January 22, 2023 Published by Washington Post Digital Edition
Panama is proud of its history as a strong ally and committed partner of the United States in its fight against terrorism and terrorist financing. We were surprised and, frankly, offended by the accusations former Florida governor Jeb Bush made in his Jan. 17 Tuesday Opinion essay, “How to stop Panama from helping Iran skirt sanctions.” Panama cooperates with the Treasury Department and other U.S. authorities to ensure vessels listed in our registry are not used in activities that threaten international peace and security.
As the operator of one of the world’s largest merchant fleets, Panama takes its responsibility for global maritime security seriously. Between 2019 and 2022, Panama, following due process, de-flagged 678 vessels for noncompliance with Panamanian and international regulations. We are committed to compliance with sanctions enforcement and to date have de-flagged 136 ships with ties to the National Iranian Oil Co. In fact, each of the five vessels mentioned in Mr. Bush’s essay is in the process of being de-flagged or is under investigation.
In 2019, Panama passed a resolution to allow for the immediate de-flagging of any vessel in the registry that attempts to obscure its origins or destination. The then-U. S. secretary of state applauded this measure, with the State Department calling it an “important step in helping prevent terrorist groups or states that sponsor terrorism from threatening global stability and commerce.”
Panama carries out investigations of alleged violations in strict compliance with international law. We conduct regular reviews to ensure that vessels listed on our registry operate in line with International Maritime Organization conventions.
Ramón Martínez de la Guardia, Washington
The writer is the ambassador of Panama to the United States.
October 19, 2020
The Tocumen International Airport strictly complies with the biosafety protocols established by the Health Ministry of the Republic of Panama, for the safe restart of the commercial aerial operations, as of October 12.
We have adapted to the new normal to take care of you in each stage of your journey. The biosafety recommendations and guides are essential to support our operations during transit through our facilities.
We are ready to restart flight connections with Latin America, the Caribbean, South America, Central America and Europe, committed to maintaining the highest health, hygienic and safety standards according to protocols recognized by international organizations that regulate aviation, so that your experience through our terminals, will be on time, comfortable and safe.
¡Tocumen Takes Care of You! Last updated on [September 24, 2020]. The protocols will be updated as necessary.
Please click for more information https://www.tocumenaeropuerto.com/biosafety-protocol/
PANAMA ADVOCATES FOR SOLIDARITY BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS TO URGENTLY ADDRESS CREW CHANGES WHILE BENEFITING ALL SEAFARERS
PANAMA – September 29, 2020
“Panama, as the first ship registry in the world with more than 8 thousand flagged vessels, feels the responsibility of representing the interests of the seafarers, as well as the shipowners and operators, who urgently need the help and solidarity of the rest of the world, for this reason we call on all governments to act urgently and responsibly, to allow crew changes, "said the Director General of Seafarers (DGGM) of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), Captain Juan Maltez during the meeting called "COVID-19 and changes in maritime crew: A humanitarian, safety and economic crisis".
This activity was carried out virtually as part of the celebration of the World Maritime Day, of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which on this occasion was coordinated with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Global Compact, in collaboration with the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Federation of Transport Workers, during the high-level opening week of the 75th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
The Minister of Maritime Affairs, Arch. Noriel Araúz in the official act communicated that the main objective of participating was to share with the world the experiences acquired by the Republic of Panama during the last seven (7) months with respect to the crisis of crew changes, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Panama is aware of the great value that seafarers represent and of the commendable mission they play for the entire world by keeping the supply chain active, which is why, since the beginning of this health crisis, we issued the Merchant Marine Notice 003, with the purpose of temporarily regulating the extension of labor agreements for crews in the face of global lockdowns, which forced seafarers to stay on board for longer than stipulated and not be able to disembark, these extensions came to an end on September 14, 2020.
Among the various actions taken by the AMP in favor of seafarers, the following stand out:
• Extend the validity of medical and training certificates and licenses for national and foreign seafarers on board Panamanian ships.
• Support IMO's decision to designate seafarers as "Key Workers", effective 17 May 2020.
• Protocols called "Diagram of the modalities for repatriation, disembarkation and boarding of crew members" were drawn up, which through seven (7) different modalities guarantee safe crew changes, following the guidelines of IMO Circular Letter 4204 / add14 issued by IMO.
• On September 8, we officially endorsed IMO Circular Letter No. 4204 / add 29, which contemplates three (3) main points: Designate all seafarers and maritime personnel (not only nationals) within their jurisdiction as key workers providing an essential service; implement the protocols and guidelines of the series of circular letters N ° 4204 and allow safe and secure crew changes; eliminate other barriers to crew changes such as visa restrictions, flight restrictions, national travel and movement restrictions, access to medical care and exams, etc.
