According to an article published in Safety4sea, the Panama Maritime Authority issued a marine notice informing all Shipowners, Operators and Recognized Organizations on how to proceed in case of requests for postponement extension of statutory certification & services to tackle COVID-19 crisis.
Measures put forth by Panama Maritime Authority
In fact, these exceptional measures are taken essentially in response to the current shut-downs, lockdowns, and travel restrictions, implemented by several States worldwide as Panama Maritime Authority allows its Recognized Organizations to:
1. Postpone/Extend all surveys, audits, and inspections for a period of three months, subject to a subsequent revalidation or reinstatement of the correspondent certificate, therefore:
a)The RO shall ensure that all statutory certificates remain valid using remote surveys or visits whenever is possible. However, in those cases that a remote survey or visits are not possible to be carried out, the RO is authorized to maintain the validity of the statutory certificate for the grace period aforementioned. All records justifying each case according to the circumstances shall be kept and remain available to any Port State Control Authority and as well as this Administration. It is highly requested the cooperation and prompt communication to this Administration in case of facing any difficulty or inconveniences during this time, enabling us to act as quickly as possible with the required assistance.
2. Annual services of life-saving appliances and firefighting equipment with a due date between March and May 2020 are allowed for an immediate extension valid for one month subject to the agreement of the Recognized Organization. Extensions required for a longer period will be granted on a case by case basis, for the maximum period of three months provided that supporting evidence of each case is presented to [email protected]
3. Ship-owners/operators of those ships currently holding a Conditional Certificate related to a deficiency or damage onboard, shall contact us if the necessary malfunction, repair or administrative related matter is not possible to rectify, carry out or be provided; an email along with supporting evidence of each case shall be sent to [email protected] Making sure that the Recognized Organization responsible to issue the correspondent certificates is agree with the conditions on board.
4. The validity of all statutory certificates (except for Conditional Certificates) expiring between March and May 2020 are extended exceptionally for three months, including among them:
- Maritime Labour Certificate (MLC, 2006)
- Safety Management Certificate (SMC)
- Document of Compliance (DOC)
- International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC)
- International Tonnage Certificate (ITC-69)
- International Ballast Water Management Certificate (IBWMC)
- Exemption Certificates
5. Color copy of original signed Ships Registry Certificates (Patent) and Radio Station License issued by this Administration are considered valid for three months, from its issue date.6. Soft copy Exemption Certificates and Minimum Safe Manning Certificates for MODU/MOU issued by this Administration are considered valid for three (3) months, from the certificate issue date.
7. The postponement/Extension of the inspection of the outside ships’ bottom will continue to be processed on a case by case basis. Please follow the guidelines provided in our Merchant Marine Circular No.204.
8. In the case of ISPS Code related matters, please refer to paragraph 9 in Merchant Marine Notice MMN-002/2020, posted on March 24, 2020.
9. The implementation of these instructions is due to the urgency related to COVID-19. However, as soon as the crises overcome, and restrictions imposed by each State have raised, we will return to our regular procedures, and a review of the new mechanisms implemented will take place.
Urged to monitor the situation
Concluding, Panama Maritime Authority recommends all partied to keep monitoring the situation by consulting the Marine Notices and procedures communicated by the WHO, the IMO, and each Recognized Organization.
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