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Panama Canal – Changes To Transit Reservation System

Nisomar, the data-driven maritime services company, is advising that The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), is advising of a number of changes to its transit reservation system with immediate effect.

The ACP has advised that the changes will provide scheduling flexibility, optimise the canal’s resources and improve efficiency. The number of booking slots available for Booking Condition 1 for Panamax Locks is now set at 15 for super vessels and 8 for regulars.

For regular vessels, the maximum number of booking slots during condition 1 will be limited to 4 per direction. The distribution of slots per period for vessels is:

Slot distribution per periods, condition 1

Extension of the special period for passenger vessels
The special period for commercial passenger vessels is being increased from 547 days to 730 days prior to the requested transit date. Booking slots for passenger vessels in the Panamax locks will remain the same. Only one Neopanamax commercial passenger vessel will be allowed to book per day. Application for booking slots of the extended special period will be received from 0900 on 23 June.

Booking slots that become available during the first or second period due to cancellations, or changes in booking dates
Booking slots that become available during the first or second period due to cancellations, changes in booking dates or other reasons, will not be offered to vessels that did not obtain a slot during or after the competition. They will be offered as follows:

  • A notification will be sent by the ACP no later than 1530 hours of the day following the day the slots become available.
    Requests for bookings during the special competition will be received from 0900 to 0930 hours of the day following the date of publication of the availability of the slots. The procedure to allocate slots during this special competition period will be the same as the procedure utilised to allocate slots during the regular tiebreaker competition.
  • For a vessel to be considered for these slots, the request must be submitted during the special competition period. Any booking request received prior to the opening of the special competition will not be accepted.
  • If no vessels are interested in the slot(s) offered during the special competition, the slot(s) will become available on a first come-first served basis for the remainder of the period.
  • If a cancellation or a change in transit date occurs on the last day of the first or second period, the slot that becomes available will be carried over to the following period, and will be offered through the normal competition process.
  • Vessels that have requested a booking slot for a particular date and been rejected due to unavailability of slots, but subsequently obtain a slot for an alternate date, will be allowed to change to the original date without being assessed a cancellation fee (if awarded the slot), provided they participate in the competition for the slot; and that the reservation for the alternate date was awarded in the same booking period, but prior to the slot becoming available.

Slots cancelled during the third period will be offered first to those vessels that failed to secure a slot during the third period tiebreaker competition, followed by subsequent rejections, in the order of rejection, and finally, to any other interested vessels, on a first come-first served basis, following ACP notification of availability.

Substitutions between booked vessels and non-booked vessels
Substitutions will be allowed without charge provided they are requested a minimum of 7 days in advance of the vessel’s booking date, instead of the previous 14 day requirement.
Source: NISOMAR

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