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Panama Becomes Full Member Of The Tokyo Memorandum Of Understanding (Tokyo MOU)

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 | 12:00

Panama was accepted as Full Member of the TOKYO MOU, during the TOKYO MOU's 30th PSC Committee Meeting. ¨it is a great honor be part of this prestigious body, ¨ said Panama Maritime Authority's Director of Merchant Marine, Rafael Cigarruista who heads Panama Ship Registry.

The Tokyo MOU is one of the most active regional Port State Control (PSC) Organizations in the world. The organization consists of 20 Maritime Authorities in the Asia-Pacific regions, now 21 with the inclusion of Panama.

The main objective of the Tokyo MOU is to establish an effective Port State Control regime in the Asia-Pacific region through cooperation of its members and harmonization of their activities, to eliminate sub¬standard shipping and promote maritime safety, protect the marine environment and safeguard working and living conditions on board of vessels.

Panama's General Directorate of Merchant Marine was subject to an extensive assessment and its responsibilities as Flag State and Port State Control were extensively audited, looking for compliance by a team from the Tokyo MOU (ASIA Pacific PSC). The audit team had members from Singapore, China, New Zealand and the secretariat staff, that in their summary report reached the unanimous opinion that the Panama Maritime Administration could be accepted a full member of the Tokyo MOU.

Alex Schultz – Altman Tokyo MoU Chairman—Eng. Jose Luis Ortega – Navigation of Safety Department–Eng. Rafael Cigarruista – General Director of Merchant Marine—Mr. Hideo Kubota, Tokyo MoU Secretaria–Mr. Kenny Crawford; Tokyo MoU Vice Chairman

Port State Control (PSC) comes into the scene when shipowners, recognized organizations and flag State Administrations have failed to comply with the requirements of the international maritime conventions. Although it is well understood that the ultimate responsibility for implementing conventions is left to the flag States, Port State Controls are entitled to control foreign ships visiting their own ports to ensure that any deficiencies found are rectified before they are allowed to sail.
Port State Control is regarded as measures complementary to the flag State control and IMO responsibilities.

Panama Flag Administration is a full member of the Viña del Mar Agreement, and now with the acceptance as full member of the Tokyo MOU, will become part of a small group of major flags that participate actively in more than one PSC regime, fact that evidence Panama's commitment to fulfill PSC objective helping to eliminate threats to the safety of ships, crew members of the marine environment. This achievement represents a good advantage for ships owners and companies when they are in the process of selecting the best option in terms of ships' registration.

The new Panama Flag Administration, installed July 1st and led by naval architect Noriel Arauz as Panama Maritime Authority Administrator, and his technical team (ex-sea masters, nautical engineers and lawyers) are committed to prove compliance and to maintain the Flag reputation.

“We must improve in many ways such as getting into the electronic era and implementing faster and efficient processes with transparency, and modern techniques,” said Cigarruista. ‘This is our program for remaining the world's first flag and continuing giving our ship owners the best service they deserve,” he added.
Source: Panama Maritime Authority

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