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Panama Ship Registry: Covid -19 Update

The Panama Ship Registry, the world’s largest register of vessels, wants to reiterate its concern on the constantly-changing situation of the pandemic Corona Virus (COVID-19) and re-assure its shipowners, ship managers and operators and seafarers that it is permanently monitoring the evolution of the global pandemic which is taking a heavy toll on people and the maritime community.

The Panama Ship Registry has been closely following the events related to the outbreak of COVID-19, and had been in communication with other maritime administrations, international shipowners’ groups and the International Chamber of Shipping, as well as with the International Maritime Organization, the International Labor Organization, and with the Tokyo MoU and Viña del Mar Agreement secretariats, entities through which different guidelines are given to the Flag States and the world merchant fleet on how to face this outbreak and emergency or force majeure situations as this issue has been identified.

Here are the latest measures taken by the republic of Panama:

As for cruise operations, the Panama Maritime Authority, being conscious of the instructions and recommendations issued by Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA), because of the Coronavirus (COVID.19) pandemic, as well as for the mitigation measures taken for the public and private sectors, has informed that boarding and landing of passengers and crew members to and from cruise ships, small cruise ships, ships with great draft, international shipping of passengers in yachts, mega yachts, and commercial yachts in ports, berths or wharfs, anchorage areas and marinas located within the national territory, and which arrive from international shipping originated from risk areas such as China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, France and from other countries which shall be added by way of communications, had been temporarily suspended as of March 14.

All international shipping vessels which require the rendering of maritime ancillary services shall, through their Shipping Agencies, strictly comply with the sending of all information required by the Ministry of Health, such as:
Crew List, same which shall include boarding dates and places for each crew member; List of the 10 ports previously visited; Maritime Health Statement;
Sick List, in the event that there are sick people on board; they shall send a medical report of the sick, and said vessel shall only be boarded by Maritime Health officials, who after making an evaluation thereof, will determine if the services are to be provided or if other measures shall be taken for the operation.
This information shall be provided within a period of at least 48 hours prior to arrival, and after analyzing the documents, boarding of the vessels shall be made by technical and operations personnel of the Maritime Ancillary companies which render their services to vessels.
Maritime Ancillary Services to be rendered to international shipping vessels, and approved by maritime health officials, shall increase their health measures and decrease the number of individuals who board the vessels, and to avoid contact with crew members.
Port Operations on a national level and which are related to international service commercial vessels, and which arrive at ports and/or anchorage areas, only personnel which is essential for the operation will be allowed to board; in these cases, they shall board in compliance with all health measures.
All STS (ship to ship), as well as fuel and water supply operations procedures, shall be carried out pursuant all procedures approved by the Panama Maritime Authority and the Ministry of Health.

‘Through our website (www.panamashipregistry.com) we have published several Marine Notices, particularly MARINE NOTICE 3/2020 (https://amp.gob.pa/notas-de-prensa/comunicado-importante/) where we detailed the new regulations for extending seafarers employment agreements since the extensive travel restrictions to and within infected or non-infected countries are creating difficulty for crew changes. For that purpose, we encourage our customers to be very attentive at the publication of our Marine Notices and visit frequently our website. Our recommendation is to be aware that we daily update the website,’ says Rafael Cigarruista, head of the Panama Ship Registry.

‘We will duly inform of any modifications or new measures taken by the Republic of Panama and the Ship Registry in order to prevent the extension of the pandemic Covid-19 for the protection of our seafarers on board Panama-flagged vessels and the safety of our fleet.’
Source: Panama Ship Registry

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