The Chamber Bulletin Sept 2011

Year 1 / Issue 2 / Sept 2011


The Chamber Bulletin

Welcome to our second international issue of the Chamber Bulletin.

We make no apologies for sending you this issue at the end of September, since in August most of our readers were enjoying their summer holidays, the heat and the good weather of Europe and the East Coast of the United States. Whilst here in Panama we always have high temperatures and plenty of sunshine and, of course, the goodness of the rain that fills the locks that make Canal crossings possible.

The Panama Maritime Chamber (CMP – Cámara Marítima de Panama) is the voice of the Panamanian Maritime Industry representing the local shipping cluster; from shipyards, ports, service providers, bunkering services, shipping agents, ship chandlers to, of course, the shipowners with over 8,000 Panamanian registered ships worldwide.

Our aim is to inform our readers of all the current shipping affairs in Panama as well as developments in the Panama Canal, the Panama Maritime Authority, the ports and the IMO.

Our work does not stop there; we also represent our members before the national authorities; the Panama Shipping registry, the Panama Canal, the Authority of Aquatic resources, and international bodiesd agencies such as the International Labour Organization (ILO). There are new Merchant Marine Circulars published, including MMC No. 227 with important news for shipowners and ship managers regarding the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

We hope you enjoy this issue and we encourage you to write to us with comments, or asking any questions to


International Shipping News


The Panama Invest 2011 cycle of conferences is an initiative organised by the Panama Government and directed at investors in the main business capitals of the world providing information about business opportunities in Panama.

Panama Invest 2011 portrays Panama’s position as a commercial and maritime industry facilitator, strategic logistic hub and global financial centre in the Latin American region.

Panama Invest Tokyo 2011 takes place with the main purpose of strengthening Japan’s position in Panama. The conference showcases the range of possibilities for trade, shipping, commerce, tourism and Japanese finance sectors to invest or establish regional Japanese headquarters in Panama.

So far, 2011 has seen conferences in Sao Paulo, Toronto, Madrid and New York. Further conferences are scheduled for Tokyo, Munich, Rotterdam and London.


The PANAMA INVEST TOKYO, JAPAN – Thursday September 29th, 2011 at The New Otani Hotel, Tokyo.

The PANAMA INVEST MUNICH, GERMANY – Thursday October 13th, 2011.

Further events are schedule for November 2011 in Rotterdam and London.



The Maritime Chamber participates as an active member of the Tripartite Commission that prepares Panama´s legislation, both local and international. As such, the Chamber also participates as a member of the Shipowners´ group at the ILO meetings scheduled to discuss the development of the Convention implementation worldwide.

For more information, please write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

National Shipping News


The Vice-president of Panamá, Juan Carlos Varela, announced recently that Panama has been chosen to hold the 6th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in June 2012.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling signed in Washington DC on 2nd December 1946. The purpose of the Convention is to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.

The main duty of the IWC is to keep under review and revise as necessary the measures laid down in the Schedule to the Convention which governs the conduct of whaling throughout the world. These measures, among other things, provide for the complete protection of certain species; designate specified areas as whale sanctuaries; set limits on the numbers and size of whales which may be taken; prescribe open and closed seasons and areas for whaling; and prohibit the capture of suckling calves and female whales accompanied by calves. The compilation of catch reports and other statistical and biological records is also required.

In addition, the Commission encourages, co-ordinates and funds whale research, publishes the results of scientific research and promotes studies into related matters such as the humaneness of the killing operations.




Recently, a documentary promoted by the National Association for the Nature Conservation (ANCON) and the British Embassy was presented.

The documentary Climate Change: A Darien’s Vision was inspired by the urgency to act on climate change in one of the biggest biodiversity zones of the planet.

Alida Spadafora, executive director of Ancon, and president of the Panamanian Committee UICN (International Union for the Environment Conversation) explained the importance of the forest to capture the Co2 and water, helping to counteract climate change and prevent floods.

Ms Spadafora explained that about 50% of the wood produced in Panama came from illegal sources.

Clive Hughes, British Embassy 2nd Secretary expressed the importance and need to protect the forest in the planet.

Comparing Panama to the UK and the different type of vegetation, he underlined the importance of the documentary to create conscience among people of the need to protect the forests and the rainforest.

Mr Hughes said: ”UK is very interested in the conservation and we have started up of numerous projects for the re-forestation of millions of trees”.

During 1-7 October 2011 in Panama City a meeting will be held of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – The Convention was created over a decade ago, and most countries joined the international treaty to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable.


According to Panama’s National Audit Office, Yellow fin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) exports totalled in June 2010 USD 61.3m compared to June 2011 where the total amount exported was USD 27.6m; a decrease of USD 33.7m

Businesses and fishermen believe that the export decrease was caused by changes in the industry, since the fishing technique of “palangre” (Long line fishery) and other prohibitions have been enforced. For example, the tuna and the Dorada (sea bream/Sparidae) are protected species, and there is a prohibition in place for 62 days for 2011, as well as for 2012.

A local businessman told newspapers that these are migratory species, and that when they pass by Panama’s waters there is prohibition of fishing, however, in Costa Rica their fisherman do fish them.