Our nation, through the implementation of these Protocols, has facilitated crew changes and repatriations, benefiting to date some 8,268 people, including passengers and crew, of more than 50 different nationalities, covering all types of ships and yachts, also in the same period of time 1,787 seafarers have embarked.
We show our solidarity by providing timely humanitarian assistance to the "Zaandam" and "Rotterdam" cruises, by transferring their passengers and crew, they were also provided with supplies, medicines, medical equipment and their transit through the Panama Canal was coordinated, avoiding a greater tragedy.
We recognize that several countries support crew changes, but this is not enough. It is time for us to act together urgently and responsibly to allow crew changes, if there are no crew changes, shipping stops and the consequences will no longer be only for seafarers, but also for the rest of the world and its economy.
Seafarers need to return to their country of origin and those trapped on land must embark, so that goods and all trade can take place safely, this can be achieved through the protocols issued by the IMO, and Panama is an undeniable sample of it.
In this meeting, in addition to Minister Araúz and Director Maltez, participated: the Minister of Transport of Canada, Marc Garneau, the Minister of Transport of Kenya, James Macharia, the Secretary of Transport of the Philippines, Arthur Tugade and the Minister of the Sea of France, Annick Girardin while UN Global Compact Special Advisor on Oceans, Sturla Henriksen served as moderator.
The global maritime slogan for 2020 is "Sustainable maritime transport for a sustainable planet", providing the opportunity for the entire maritime community to strengthen its commitment and demonstrate the various actions carried out by IMO and its Member States to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) of the United Nations, which this September 25 will celebrate five (5) years since its proclamation.
World Maritime Day was established by the IMO Governing Council at its thirty-eighth session, in 1978. Each year, through a different slogan, it provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of global shipping or other aspects that the organization wishes to highlight. This year it is being carried out for the first time in a virtual way due to the pandemic produced by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
3-Septiembre-2020 "El Gobierno Nacional de la República de Panamá ha decidido modificar numeral 1 del artículo 2 de la Resolución No. 766 de 13 de agosto de 2020, que establece medidas sanitarias para los pasajeros que ingresen a la República de Panamá, mientras se mantenga el Estado de Emergencia Nacional."
Se debe cumplir con una prueba negativa de PCR o de antígeno 96hrs. antes de ingresar al país o de pasar por aduana, y cumplir con el periodo de cuarentena"
3-Sept-2020 "The Government of the Republic of Panama has decided to lift the restriction of entry to the country for nationals and residents."
It must comply with a negative PCR or antigen test 96hrs. before entering the country or going through customs, and comply with the quarantine period "
13-Agosto-2020 "El Gobierno Nacional de la República de Panamá ha decidido levantar la restricción de ingreso al país de los nacionales y residentes."
Se debe cumplir con una prueba negativa de PCR o de antígeno 48hrs. antes de ingresar al país o de pasar por aduana, y cumplir con el periodo de cuarentena"
13-August-2020 "The Government of the Republic of Panama has decided to lift the restriction of entry to the country for nationals and residents."
It must comply with a negative PCR or antigen test 48hrs. before entering the country or going through customs, and comply with the quarantine period "
"I wish to express to Arch. Noriel Araúz my sincere thanks for the fruitful and positive cooperation that exists between the Republic of Panama and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), reinforced during these difficult times, and I also want to convey my deep condolences to all those who in his country have been affected by this unprecedented event. It is a very difficult time for all of us, we are going through pain, financial problems and great changes in our daily lives, ”said the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Kitack Lim.
These emotional words are found in a letter dated June 3rd of 2020, addressed from the General Secretariat of this Organism to the Office of the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP).
The Secretary General added that in these difficult times, the availability of the maritime industry and the ability of seafarers to deliver vital goods, including medical supplies and food, is essential to respond to and eventually overcome this pandemic, therefore it is of utmost importance that the flow of trade by sea is not interrupted unnecessarily.
I wish to commend Panama's efforts to facilitate crew changes, in particular, I am grateful for the joint statement issued by Panama and Liberia on this matter and for supporting IMO Circular Letter No. 4204 / Add.14 for the "Recommended framework of protocols that guarantee safe changes in the ship's crew and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic."
The pandemic produced by COVID-19 has presented enormous challenges to the world. The media recognizes the heroic efforts made by doctors, nurses, first responders and key personnel in the face of this crisis. Less well-known is the memorable work done by seafarers around the world, many of whom have been working under tremendous physical and mental strain to keep the global supply chain from stopping in order for food, valuable medical supplies and other products to reach its destination.
