that has treated its foreign investors well, and has always been in search of attracting more foreign investment. For this reason, we have regulations that benefit this type of investment. Among them are the law of legal stability, free zones, special areas, protection of intellectual property rights. I think what I’m missing are regulations aimed at protecting investments in technological issues to close the ecosystem.


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