Panama Canal Advisory to Shipping on compliance with requirement for Panama Canal SOPEPs

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has issued MR's Advisory to Shipping No. A-19-2007, which reiterates that any vessel approaching Panama Canal waters for transit must submit a Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP) at least 96 hours prior to its arrival. This requirement (which became effective 1 January 2005) is applicable to vessels with fuel and/or oil cargo-carrying capacity of 400 MT or more.


Members are advised to note that the Advisory states that non-compliance with the above constitutes a violation of Chapter IX, Section Four of the Maritime Regulations for the Operation of the Panama Canal, and may subject the vessel to sanctions in accordance with Chapter XI, Offenses, Sanctions and Sanctioning Proceedings of said Regulations.


Members' attention is brought to the fact that effective 1 October 2007, vessels failing to submit a compliant PCSOPEP at least 96 hours prior to arrival in Canal waters will be classified as non-compliant and will no longer be granted a grace period. The vessel will be scheduled as Tier 3 and will be charged accordingly, as well as for additional resources assigned to the vessel due to this non-compliance. In addition, the vessel will only be programmed for transit after the ship owners, operators or shipping agent have paid or provided satisfactory guarantees for the payment of the applicable sanction, which will be set at a minimum of USD 2,500.00.


Contact: Howard Snaith