Source: Panamá-America newspaper


Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) NEWS


The Panama Maritime Authority publishes from time to time new Circulars for ship-owners, ship managers and crew. It is mandatory that a full set of the circulars are placed on board every Panamanian ship if the vessel has not internet on board. To download a set of circulars please visit

The following Circulars have been published since our previous issue. Please update your MMC on board.

MMC 223 – Panama ratifies the Protocol of 2005 to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA 2005) and the Protocol of 2005 to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (SUA PROT 2005).

MMC 224 – establishment of control of the fuel’s quality to be delivered on board ships by the bunker suppliers operating in the Republic of Panama, specifically on the steps to be followed for the taking of samples demanded by MARPOL’s Regulation 18(8.1) Annex VI.

MMC 225 – This circular superseded Merchant Marine Circulars 137 and 179; The Merchant Marine Circular 137 was about ISM Code Certification and Merchant Marine Circular 179 was about Recognized Organizations authorized to issue AFS Statement of Compliance.

MMC 226 – Guidelines for the Maintenance, Inspection of Fire-Protection System and Appliances.

MMC 227 – this merchant marine circular informs on the current stage of the adaptation of the national regulation according to the requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, (MLC, 2006) as well as the issuance of the Declaration of the Maritime Labour Compliance – Part I”.

MMC 228 – Requirements regarding the use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel on board Panamanian Flagged Vessels.

MMC 229 – The purpose of this Merchant Marine Circular is to inform that the SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 19, as amended by Resolution MSC. 282(86), has introduced carriage requirements for BNWAS* for the following ships:
1. Cargo ships of 150 GT and upwards and passenger ships irrespective of size constructed on or after 1 July 2011;
2. Passenger ships irrespective of size constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2012;
3. Cargo ships of 3,000 GT and upwards constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2012;
4. Cargo ships of 500 GT and upwards but less than 3,000 GT constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2013;
5. Cargo ships of 150 GT and upwards but less than 500 GT constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2014.

* Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS)



Concerned about the increasing violence faced by seafarers on dangerous transits through the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, the Maritime Administrations of the world’s three largest maritime flag states, representing approximately 40 per cent of the world’s registered tonnage, supported a new reporting procedure to better document the violence faced by seafarers.

Last August, a ceremony called the “Washington Declaration” took place in Washington D.C., USA, and it was attended by representatives of the Maritime Authorities of the Republic of Panama, Liberia and Marshall Islands, together with the Oceans Beyond Piracy, a project of One Earth Future Foundation, and the International Maritime Bureau.

Last June, the Human Cost of Somali Piracy Report released by Beyond Piracy, exposed the alarming statistics; thousands of seafarers have been subjected to gunfire, beatings, confinement, and in some cases torture; however, the human cost of piracy is still underreported and misunderstood by the public.

The study indicates that during the course of 2010:

  • 4185 Seafarers were attacked with firearms and Rocket Propelled Grenades.
  • 342 Survived Incidents in Citadels (ships’ reinforced security rooms).
  • 1090 Seafarers were taken hostage.
  • 516 Seafarers were used as human shields.

The declaration In order to better document the violence faced by seafarers as an instrument of piratical acts, affirming their commitment to supply information provided to the flag State following acts of piracy or armed robbery to the International Maritime Bureau, which has been identified by Oceans Beyond Piracy as the appropriate body to collect and report such information.


A high ranking Panamanian delegation met in Brussels last July, with officers of European Commission on Maritime, Fishing, Trade and Foreign Relations affairs.

The Panamanian delegation was headed by the Administrator of the Sea Resource Authority of Panama “ARAP” and the Administrator of the Maritime Authority.

After receiving a warning from the European Union (EU) blacklisting Panama for its weak anti-IUU policy, the Sea Resource Authority of Panama (ARAP) announced that it is complying with all the necessary recommendations to ensure the effectiveness of the measures taken and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

The meeting’s main objective was to prevent the inclusion of Panamá in the list of non-cooperative countries before the European Commission.

At the moment there is in place an implementation of a process for the automation of the validation of the capture certification and the fishing licences, and the issue of the Resolution 69 of June 2011 for the control of the capture certificated on the Panamanian ships, as well as the implementation of procedure manuals, in order to have a better control of the fishing fleet to avoid the illegal fishing by Panamanian registered vessels.

To prevent the country from being included in that list, the government – supported by community consultants – is preparing a response to present at the meeting of the European Parliament (EP) in September.



H.E. Roberto Linares and Eng. Alfonso Castillero visiting the IMO Headquarters in London to congratulate the new elected IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu

During a recent visit to the IMO, the Panamanian delegation headed by H.E. Roberto Linares, Administrator of the Panamá Maritime Authority (AMP) met the new IMO’s Secretary General, Koji Sekimizu, to greet and congratulate him in the name of the Panamanian Government for his recent election as the new Secretary of IMO as from 1st January 2011.

“With our greetings and wishes of success, we want to express all our support and we are sure the IMO is in good hands” was the message of Mr Linares to the new elected Secretary General, adding that “Japan is the main user of the Panamanian Merchant Marine and there is an interest to strengthen the already good business and diplomatic relations of both countries and the closed relation with the IMO”.

