The Republic of Panama, through the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Noriel Arauz, and the Kingdom of Belgium, represented by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and the North Sea of Belgium, Vincent Van Quickenborne, signed 3 letters of intent to strengthen their ties in the maritime area. Minister Arauz, thanked the Kingdom of Belgium for the support offered to the Panamanian state, especially in the maritime sector, by providing us with their help so that in September 2017, the application of the Republic of Panama to the European Commission was presented, in order to start the recognition process for the titles of competence issued by the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), to be recognized by the European Union (E.U.).
This process is about to be a reality, thanks to the usual support, which will mark a milestone in Panamanian maritime history, since it will be the consolidation of efforts to demonstrate to the world that Panamanian seafarers have the skills and the necessary vocation required to be recognized by the European Union, which will be of great benefit since they will be offered greater job opportunities on board the European Union flag ships. The Kingdom of Belgium is one of the 20 main commercial nations in the world and Panama is the country with the largest Ship Registry World Wide.
They have been and will continue to be friend countries and commercial partners par excellence, which is reinforced much more, with this important step. With the signing of these Letters of Intent, Panama and Belgium, countries that are part of the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will strengthen their good relations in areas such as:
The fight against organized crime and illicit drug smuggling, through the exchange of information.
Mutual recognition of maritime training courses.
In maritime training for recognition and action on criminal or illegal acts in maritime transportation.
In addition, the occasion was propitious for the Director of the General Directorate of Seafarers (DGGM) of the AMP, Captain Juan Maltez, to deliver a note detailing the 2 groups of factual evidence on the measures that this administration has carried out, with a view to the process of recognition of the Republic of Panama as a third country before the European Commission, so that the certificates of competence issued to Seafarers by Panama are recognized by the Member States of the European Union, in accordance with Regulation 1/10 of the International Convention on Training Standards, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers of 1978 and its amendments (STCW Convention of 1978 and its amendments), a process that has been carried out in compliance with the DIRECTIVE 2008/106/CE, as amended.
This letter was also sent to the Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) of the European Commission (EU), Maja Bakran Marcich as a summary of the progress made by Panama for its recognition. It is important to mention that both sets of evidence are in the process of verification by the European Commission.
This event was held at the International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP), and was attended by the Belgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and North Sea, Vincent Van Quickenborne, the Belgian Ambassador to Panama, H.E. Guy Sevrin and representatives of the Belgian government; on behalf of Panama, attended the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the Kingdom of Belgium, H.E. Yavel Francis Lanuza, the Rector of the UMIP, Victor Luna, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Noriel Arauz, the Deputy Administrator of the AMP, Elvia Bustavino, the Director of the General Directorate of Seafarers (DGGM), Captain Juan Maltez and the distinguished representatives of the AMP and the UMIP.