Thousands of seafarers have involuntarily extended their contracts, some have been working at sea for almost fifteen (15) months without rest. This represents a potential threat to the safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment, since fatigue is one of the most important causes for incidents to occur on board. Therefore, it is imperative that there be adequate job rotation for current and future crews.
“I urge all countries to fully comply with their obligations regarding crew changes, repatriation and access to medical care. I encourage Panama to share its best practices with other nations, to allow the transition period to run smoothly, as the world's seafarers deserve, "IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim concluded in his letter.
Jaime A. Sosa was appointed by president Laurentino Cortizo as Consul of Panama in Houston. A graduate from the University of Texas in Business Administration, Consul General Sosa has a distinguished career in marketing having working as Marketing Manager of Cerveceria Nacional, the largest brewery in Panama, as Marketing Director of Philipp Morris Company, and as Vice President for the advertising agency BBM. He has also directed his own market research and polling firm.
Consul General Sosa will be coordinating initiatives between the University of Texas and Panama. In addition, he will be promoting the Panama Ship Registry, largest in the world, and trade and investment between the two countries.
The Consulate General of Panama in Houston has been selected as the “Most Trusted Maritime Services” in the State of Texas by the prestigious magazine “International Transport News”. The consulate is one of sixty consulates across the world that provides services in support of The Panama Shipping Registry – the oldest and largest in the world. The Shipping Registry is part of The Panama Maritime Authority, an agency of the Government of Panama that last year celebrated its 100th anniversary. The consulate also hosts the registry’s Global Offshore Center. Its operations are forward in technology and designed for fast & accurate service. The consulate’s offices are located in Greenway Plaza (Houston) which is an area that hosts several shipping companies. International Transport News relies on industry experts in the government field and think-thanks around the world. They cover issues pertaining to logistics, shipping, and aviation to name a few.
24-Septiembre-2020 "Gobierno de Panamá establece medidas sanitarias para las personas nacionales, residentes y extranjeros que ingresen al país a partir del 12 de octubre 2020"
El Gobierno de Panamá, a través del Decreto Ejecutivo No. 1089 del 23 de septiembre de 2020, establece como medidas sanitarias que deben cumplir las personas nacionales, residentes y extranjeros que ingresen a la República de Panamá, a partir del 12 de octubre, presentar un Certificado de Pruebas de Hisopado/PCR o antígeno negativo con un máximo de 48 horas, sin necesidad de cumplir aislamiento obligatorio.
El Decreto Ejecutivo destaca, además, que toda persona que llegue al país y no porte el Certificado de Pruebas de Hisopado/PCR o antígeno negativo, tendrá la obligación de realizarse una prueba rápida, previo al registro de migración del Aeropuerto, la cual será pagada por el viajero.
Si el resultado de la prueba rápida sale negativo, estará exento de cumplir con el aislamiento obligatorio. Por el contrario, si la prueba de Hisopado/PCR o antígeno, resulta positiva, la persona pasará a aislamiento obligatorio en un hotel hospital designado por el Ministerio de Salud. A los siete (7) días se le realizará una prueba de antígeno, si resulta positiva deberá terminar su aislamiento de 14 días y si es negativo terminará el aislamiento.
Se exceptúan de estas disposiciones a las tripulaciones técnicas, tripulaciones auxiliares, mecánicos y personal humanitario, los cuales deberán cumplir con las medidas de bioseguridad establecidas por el Ministerio de Salud.
24-Sept-2020 " Government of the Republic of Panama establishes sanitary measures for nationals, residents and foreigners who enter the country as of October 12, 2020 ."
The Government of Panama, through Executive Decree No. 1089 of September 23, 2020, establishes as sanitary measures that nationals, residents and foreigners who enter the Republic of Panama must comply with, as of October 12, 2020 Present a Certiifcate of Swab Tests / PCR or negative antigen with a maximum of 48 hours, without the need to comply with mandatory isolation.
The Executive Decree also highlights that any person who arrives in the country and does not carry the Certificate of Swab Tests / PCR or negative antigen, will have the obligation to perform a rapid test, prior to the airport migration registration, which will be paid by the traveler.
If the rapid test result is negative, you are exempt from complying with mandatory isolation. On the contrary, if the swab / PCR or antigen test is positive, the person will go to mandatory isolation in a hospital hotel designated by the Ministry of Health. After seven (7) days an antigen test will be performed, if it is positive, you must end your 14-day isolation and if it is negative, the isolation will end.
The technical crews, auxiliary crews, mechanics and humanitarian personnel are excepted from these provisions, and they must comply with the biosafety measures established by the Ministry of Health.
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