Mr Sekimuzu replied “We are very optimistic working with Panamá, the country has a great future thanks to its economic growth, its robust shipping registry and the impact of the panama canal expansion”

The meeting was held at the IMO Headquarters in London with the presence of the Vice-Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of Japan, H.E. Koichiro Ichimura, Eng Alfonso Castillero, Director General of Panama’s Merchant Marine and the Panama’s AMP Public Relations Director Mr. Valerio Abrego Jiménez.

Source: Panama Maritime Authority


The World Bank is giving technical assistance to the Maritime Authority for the implementation of the National Maritime Strategy published in the Panama Official Gazette on July 2009.

The Maritime Strategy will introduce six strategic objectives in order to convert Panamá in to a logistic platform for the international transport and trading.


Delegates attending the AMIF forum held recently in Chile

Chile hosted recently the third forum of Maritime Accidents Investigators of the American Continent (AMAIF) aiming to develop and maintain cooperation among the maritime investigators and the Maritime Administrations of the region, as well as improve the maritime safety and pollution prevention through the sharing of information in the investigation process.

The Presidency of the AMAIF is in Argentina and the Vice-Presidency in Peru for the next two years. The 2012 meeting will be in Antigua & Barbuda and Ecuador for 2013

During the meeting Chile proposed and was unanimously accepted by the members, to appoint Panama as the Secretariat of the Forum under the Department of Accident Investigation of the Maritime Authority.

As elected Secretary General of the Forum, Panama has to prepare a uniform process plan in the field of the investigation of maritime accident in the Americas, coordinate the delivery of the projects for discussion in the international forum of MAIF in the UK, as well as ensure that the investigation in the region are focused on lessons learned rather than looking for a guilty party and encourage prevention rather than reaction.

Delegates from Canada, USA, Panamá, Antigua & Barbuda, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and a member from MAIF in UK attended the meeting.


The Container’s movement represented in weight 3,882,585 MT for the month of June 2011 and 3,556,259 MT for the month of July 2011.

Container Movement in Panama (All Ports)

Movement of Containers by Units

June 2011

July 2011

  Total Unloaded Loaded Total Unloaded Loaded
Total 323,436 154,762 168,674 319,036 140,696 178,340

If we compare the figures between 2009, 2010 and 2011, we will see that despite the worldwide crisis, the cargo movement has excelled in 2011.

Container Movement in Panama (All Ports)

Movement of Containers by Units 2009 2010 Up to July 2011
TOTAL 1,419,698 1,769,261 2,179,146


Panama Canal Authority News


The Panama Canal Authority will host its first-ever best practices Engineering and Infrastructure Congress. The Congress will be an effort to share best practices and detailed, practical, hands-on experience related to managing a significant infrastructure project. It is expected to have talks about lock design experience, planning prerequisites for successful projects and the latest design technology. There will be also a session to share updated information on all of the elements of expansion, including the financing of the program.

The Conference will be held in Panama between 18-20 April, 2012.

Not only the Canal will be featured, there are plans to provide information on other Panama’s projects including the Biodiversity Museum designed by Frank Gehry, the local subway/underground (Metro de Panamá) and the coastal road (Cinta Costera).

The Canal expansion involves building a new lane of traffic along the waterway through the construction of a new set of locks, which will allow more traffic and double Canal capacity. Expansion will tighten the global supply chain and help get goods to market faster, thus saving time and money for both producers and consumers.



Organizers of the 5th Annual University of Texas (UT) at Dallas Project Management Symposium have announced a spectacular closing keynote presentation for their conference this year. Joe Cazares, vice president for CH2M HILL Corporation and Deputy Program Manager for the Panama Canal Expansion Program, will tell the story of one of the largest infrastructure projects in the world.

The 5th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium was held during August 2011 in the School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, Texas, USA, and was organized by the Graduate Program in Project Management at The University of Texas at Dallas, in cooperation with PM Forum and the PMI Dallas Chapter.

CH2MHill worked with the UT Dallas Project Management program to train the Panama expansion project managers and teams.

The Panama Canal Expansion Program, planned for completion in 2014, involves design and construction of two new locks facilities – one on the Atlantic and one on the Pacific – each with water saving basins, access channels for the new locks and improvements to the existing navigation channels.

The PMI Dallas Chapter is a volunteer-based professional association dedicated to supporting the growth and development of project management practitioners, as well as building awareness of the project management discipline and its critical role in business and organization success. With more than 250,000 members in over 160 countries, the Project Management Institute (PMI®) is the world’s leading membership association for project management. Founded in 1984 and with over 3,800 members, the PMI Dallas Chapter is one of the world’s largest PMI components. To learn more about the PMI Dallas Chapter and its service offerings, visit and



The Panama Canal operating budget of USD2.398 billion for the fiscal year 2011-12 has been recently approved by National Assembly. The Panama Canal fiscal year runs from 1st October to 30th September.

The 2011-12 budget forecasts that the ACP will contribute USD 950.7 million to the National Treasury.

In 2010, the canal’s contributions to the National Treasury were USD 814 million.

