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Panama flag announces measures against Paris MOU detentions

Panama flag announces measures against Paris MOU detentions

Panama City: Panama Maritime Authority (AMP)'s Marine Merchant Marine Directorate that administers the Registry has issued a resolution by which it now requires vessels over 20 years of age to submit to inspection by a Recognised Organisation (RO) before setting sail to a port within the Paris MOU. That is in reaction to a large number of detentions of Panamanian-flagged vessels that have pushed the Panama Register back to the Paris MOU Black list, down from the Grey list, where Panama ranked 65 out of 80 countries according to the Paris MOU 2007 report, which is based on a three-year average of detentions.

If the vessel has not gone through inspection, it could "be deleted from the Registry or subject to a fine", said the AMP in a statement. Panama Registry said that it will take action against the RO "if the inspection proves no deficiencies but the vessel is [nevertheless] detained in the Paris MOU or any MOU". The inspection should be programmed in advance and both the operator and shipowner should be notified by the RO of the necessity of such inspection.

In addition, the vessel over 20 years of age, which has been detained twice in a period of six months, will be cancelled from the Registry.
Starting from now, all vessels over 20 years must have the approval of the Department of Navigation and Maritime Safety Section Port State Control before registering under the Panama flag.

In compliance with these new directives, Panama Registry has already cancelled 35 vessels that did not fulfill the requirements and 20 more are in process of cancellation, according to AMP Director of Merchant Marine Alfonso Castillero.  Castillero said that the number of detentions in the Paris MOU "does not reflect the quality of the flag but [only] the behaviour of ships operating in that area."  "We must adapt to the market", said Castillero. [21/7/08]