PANAMA—-July 7, 2023— The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), the entity overseeing the Panama Ship Registry received a letter of approval from the United States Coast Guard congratulating the country for its qualification to the Quality Shipping for the 21st Century Program (QUALSHIP21) and the flag’s commitment to quality shipping, since the Panamanian fleet vessels arriving at US ports have achieved an excellent record of Port State Control.
This is the first time that the Panama Ship Registry has achieved classification in this prestigious US government program.
With the purpose of guaranteeing a safe and environmentally committed maritime commerce, the United States Coast Guard created this program which came into effect on January 1, 2002. To qualify for this program, vessels must adhere to established requirements, which encourage exemplary vessels that show compliance and good environmental stewardship.
Ships flying the Panamanian flag reported a compliance rate above the 99% required for inclusion in the Qualship21 program. This is the result of a series of measures that were put in place to ensure the reduction of possible detentions upon arrival of vessels at US ports, highlighting:
- All Panamanian flag vessels that will transit or visit domestic ports prior to their arrival in the United States will be required to undergo an Annual Security Inspection (ASI) upon arrival at any port or terminal in Panama.
- As of August 1, 2022, the AMP initiated a special flag inspection program for vessels arriving at U.S. ports whose history makes them candidates for a Port State Inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Directorate General of Merchant Marine, the Flag Surveyors, the Recognized Organizations and Segumar Technical Offices located in the United States and Panama, achieved this milestone for the Panamanian Registry that shows the institution’s efforts to change working methods and monitor the fleet.
Panama received the Certificate that accredits Panama as a flag meeting all the eligibility criteria to be part of the Qualship21 program.
Panama encourages ship owners, operators, and masters to operate with high standards to ensure a safer, innovative, and sustainable maritime industry, and keeping the protection of human life at sea and the protection of the environment, as a principle.
The Panama Maritime Authority remains vigilant of the good performance of the Panamanian Merchant Marine.