The 2011-12 budgeted income from tolls is USD1.828.40 billion dollars; income from services related to canal transits is USD333 million dollars; and other income of USD140 million; as well as an additional USD22.4 million in interest earnings

Eng.Alberto Aleman Zubieta, Administrator, Panama Canal Authority

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ACP and Minister for Canal Affairs presented the budget together with Panama Canal Administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta and the Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance. The 2011 ACP budget includes new investments of USD136.3 million for the Panama Canal expansion.



The USD5.2 billion expansion project in progress will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships.

The Canal’s expansion remains on track following the recent pouring of permanent concrete work for the new Atlantic side locks.

After the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2014, it is expected that a larger number of ships, including new supersized ships, will travel to East Coast ports to reach customers quicker and more economically than travelling to West Coast ports and transporting cargo across the country via rail.

Since our previous edition, the Panama Canal has renewed important agreements with ports in USA, mainly to promote the “All-Water Route,” a shipping route from Asia to the U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal. In addition, the renewed agreement will also focus on the following areas: Data Sharing to forecast future trade flows and market trends, Market Studies Exchange that may benefit either party in future product development or business venture; Sharing of Information Related to Modernization and Improvement projects that serve as a benefit to business and spur increased demand; and Technological Interchange of advanced technology capabilities and programs to spur cutting-edge initiatives in the shipping and maritime community.

Below you will find the latest MOU signed as well as the importance of those Ports for the Industry and for the USA.

Maryland Port Administration has renewed their MOU with the Panama Canal; with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal, Baltimore will be only one of two East Coast ports capable of receiving these large vessels.

The Port of Baltimore’s 50-foot container berth is scheduled to be completed in August 2012. Including current construction, the project will support 5,700 jobs and, when completed, accommodate larger ships and attract more cargo to Baltimore.

The 50-foot berth is a key element of the 50-year agreement between the MPA and Ports America Chesapeake to lease and operate the state-owned 200-acre Seagirt Marine Terminal that began in January 2010. Ports America is investing in other necessary infrastructure at Seagirt, saving the State hundreds of millions of dollars it would have had to invest in capital improvements. Ports America is also making annual payments to the State and providing ongoing revenues to the MPA.

Baltimore is ranked number one for handling roll on/roll off (farm and construction equipment) and imported forest products, gypsum, sugar and iron ore. Baltimore is ranked second for exporting cars.

Georgia Ports Authority renewed the Strengthen Alliance by signing a MOU with the Panama Canal.

Georgia stands to benefit from the waterway’s expansion, which is slated for completion in 2014. According to the GPA’s market studies, the canal’s new locks are expected to direct ships with nearly three times the capacity to the Port of Savannah, currently the country’s fourth largest and fastest-growing port. Serving a large percentage of the population in the United States, Savannah’s trade is evenly balanced between exports and imports, including 12 percent of all containerized exports in the country.

The GPA is working toward a large-scale effort to deepen the Savannah River from 42 feet to as much as 48 feet. The Savannah Harbour Expansion Project (SHEP) will allow deeper draft ships to call on the port.

Previously, the GPA released an Environmental Impact Study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last November. Currently, the study is in the public comment stage and scheduled for final approval next year. Based on existing forecasts, construction on the SHEP will be undertaken from 2012 to 2016.

Tampa Port Authority renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the two entities first signed in 2005 and then in 2008. The latest agreement is renewable for an additional five years.

South Carolina Ports Authority which owns and operates the Port of Charleston renewed their ties today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

First signed in July 2003, the MOU, which is renewable for an additional three years.

Charleston currently has the deepest harbour in the region and is already handling large ships with a capacity greater than 8,000 TEUs with drafts of up to 48 feet.

To accommodate that expected growth, the Port of Charleston is investing heavily in its facilities with a 10-year, $1.3 billion capital plan. Included in the plan are major upgrades to existing facilities and the construction of a new terminal that will boost port capacity by 50 percent. Simultaneously, business is on the rise, with a 17 percent increase in Charleston container volume in 2010.

Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) renewed the partnership with the ACP by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

First signed in 2009, the MOU, which is renewable for five years, seals both entities’ commitment to economic growth and best customer practices. Under the agreement, ACP and PRPA will conduct joint activities and share best practices. Specific areas of focus will include marketing, research and data interchange, technical advancements and personnel training programs.

The Port of New Orleans renewed the partnership with the ACP by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

First initiated in 2003, the partnership aims to spur investment, increase trade and promote the “All-Water-Route” (the route from Asia to the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts via the Panama Canal).

With over 6,000 vessels moving via the Mississippi River per year, the Port of New Orleans is considered to be one of the world’s busiest waterways. It is the only deepwater port in the United States served by six “Class One” railroads, giving port users direct and economical rail service to or from anywhere in the country. According to a 2004 study conducted by Martin Associates, the Port generates 160,498 jobs, $8 billion in earnings, $17 billion in spending and $800 million in taxes.

“Through investment and commitment, the Port of New Orleans is readying itself for the increased cargo an expanded Panama Canal will bring to the Gulf Coast,” said Gary LaGrange, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans.

