At the 29th Meeting of the Port State Control Committee held in Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China, from November 5th to 8th of this year, the Report presented to the Plenary of the Monitoring Committee (formed by China, New Zealand, Singapore and the Secretary of the TOKYO MOU) was approved unanimously, to evaluate the activities and progress made by the Republic of Panama, represented by the Panama Maritime Authority, to perform the processes of Port State Control, as a final step to be considered as Definitive Member of the Memorandum.
The control and follow-up of the maritime safety inspections performed by this Memorandum, that includes countries of the Asia-Pacific area, is in charge of the General Directorate of Merchant Marine of the Panama Maritime Authority.
Panama was unanimously accepted as Cooperant Authority in the 26th Meeting of the Committee held in Malaysia on October, 2015 and the Delegation formed by the General Director of Merchant Marine of the Panama Maritime Authority, Fernando Solorzano; the Chief of the Section of Port State, Eng. Victor Lau; and the Chief of the Office of Maritime Safety of the PMA in Shanghai, China, Eng. Katy Tom Lin attended the 29th Meeting held in China.
Based on qualitative criteria and the Guide for the Application, Evaluation and Acceptance of the Cooperant Members, the Monitoring Team of the TOKYO MOU highlighted that Panama has conducted appropriately the activities of Port State Control, reflecting a decrease in the rate of detention of ships bearing the Panamanian flag, also remaining in the White List. The country has also ratified and implemented the international conventions applicable by the Memorandum and has participated actively in the Program of Technical Cooperation, training the inspectors of the PMA in the journeys performed in South Korea, Malaysia and Japan.
General Director Solorzano thanked the Committee on the presented report and manifested that the activities of the Agreements on Port State Control are vital to increase the cooperation and communication among the authorities and the maritime organizations. He also acknowledged that the first responsibility with the safety of the navigations falls on the Flag State and reiterated that Panama is ready to receive the auditing team.
Having received a positive report, the Panama Maritime Authority shall formalize now, in front of the Committee, an application as Definitive Member and submit to an Audit in Panama City, that shall be performed by the Monitoring Team between April and June of 2019.