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Panama and Singapore ink agreement to strengthen maritime relations

Panama MPA
A high-level delegation from Singapore, led by Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Senior Minister of State for Health visited Panama, meeting for the first time with officials of Panama’s new government.

He was accompanied by Mary Seet-Cheng, Non-Resident Ambassador of Singapore to Panama, as well as officials from the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Enterprise Singapore.

During the visit, Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore and Noriel Araúz, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen maritime relations between both countries.

Under this MoU, the maritime authorities of Panama and Singapore will co-operate on maritime matters including the promotion of the use and acceptance of ship’s electronic certificates to facilitate port state inspections, the exercise of port state control (PSC) inspections by both countries, as well as personnel exchange.

Vessels registered with either Panama or Singapore calling at each other’s ports will benefit from faster checks and clearances. The use of electronic certificates and cooperation on PSC reduces administrative burden of issuing, sending and keeping hard-copy certificates on board, facilitates regulatory oversight and enforcement action by the authorities and expedites port clearances.

“The Singapore and Panama ship registries are among the largest in the world. This cooperation will strengthen maritime relations between our two countries. It will also yield significant benefits through speedier port clearances for vessels registered with our two countries calling at our ports,” said Minister Lam.

“Panama's and Singapore's maritime sectors have always had excellent relations but this MoU between our countries will address important technical issues for both Ship Registries. We are pleased to cooperate and bring to our customers and ship owners the most advanced technologies to alleviate the administrative burden and facilitate access to port state inspections, port state control inspections, and port clearances. It will be of great benefit for Singapore and Panama Ship Registries," said Araúz, who was designated Minister of Maritime Affairs and head of AMP in July 2019 by President Laurentino Cortizo.