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Panama Maritime Authority hits back at ‘evil intentioned’ video

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The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) has hit back over whet it describes an “evil intentioned” video circulating on social media relating to the Panama Ship Registry and the Wakashio casualty off Mauritius.

In a strongly worded statement AMP described the video as “slanderous, defamatory, disrespectful and evil intentioned” of the ship registry, Panama as a country and the way it does corporate business.

The authority said the video showed a “total absence of knowledge on what are the international regulations that govern the maritime industry” and what is the function of the ship registry.

“Contrary to what the video voices, the shipping industry is not unsafe; ships, that carry most of the world trade, are not dangerous.  The Panama Ship Registry, the world’s leader in number of vessels and tonnage, is also a leader in environmental safety and labor conventions and abides by all the international conventions established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO),” AMP said.

In terms of the Japanese-owned capesize bulker Wakashio, flagged with Panama, which grounded off Mauritius on 25 July, causing a bunker spill and later breaking in two, the authority repeated previous statements in terms of compliance and certification of the vessel. Its last flag state inspection was on 1 March in Kawasaki, while its last Port State Control inspection was on 14 February in Port Hedland, Australia.

Therefore, the ship, both in its structure and equipment, complies with the International Conventions established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO),” AMP said.

“This video accuses the Ship Registry of being laxed on the application of safety regulations. Nevertheless, as cited before, the Wakashio had passed all the required inspections, had the necessary insurance policies and was safe to sail,” it added.

“It is not only unfair but totally inaccurate putting the blame of this accident on the Panama Ship Registry for the only fact that the vessel is registered under the flag of Panama.”

Authority also made it clear that registering a vessel with the Panama Ship Registry was not a simple procedure guarding against vessels involved in dubious or illegal activities.

“The Register does not flag vessels of dubious origin. As an example, this year 2020 some 118 vessels have been rejected which did not comply with the requirements and 200 vessels have been cancelled, which did not meet international standards,” the statement said.

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