In the past ten years, the Port of New Orleans has devoted more than $400 million to new state-of-the-art facilities such as wharves, terminals, marshalling yards, cranes and transportation infrastructure. Most recently, the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans invested over $108 million toward ten completed or ongoing construction projects in areas such as containerized cargo, break bulk cargo and cruising.

Port Everglades renewed their strategic alliance with the ACP with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

First signed in August 2009, the MOU, which is renewable for five years, solidifies both entities’ dedication to growth and best customer practices.

Serving more than 150 ports and 70 countries, Port Everglades generates over $14 billion worth of business activity and approximately 140,000 jobs in Florida. More than 5.2 million tons of containerized cargo is transported through the Port. With the expansion of the Panama Canal slated for completion in 2014, it stands to benefit from anticipated growth.

Port Corpus Christi signed an agreement with the ACP during the Port’s 85th anniversary. The MOU covers the work among the parties to promote trade opportunities.

With cotton as its first cargo, 85 years ago Port Corpus Christi opened its doors to the world of commerce. With petrochemical products as its primary cargo, Port Corpus Christi has grown to be the 5th largest U.S. port in tonnage.

The Port plans to diversify its cargo base, develop important infrastructure projects, such as the dredging of the extension of the La Quinta Channel and the expansion of the Port’s rail capabilities, which will enable the Port to better serve its customers. These projects, as well as several others, continue to attract new industry to the Port, helping to create new jobs for the region and to open new shipping trade routes opportunities through the Gulf of Mexico. By taking advantages of the opportunities the Panama Canal, Port Corpus Christi will become South Texas’ strategic shipping link to the world through the Gulf of Mexico.

Future private investment projects are expected to impact the growth of the Port in the near future, namely the construction of a steel pipe mill by Tianjin Pipe Corporation, the expansion of the Port’s Bulk Terminal to support long term leases with Ambre and Millennium for the handling of their coal exports operations to Asia, South America and Europe and the future sale of its Ingleside Facility to Canyon Supply & Logistics, Inc., an offshore drilling service company.


Port Freeport (TX) has signed a one year agreement with the Panama Canal. This new partnership forms an alliance of cooperation to promote economic growth.


Freeport ranks 16th in international cargo tonnage handling in the USA; located just three miles from deep water, and it is one of the most accessible ports on the Gulf Coast, offering gateway via highway, railroad or intercoastal waterway. The 400-foot-wide, 45-foot-deep channel ensures a fast, safe turnaround.

Port Freeport’s new Velasco Terminal is an 800,000 teu / multipurpose facility that it is scheduled to open phase one in the fall of 2012. Pete Reixach CEO of Port Freeport described the agreement as “a win, win partnership for both parties”.

Port of Houston Authority and Panama Canal Authority renewed their strategic alliance during an official ceremony in Panama City, Panama. The partnership, which was originally formed in 2003, is now extended for five years until 2016. It aims to boost trade along the “All-Water Route” between Asia and the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Panama Canal and the Port of Houston Authority.

As a result of the Panama Canal expansion project, the anticipated increase in containerized cargo going to Houston could grow by 15 percent in the next few years, with a projected 150 percent increase to a total of 4.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) by 2030.

The Port of Houston Authority and the ACP will both celebrate their centennial in 2014 – the same year that work on the waterway’s expansion is expected to be completed.


For a full list of agreements signed by the Panama Canal Authority please visit

Panama Maritime Chamber News


L-R: Juan Carlos Croston, Director/Javier Ortiz, Treasurer/Daniel Isaza, Director/Willys Del Valle, Second Vice-President-Director/Flor Torrijos, Secretary-Director/Eng. Jose Digeronimo, President/Jocelyn Anchor, Director/Guillermo Marquez, First Vice-President-Director/Alex Orillac, Director

Engineer Jose Digeronimo, who is also the General Manager of VT Shipping International in Panama, a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Unilloyd Tankrederij, is the newly elected Chairman of the Panama Maritime Chamber. Digeronimo and the new Board are implementing a strategic plan, organising meetings and setting up the new commissions in order to follow up on the work began by the previous administration and to implement new and innovative programmes.

Digeronimo, a member of the Chamber for many years, was the Chairman of the Panama Maritime International Conference and Exhibition held in Panama last February.

Newly elected Chairman Digeronimo said at the handover ceremony: “The new Board and the entire membership would like to thank Julio de La Lastra and the other directors of the previous Board for their commitment and work; their invaluable contribution has made the Panama Maritime Chamber a much stronger entity. We all look forward to continue representing the interests of the Panamanian Maritime cluster and our international members.

Chairman Digeronimo will attend the Panama Invest 2011 event to be held in Tokyo, representing the Panama Maritime Chamber.

Last June the newly elected Board of Directors took office for the period 2011-2012.

Accompanying the new Chairman, the new elected Board members are: Guillermo Marquez, First Vice-President; Willys Del Valle, Second Vice-President; Flor Torrijos, Secretary; Javier Ortiz, Treasurer; and the Directors are Jocelyn Anchor, Daniel Isaza, Alex Orillac and Juan Carlos Croston.


After the board of directors took office last June, the new or re-elected directors have prepared the strategy and working plan for the year 2011-2012.

