Article 18. Any public tourist lodging company or restaurant not covered by the above articles, but solely engaged in a tourist activity; outside the metropolitan area according to this Law shall have the operation of being entitled to a Tourism Employment Certificate (Certificado de Empleo al Turismo-CET) issued its name, equivalent to twenty-one and a half per cent (21.5%) of the gross monthly payroll as of the promulgation of this Law, provided this gross monthly payroll does not exceed four hundred dollars (US$400.00). In the case of restaurants, this option shall be for a period of three (3) years.
Article 19. CET's as contemplated in this Law, shall be issued in Panamanian currency by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, and may be applied to the payment of income, dividend, complementary, real property, or sales taxes, as well as import duties. These are nominal certificates transferable by endorsement. They are exempt from all types of taxis, and may not earn interest
Article 20. To be entitled to CET's, companies must meet all the requirements set forth in this Law. CET's may be used six (6) months after their date of issue, but not within the same year of issue. They shall be valid for a period of three (3) years from their issue date.
Article 21. Wages of foreign employees, or those for any employment period of less than twelve (12) months may not be included in the payroll for the purposes of calculating the CET's established herein. Payroll control procedures shall be established.
Article 22. Natural persons or companies engaged in tourist ac tivities may use their vehicles to transport their own materials, furniture, or equipment. They may also provide tourist transportation service to their facilities, and to and from airports and seaports.
Article 23. In order to encourage investment and financing for the development of the tourist industry and the construction of hotels outside the metropolitan area, public tourist lodging companies may issue nominal tourist investment instruments until January 1st. 2000.
The following incentive is granted to investors in these instruments who are not connected directly or indirectly with public tourist lodging, are not the result of the division of a company into several companies, or affiliates or subsidiaries of tourist companies: For income tax purposes, fifty per cent (50%) of the amounts invested by natural persons or companies in the purchase of bonds, shares of stock, or other nominal instruments issued by tourist companies may be considered as deductible expenses. The Ministry of Finance and Treasury (Ministerio de Hacienda y Tesoro) shall regulate the application of this article. Companies registered with the National Tourism Registry (Registro Nacional de Turismo) must register any bonds, shares of stock, or other financial instruments with Panama's National Securities Commission, and must issue them within the first three (3) years from its registration.
A company issuing such bonds, shares of stock, or other nominal instruments may not redeem them in any
manner whatsoever for at least ten (10) years. Any bonds or instruments issued by a tourist company shall be valid for a minimum period of ten (10) years, and may not be redeemed earlier. These companies may not purchase their own shares of stock, contributions, or convertible bonds, and may not be redeemed earlier. These companies may not purchase their own shares of stock, contributions, or convertible bonds, and may not grant loans to the holders of any such bonds, shares of stock, or nominal instruments; nor may they make use of any other mode for the purchase or payment of said financial instruments for a minimum period of ten (10) years.
Article 24. Tourist yachts calling at ports in the Republic of Panama whose stay does not exceed ninety (90) days are exonerated from the payment of any and all types of the usual charges, taxes, or service fees upon arrival or anchorage. Customs authorities may only perform their routine inspection duties. No processing of documents by these agencies shall be required. The Executive Branch shall regulate his provision.
CHAPTER IV ( NATIONAL TOURISM REGISTRY)
Article 25. The National Tourism Registry (Registro Nacional de Turismo) is hereby established under IPAT Natural persons or companies wishing to be covered by this tourism incentive regime must register in this Registry.
Article 26. Applicants must complete a registration form obtainable from IPAT for a fee of ten dollars (US$10.00), with the following information:
Applicant's name and surname, nationality, and personal identification number or passport number. If the applicant is a company, its business name, the country where it is chartered, and its Panama Public Registry (Registro Público) registration entry data, as well as the name address of its legal representative.
The applicant's domicile or address.
A detailed and precise description of the tourist activity, the applicant is conducting or will conduct. In the case of a tourist project with and initial investment of more than there hundred thousand dollars (US$300,000.00), a feasibility study, and the drawings and technical studies required for and justifying the project must be submitted with the application.
The amount of the investment the applicant has made or proposes to make.
The number of jobs it proposes to generate.
Any additi onal information required by IPAT, according on the nature of the proposed tourist activity, as needed to evaluate the merits of the application.
Article 27. The registration form must be submitted with a copy of the personal identity card, or passport of the legal representative, if a company. In the latter case, a certification issued by the Public Registry (Registro Público) must also be submitted stating that the company is a registered and valid one, the name of its Board members, its officers and legal representative, the amount of its capital and its term of duration.
Article 28. The Board of Directors of IPAT is the only body in charge of approving the registration of companies in the National Tourism Registry (Registro Nacional de Turismo) and issuing certifications to that effect, stating the date in which the company was registered at the National Tourism Registry and that it is thus entitled to benefits under this Law. The General Manager of IPAT shall sign these certifications.
Article 29. Upon receipt of the registration form with the required information and documentation, IPAT has a period of not more than sixty (60) calendar days to study the technical, economic, legal and tourism aspects of the proposed project; and upon approval, to register the company in the National Tourism Registry and issue a certification stating the date of registration of the company in the National Tourism Registry, and that it is thus entitled to benefits under this Law. Projects involving National or Historic Landmarks or wildlife reserves under the National Institute of Culture (Instituto Nacional de Cultura-INAC) or the National Institute of Renewable Resources (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Renovables - ANAM) require a resolution issued within thirty (30) calendar days, counted as of the date of receipt of the project documents.