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Panama expels 6.5 million gt of ships linked to Iran, North Korea or sanctions

Photo: Unsplash Panama flag flying in wind
The Panama Ship Registry has cancelled the registration of over 6.5 million gt of vessels over the last two years for issues related to Iran, North Korea or sanctions.

Announcing the continuation of a purging of substandard tonnage that started in July 2021 the Panama Maritime Authority noted that the registry can expel the owners, shipowners, and the ship captain of vessel when its name and image are affected.

In relation to this the PMA said it had cancelled ex officio from July 2021 more than 6.5m gt of tonnage for issues related to Iran, North Korea, or vessels on international sanctions lists.

“This elimination program responds to the current administration’s commitment to comply with cleaning up the fleet, which had previously been postponed,” the PMA said.

In July 2021 the registry started a process of purging sub-standard tonnage from its books, which had also been previously postponed.

This process is now continuing and according to the PMA the registry is working on an integrated review for the verification and control of the more than 8,500 vessels that make up the Panamanian fleet and the more than 318,000 active seafarers that remain on board these ships.

“The vessels of advanced age and whose operating companies do not maintain best practices represent a potential risk, as they may suffer accidents and detentions in Port State inspections, causing damage to the rest of the fleet, as well as to the prestige of the Panamanian flag,” the PMA stated.

Earlier this year the Panama Registry entered the US Coastguard’s Qualship21 programme for the first time in its 20-year history which the PMA described as an “important milestone”