The Chamber has numerous committees and commissions to ensure that the entire cluster is represented, and all affairs are solved and prosper under the umbrella of the PMC satisfactorily.

The working Committees are headed by specialists and professionals on each sector of the wide local shipping industry.

Among the main committees there are the Environment Commission, Marine Fuel Oil and Barges Committee, Education and Events, the Bunkering, Marine Fuel Oil and Barges Committee, headed by Javier Ortiz, Transport and Logistics Commission, Government Affairs Committee, International Relations Committee, the Ports Committee, headed by Juan Carlos Croston and the Ancillary Industries headed by Alex Orillac, with its sub-committees of Marine Repairs and Ship’s Suppliers.



The ports and Terminal commission had a meeting with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries to study the commercial barriers affecting the export of port services and to establish possible alternatives to solve them.

Further meetings were held with the liners and shipping agencies to discuss containers inspections at the ports, and with the Marinas and Yachts Club to discuss on their activities and projects.


Panama is a hub where many shipping companies use our facilities and canal waiting time to switch and transfer crew. A large number of the world’s seafarers come from Asia, they all need a visa to enter to our country, therefore, the relation of the Panama Maritime Chamber with the Immigration authorities is vital and our work is paramount to ensure the flow of those crews. Panamanian shipping agencies are always ensuring there are no delays. Recently the newly appointed Director of Immigration visited our secretariat, offering a unique opportunity for our Government Affairs Committee to explain all the needs of the industry and how important is to ensure the free flow of those crews being transferred in Panama.

This is one of the many benefits our international members enjoy by being associated to our Chamber, as a full representation in vital points are the key to success avoiding delays.



During July, the Panama INVEX 2011 cycle visited Madrid. Panama Invest 2011 is a conference cycle dictated to investors in the main business capitals of the world, with the objective to provide information of business opportunities in Panama.

Panama Invest Madrid 2011 portrayed Panama’s position as a commercial and maritime industry facilitator, strategic logistic hub and global financial centre in the Latin American region.

The conference highlighted all the range of possibilities for trade, shipping, commerce, tourism and Spanish finance sectors to invest or establish regional Spanish headquarter in Panama.

Captain Orlando Allard represented the Panamá Maritime Chamber. The event was organised by the Ministry of Trade and Commerce in Panamá, together with the Spanish counterpart and the Embassy of Panamá in Spain.

The delegation was headed by the President of Panamá, H.E. Ricardo Martinelli, the Vice-president and the Ministers of Foreign Trade, Finance and the Administrator of the Panamá Canal.

Source: CMP



The Panama Canal Authority recently hosted a visit from the Panama Maritime Chamber to the impressive works of the canal expansion. The expansion is scheduled to be opened in 2014 at a cost of USD5.2 billion; this is one of the biggest and most important engineering works of our era. Please visit to see the live cam feeds of the works.

Source:ACP and CMP

IMO News


During the 106th session of the IMO Council endorsed a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos to adopt “IMO: One hundred years after the Titanic” as the World Maritime Day theme for 2012.

“The time has come for us to return to this Organization’s roots and raison d’être, i.e. safety of life at sea,” Mr. Mitropoulos said.

One of the consequences of the sinking, in 1912, of the Titanic, in which 1,503 people lost their lives, was the adoption, two years later, of the first International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (the SOLAS Convention). The 1914 version of the Convention was gradually superseded, respectively, by SOLAS 1929, SOLAS 1948, SOLAS 1960 (the first adopted under the auspices of IMO, then known as IMCO) and SOLAS 1974. SOLAS 1974 is still in force today, amended and updated many times.

Mr. Mitropoulos said the selection of the theme proposed would provide an opportunity to:

  • Take stock of improvements in maritime safety during the 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic;

  • Pay tribute to the memory of those, who lost their lives in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic on that fatal night of 14 April 1912;

  • Highlight that the sacrifice of so many of the Titanic (passengers and crew) has not gone in vain;

  • Examine whether the lessons drawn from amongst the most costly (in human lives lost) accidents of the last 100 years have been learnt to the full;

  • Examine the safety record of shipping and identify those areas that have contributed the most to its improvement over the years;

  • Identify the most contributory factors (systems, concepts, mechanisms, etc) in the quest for ever-enhanced safety in shipping;

  • Examine which areas, within the overall spectrum of maritime safety (constructional, operational, cargo, human element, etc.), should be given priority consideration in the years to come; and

  • Pay tribute to all those who, in the course of the 100 years, have contributed to improvements in maritime safety.


The Republic of Palau has become the latest Member of IMO, following the deposit, on 8 September 2011, of an instrument of acceptance of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization, as amended, with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

With the acceptance of the Convention by Palau, the number of IMO Member States stands at 170, with a further three Associate Members.



Mandatory measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from international shipping were adopted by Parties to MARPOL Annex VI represented in the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the IMO, representing the first ever mandatory global greenhouse gas reduction regime for an international industry sector.

The amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, add a new chapter 4 to Annex VI on Regulations on energy efficiency for ships to make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships. Other amendments to Annex VI add new definitions and the requirements for survey and certification, including the format for the International Energy Efficiency Certificate.

