Playing Monopoly in Panama

I wrote about working on renewing my five year agricultural exoneration for my Boquete farms. I have been working on this for weeks, yesterday I hit the last step and was told to return to GO, not to collect $200, wait three months and start all over.

My experiences with the Ministry of Finance (MEF) have always been similar to wading through cold molasses and I expected the same on this process. I started early, April for exonerations that expire in July and August thinking, incorrectly, that they would need months to transmit the pile of papers to the Capital for processing; wrong.

These are the steps again

1. Visiting MIDA in Boquete to get a list of things I needed.
2. Going to the Registar Publico in David to buy copies of the records on both the corporation and the finca. Pay and return the following day.
3. Going to Catastro to get paperwork from ANATI that the land in titled to the corporation. Free but return the next day.
4. Taking all of that, a copy of my visa and passport to MIDA in David where they provided a slip of paper to take with the pile of papers to MIDA in Boquete.
5. Scheduling and having and inspection in Boquete, wait a few days depending on availability of an inspector.
6. Having the entire pile of papers with the inspection report, signed and stamped put back into my hands to take back to MIDA in David. Return the following day for the Director’s signature.

7. The final step go to MEF, the Ministry of Finance in David where they decided they not only needed the signed, stamped document from MIDA but also the originals from ANATI, the Registro Publico and a document from a lawyer since the property is in the name of a SA no me.

8. The funcionario at MEF, logged in to the system and said, oops, too early you need to wait until the month of expiration, one in July, one in August and you need all fresh documents at that time. The signed, sealed and delivered documents all have a shelf life of no more than thirty days.

It was a time consuming, expensive lesson in Panamas bureaucracy. The only only upside is I now know all the steps and can hop through them faster next time an you, if you need to do this do not need to learn the hard way, I did it for you.



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