To improve control, supervision and the percentage of compliance of the fleet that makes up the Panama Ship Registry, the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) through the General Directorate of the Merchant Marine (DGGM), introduces measures to reinforce the flag inspection program, emphasizing on ships that call at US ports and that are eligible for a Port State Control Inspection (PSC) by the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

This decision is also part of its commitment to ensure compliance with safety, protection and environmental regulations, encouraging and promoting a better maritime industry. In addition, monitoring is being reinforced in the registration of vessels that present deficiencies and detentions through the regional regimes of supervision by the Port State Control.

A series of actions have also been implemented aimed at making the fleet part of the United States Coast Guard’s QUALSHIP 21 program, where at the end of July we have an average of 98.97% compliance for the last 3 years, among which the following stand out:

  • A flag inspection mechanism is established for ships arriving at US ports, based on risk factors.
  • Merchant Marine Notice – MMN-08/2022, where it is informed that, as of August 1, 2022, the special flag inspection program will begin for ships that arrive at ports in the United States whose history makes them candidates for a Port State Control Inspection (PSC) by the USCG.
  • Merchant Marine Circular – MMC 381, where the checklist prior to arrival at the ports of the United States is implemented for ships flying the Panamanian flag, to facilitate shipowners, operators, technical managers, designated persons on land (DPA) and the Captain of the vessel to find weak elements that may be a reason for detention through PSC inspections by the US Coast Guard.
  • Merchant Marine Notice MMN-14/2021, where it is informed that all vessels flying the Panamanian flag transiting or visiting Panamanian ports before their arrival in the United States may be subject to a special Security Inspection (ASI), in order to to avoid a possible arrest in the aforementioned region.

Additionally, this Administration, committed to complying with the Panamanian fleet and with applicable international regulations, with a view to improving the performance of its fleet in the different regions supervised by the port state control, has reinforced mechanisms such as:

  • Through Resolution No.106-183 of the DGMM of August 03, 2020, measures are strengthened to detect and take action with those ships that have been detained multiple times, in order to improve their conditions, performance and mitigate the recurrence of arrests. As well as the power to impose sanctions to Recognized Organizations (RO) and/or ships, which have evidenced serious faults that result in the deterioration of the image of the Panamanian registry.
  • Merchant Marine Circular 393: Australian Ports Pre-Arrival Checklist, to assist owners, operators, technical directors, Designated Persons Ashore (DPAs) and Ship Masters to find weak items that may result in detention, through Port State Control Inspections by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
  • MMN-13/2021 Annual flag security inspection for priority 1 ships in the Paris Inspection and selection scheme for Paris MOUs arriving at any port in Italy.
  • MMN-02/2022 – Flag Security Inspection for ships operating in the Paris MoU; it is established that all Panamanian-flagged vessels over 20 years of age that arrive at any port of the signatory countries of this MoU, will be subject to a flag security inspection (ASI) every six (6) months.

Currently, the performance of the Panamanian fleet is 96% and with the implementation of these actions, it is expected to reduce arrests and optimize our performance in the various MOUs of which Panama is a part.