The regulations apply to all ships of 400 GT and above and are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013.

However, under regulation 19, the Administration may waive the requirement for new ships of 400 GT and above from complying with the EEDI requirements. This waiver may not be applied to ships above 400 GT for which the building contract is placed four years after the entry into force date of chapter 4; the keel of which is laid or which is at a similar stage of construction four years and six months after the entry into force; the delivery of which is after six years and six months after the entry into force; or in cases of the major conversion of a new or existing ship, four years after the entry into force date.

The EEDI is a non-prescriptive, performance-based mechanism that leaves the choice of technologies to use in a specific ship design to the industry. As long as the required energy-efficiency level is attained, ship designers and builders would be free to use the most cost-efficient solutions for the ship to comply with the regulations.

The SEEMP establishes a mechanism for operators to improve the energy efficiency of ships.

Promotion of technical co-operation

The new chapter includes a regulation on Promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships, which requires Administrations, in co-operation with IMO and other international bodies, to promote and provide, as appropriate, support directly or through IMO to States, especially developing States, that request technical assistance.

It also requires the Administration of a Party to co-operate actively with other Parties, subject to its national laws, regulations and policies, to promote the development and transfer of technology and exchange of information to States, which request technical assistance, particularly developing States, in respect of the implementation of measures to fulfil the requirements of Chapter 4.

IMO environment meeting completes packed agenda

IMO adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) to designate the United States Caribbean Sea as a new emission control area (ECA); to designate the Baltic Sea as a Special Area with respect to pollution by sewage from ships; and to adopt a revised Annex V related to the control of garbage, at the 62nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which met from 11 to 15 July 2011 at the IMO Headquarters in London.

IMO also adopted mandatory measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from international shipping.

The MEPC also designated the Strait of Bonifacio as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) and adopted the first-ever international recommendations to address biofouling of ships, to minimize the transfer of aquatic species.

In other matters, the MEPC approved a number of ballast water management systems and adopted guidelines related to the implementation of both the ballast water management and ship recycling Conventions.

Energy efficiency measures adopted

Mandatory measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from international shipping were adopted by Parties to MARPOL Annex VI represented in the MEPC.

The MEPC agreed to the terms of reference for an intersessional working group on energy efficiency measures for ships, scheduled to take place in February/March 2012, tasked with:

United States Caribbean Emission Control Area adopted

Following approval at its last session, the MEPC adopted MARPOL amendments to designate certain waters adjacent to the coasts of Puerto Rico (United States) and the Virgin Islands (United States) as an ECA for the control of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOX), and particulate matter under MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships. Another amendment will make old steamships exempt from the requirements on sulphur relating to both the North American and United States Caribbean Sea ECAs. The MARPOL amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013, with the new ECA taking effect 12 months later.

Currently, there are two designated ECAs in force under Annex VI, the Baltic Sea area and the North Sea area, while a third, the North American ECA, which was adopted in March 2010 with entry into force in August 2011, will take effect in August 2012.

Other Annex VI issues

The MEPC adopted Guidelines for reception facilities under MARPOL Annex VI and Guidelines addressing additional aspects to the NOx Technical Code 2008 with regard to particular requirements related to marine diesel engines fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems.

The MEPC approved, for future adoption, draft amendments to the NOx Technical Code 2008, relating to engines not pre-certified on a test bed and to NOx-reducing devices. It also agreed terms of reference for the review of the status of technological developments to implement the Tier III NOx emission standard.

Black carbon measures to be further considered

The MEPC agreed a work plan on addressing the impact in the Arctic of black carbon emissions from ships and instructed the Sub-Committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG) to: develop a definition for black carbon emissions from international shipping; consider measurement methods for black carbon and identify the most appropriate method for measuring black carbon emissions from international shipping; investigate appropriate control measures to reduce the impacts of black carbon emissions from international shipping in the Arctic; and submit a final report to MEPC 65 (in 2014).

Black carbon is a strongly light-absorbing carbonaceous aerosol produced by incomplete combustion of fuel oil and is considered a constituent of primary particulate matter, as distinguished from secondary particulate matter pollutants formed in the atmosphere from sulphur dioxide emissions. In addition to harmful human health effects associated with exposure to particulate matter, Black carbon has effects on climate change. When deposited on snow and ice in the Arctic and lower latitudes, it darkens light surfaces and absorbs energy, causing snow and ice to melt.

Annex IV (Sewage) Baltic Special Area adopted

The MEPC adopted amendments to MARPOL Annex IV Prevention of pollution by sewage from ships to include the possibility of establishing “Special Areas” for the prevention of such pollution from passenger ships and to designate the Baltic Sea as a Special Area under this Annex. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013.

Revised Annex V (garbage) adopted

The MEPC adopted the revised MARPOL Annex V Regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships, which has been developed following a comprehensive review to bring the Annex up to date. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013.

The main changes include the updating of definitions; the inclusion of a new requirement specifying that discharge of all garbage into the sea is prohibited, except as expressly provided otherwise (the discharges permitted in certain circumstances include food wastes, cargo residues and water used for washing deck and external surfaces containing cleaning agents or additives which are not harmful to the marine environment); expansion of the requirements for placards and garbage management plans to fixed and floating platforms engaged in exploration and exploitation of the sea-bed; and the addition of discharge requirements covering animal carcasses.

