Question: Does IMDI have all permits to legally conduct and recover artifacts from historic shipwrecks in Panama?
Answer: SALVAGE CONCESSION AGREEMENT identified as No. 231 dated December 30, 2003 (published in the official gazette No. 24,958), which granted exclusive rights to IMDI to perform all kinds of studies and perform rescue or salvage of assets located in territorial waters of the Republic of Panama in nine district specific zones.
Resolution #136-13 DNPH issued on July 16, 2013 and Resolution 068-14 DNPH of March 17, 2014 allow IMDI to explore, excavate and salvage objects in all territorial waters of Panama until December 2018 as long as it presents a project for each target area.
Question: Has IMDI ever been challenged in the Supreme court of Panama?
Answer: The concession given to IMDI by the Panamanian Government through contract 231 of July 25, 2003, was challenged at the Challenges Administrative Room to nullify contract due to its illegality. Room Three of the Justice Supreme Court case number 612-04 sentenced on June 14, 2007, to modify the fifth clause of contract 231 das follows: ”Of the goods the THE CONTRACTOR rescues will pay the STATE 35% OF THE NET COMMERCIAL VALUE THROUGH ASSESSMENT VALUE. In the specific case of Treasures, being money, metals or precious stones recovered, THE CONTRACTOR will pay THE STATE 35% of net commercial value through assessed valuation” and kept the legality of the whole contract.
Question: Has IMDI ever attempted to smuggle treasure outside of the country?
Answer: According to Resolution 136-13 DNPH del 16 de Julio de 2013, sixth clause, it indicates that THE COMPANY IMDI, will be able to dispose freely of the objects of commercial value which are part of its compensation. The State will provide the means and moving rights necessary for mobilizing the goods outside the country. All coins in possession of IMDI were properly accounted, included in the DNPH database, and legally assigned through the two divisions legally executed and approved through Resolution 124-14 of May 14, 2014 and Resolution 157-14 of June 27, 2014 that assigned The State and the IMDI its corresponding division proportion.
Question: Has IMDI included the Panamanian government in all divisions and division processes since the inception of their work in Panama?
Answer: IMDI is a company legally constituted in Panama and in full legal compliance with Panamanian laws, DNPH has issued two resolution stating the legality of the division process:
The first division: Resolution No. 124-14 DNPH of May 14, 2015 authorizes the First Division of the objects properly recovered and valuated from the project IDENTIFICATION , RECOVERY AND SALVAGE OF THE ARTIFACTS OF THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK LAS PERLAS ISLANDS, Republic of Panama.
The second division: Resolution No. 157-14 DNPH of JUNE 27, 2014 authorizes the Second Division of the objects properly recovered and valuated from the project IDENTIFICATION , RECOVERY AND SALVAGE OF THE ARTIFACTS OF THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK LAS PERLAS ISLANDS, Republic of Panama. Therefore, all material found recovered and conserved has been properly divided with authorization and participation of the government according to Panamanian laws. IMDI and its functionaries and personnel has no need to smuggle any artifact since it is legally listed in the Panamanian State data base, properly assessed and valued and properly divided with the Panamanian State.
Question: What is the split between the Panamanian government and IMDI?
Answer: 65% for the Contractor IMDI and 35% for The State in the case of commercial value artifacts and objects. If the objects are declared of historical nature, the Panamanian State declares them prior to the division as Historical Patrimony Objects for proper exhibition in a museum.
Question: What are the requirements for IMDI and the government in their contractual obligations?
Answer: Every legal contract and resolution issued by DNPH contains the details of the obligations by the parties. Broadly speaking these can be summarized as follows:
Contracting Partner (IMDI):
Conduct all activities with prior notification and approval from Government officials
Establish a proper conservation laboratory to properly conserve the rescued artifacts
Provide a secure and safe environment for rescue operations and conservation activities
Properly safeguard the recovered items until the division with government happens
Guarantee economic resources availability
Provide all permits and coordinate with local authorities to facilitate a safe a professional operation of the contractor personnel
Facilitate the process for contractor to conduct surveys, recovery operations, and conservation as well as transportation of the recovered goods
Provide and issue the necessary permits to mobilize and safekeep the properly recovered and conserved goods guaranteeing continuity of the project despite changes of functionaries and governments.
Question: What are the ethics of IMDI?
Answer: THE VISION: IMDI IS THE LEADING PANAMANIAN COMPANY DEDICATED TO DEDICATED TO SURVEY, EXPLORATION AND RECOVERY, its main purpose is to safeguard Panamanian Patrimony and historical roots, providing Panama with cultural and historical heritage information and objects rescued from its glorious past.
THE MISSION: Achieve through advanced technology, the identification and recovery of colonial and non-colonial era objects to strengthen Panamanian culture and evolution of the Nation. Values: Honesty and dependability of the company through transparent negotiations disclosing the company and its team of collaborators achievements, highlighting the teams capabilities, competitively, and professionalism
Question: Is the government involved in the San Jose project on a corporative level?
Answer: The Panamanian Government is the majority participant on the benefits as clearly seen in the above percentage distribution. Being the majority partner in the benefits, it is by contractual agreement involved in all activities performed by the Company though nomination of supervisors, inspectors and auditors that participate in surveys, location, recovery and conservation activities actively until the proper and legal division is performed.
Question: How does the 2001 UNESCO Convention on underwater cultural heritage impacts IMDI activities and contract 231 with the Panamanian Government?
Answer: It does not impact any of the legally agreed contracts and resolutions with the Government for two simple reasons:
1. Panama’s sovereignty laws allow Panama government entities to freely dispose of the underwater cultural heritage and therefore honor any contracts or commitments made with private entities to recover and preserve the objects and artifacts lying underwater.
2. Contract 231 of June 26, 2003 precedes the ratification from Panama of the 2001 underwater cultural heritage Law 58 Regulations (that modify Law 14) on custody, conservation and management of National Historical Patrimony as ratified by Court Three of the Supreme Justice of Panama.
Question: Does IMDI have subcontractors?
Answer: IMDI has brought the most internationally experienced companies to the project, specialists in research, recovery, and conservation. IMDI’s use of subcontracting in this manner is supported by the Panamanian law.