PSSA for Strait of Bonifacio designated

The MEPC agreed to designate the Strait of Bonifacio as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA), following its approval in principle at the last session, and consideration of associated protective measures by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) in June 2011.

The MEPC also agreed, in principle, to designate the Saba Bank in the Caribbean Sea as a PSSA, noting that the Netherlands would submit detailed proposals for associated protective measures to the NAV Sub-Committee, which would provide recommendations to the Committee with a view to final designation of the PSSA at MEPC 64 in October 2012.

Biofouling guidelines adopted

The MEPC adopted the first set of international recommendations to address biofouling of ships, to minimize the transfer of aquatic species. The Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species will address the risks of introduction of invasive aquatic species through the adherence of sealife, such as algae and molluscs, to ships’ hulls.

Research indicates that biofouling is a significant mechanism for species transfer by vessels. A single fertile fouling organism has the potential to release many thousands of eggs, spores or larvae into the water with the capacity to found new populations of invasive species such as crabs, fish, sea stars, molluscs and plankton. Minimizing biofouling will significantly reduce the risk of transfer.

Guidelines on recycling of ships adopted

The MEPC adopted the 2011 Guidelines for the development of the Ship Recycling Plan as well as updated Guidelines for the development of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials, which are intended to assist in the implementation of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, adopted in May 2009.

The Committee encouraged Governments to ratify the Convention, which has been signed, subject to ratification, by five countries, and to review the programme of technical assistance aimed at supporting its early implementation.

Ballast water management systems approved

The MEPC granted final approval to two and basic approval to seven ballast water management systems that make use of active substances, following the recommendations of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth meetings of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection (GESAMP) Ballast Water Working Group, which met in December 2010, February/March and May 2011, respectively.

The MEPC also adopted the Procedure for approving other methods of ballast water management in accordance with regulation B-3.7 of the Ballast Water Management Convention, which will open the door for new methods and concepts to prevent risks arising from the transfer of invasive species, provided that such methods will ensure at least the same level of protection of the environment as set out in the Convention and are approved in principle by the MEPC.

Guidance on scaling of ballast water management systems was also approved

The MEPC reiterated the need for countries to ratify the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004, to achieve its entry into force at the earliest opportunity. To date, 28 States, with an aggregate merchant shipping tonnage of 26.37 per cent of the world total, have ratified the Convention. The Convention will enter into force twelve months after the date on which not fewer than 30 States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than 35 percent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping, have become Parties to it.

Guidelines for the carriage of blends of petroleum oil and bio-fuels approved

The MEPC approved Guidelines for the carriage of blends of petroleum oil and bio-fuels, which set out carriage and discharge requirements for bio-fuel blends containing 75% or more of petroleum oil (they are subject to Annex I of MARPOL); bio-fuel blends containing more than 1% but less than 75% of petroleum oil (subject to Annex II of MARPOL); and bio-fuel blends containing 1% or less petroleum oil (also subject to Annex II of MARPOL).

FSA environmental risk evaluation criteria endorsed

The MEPC endorsed environmental risk evaluation criteria, for inclusion in the Guidelines for Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) for use in the IMO rule-making process, subject to approval by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).

Implementation of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC Convention), 1990, and the Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, 2000 (OPRC-HNS Protocol)
The MEPC also discussed the report of the OPRC HNS Technical Group, which met for its twelfth meeting the week prior to the MEPC session to progress several matters, including the development of guidelines and manuals, on marine pollution preparedness and response.


Further interim guidance on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) on board ships to counter Somali-based piracy has been approved by an IMO intersessional working group.

The Intersessional Maritime Security and Piracy Working Group of the Maritime Safety Committee approved the following Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) circulars for dissemination:

  • MSC.1/Circ.1408 on Interim Recommendations for port and coastal States regarding the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area;

  • MSC.1/Circ.1406/Rev.1 on Revised Interim Recommendations for flag States regarding the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area;

  • MSC.1/Circ.1405/Rev.1 on Revised Interim Guidance to shipowners, ship operators and shipmasters on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area; and

  • a joint MSC and Facilitation Committee (FAL) circular on Questionnaire on information on port and coastal State requirements related to privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships, which is aimed at gathering information on current requirements.

The circulars provide interim guidance and recommendations to be taken into account when considering the use of PCASP if and when a flag State determines that such a measure would be lawful and, following a full risk assessment, appropriate.

As stated in the circulars, the interim guidance and recommendations “are not intended to endorse or institutionalize” the use of armed guards. Therefore, they do not represent any fundamental change of policy by the Organization in this regard. It is for each flag State, individually, to decide whether or not PCASP should be authorized for use on board ships flying their flag. If a flag State decides to permit this practice, it is up to that State to determine the conditions under which authorization will be granted.

The use of PCASP should not be considered as an alternative to Best Management Practices (BMP) and other protective measures. BMP4 has recently been issued by the shipping industry and will shortly be disseminated by IMO (as MSC.1/Circ.1339).



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Panama, September/October 2011

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