Associated Steamship Agents, S.A.
Associated Steamship Agents, S.A.

Panama Canal

AGENTS SERVICES

Maintain offices in both Balboa, on the Pacific side, and Cristobal, on the Atlantic side, where our operations departments work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, responding to the needs of our principals from around the world who use the Panama Canal and ports in the Republic of Panama.  In addition to representing many ship owners and operators provide services as agents for Lloyd’s of London at the Canal and undertake hull and machinery surveys on behalf of underwriters from Europe, the United States and the Far East.

Panama Canal Transit

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Panama Canal

Transit Cost Calculator

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Panama Canal

Transit Requirements

  • Canal Transit

    Time is always of importance in the shipping industry and transit of a vessel through the Panama Canal is certainly no exception. It cannot be stressed sufficiently that as much notice of an impending transit of a vessel be given by her Owners of Operators to this Agency in order to provide a complete breakdown of Canal transit expenses so that funds can be transferred in a timely manner, thus securing the earliest possible transit.

  • Initial Transit

    Approval of Plans

    (1) The plans for new construction or modification for each vessel or class of vessels should be submitted to the Transit Operations Division for review prior to modification or construction. A minimum of two and a maximum of four sets of copies of each drawing should be submitted. The ACP will retain for its records and files a single set of the drawings submitted and will return only up to three sets of copies of the principal drawings submitted. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in delay or denial of transit because of unsuitable or unsafe arrangements.

    (2) The numerous constraints affecting the transit schedules of vessels and tows make it important that information provided in advance of the initial transit include the following documents for approval (a minimum of two copies of each drawing must be submitted):

    • General Arrangement (indicating deployed boarding facilities, blue steering light and pilot shelters/platforms)
    • Mooring Arrangement (indicating chock/bitt sizes and maximum safe working load/strain capacities)
    • Wheelhouse Arrangement (showing required aids to navigation, such as indicators, wipers, horn controls, radar and others)
    • Visibility Calculations (indicating compliance with ACP visibility requirements) .
    • Section Views showing the vessel inside the lock chamber pressed against both, center and side walls, indicating clearances of protrusions from lock structures and equipment (for vessels with protrusions – the locks chamber drawing may be downloaded from the Panama Canal web page at http://www.pancanal.com/eng/op/notices/index.html Locks Composite Maximum Clearances Limiting Dimensions.pdf ).

    For reference only (one copy of each drawing retained for our records):

    • Midship Section (or Shell Expansion and bilge radius information, if the Midship Section is not available)
    • Engine room plans
    • International Tonnage Certificate
    • International Load Line Certificate
    • Detailed drawings of chocks and bitts showing sizes and maximum strain capacities, if not indicated in the mooring arrangement.

    This advance information will minimize the possibility that transit might be denied due to noncompliance with Canal regulations.

    (3) Vessels that have had the appropriate plans approved will normally retain such approval unless it is determined by the Transit Operations Division manager that modifications are necessary to ensure safe transit.

    (4) The Transit Operations Division accepts electronic drawing submittals via email or by regular mail in diskettes.

    (5) The drawings are to be saved in a format type, which minimizes file size and is readable by or compatible with AUTOCAD2002. All drawing and letter files comprising the submittal are to be zipped together into one zip file using the WinZip file compression software. Please note that the Canal e-mail system limits attachment size to less than 1.5MB.

    (6) After review, the submittals will be stamped electronically and returned via email, zipped. In this manner the recipient has better control of the number of prints needed for their internal distribution.
    Additionally, and for the purpose of admeasurement, vessels transiting the Canal for the first time need to present an International Tonnage Certificate (69) (ITC 69) or a substitute document deemed acceptable by the Authority, based on a system substantially similar to that of the Panama Canal.
    These vessels have to provide plans, classification certificates and documents with information stating the Total Volume of the vessel or sufficient information to the Admeasurement Unit (MRTD) to determine this volume through mathematical calculations. For more on this you may refer to Agreement No.2, Article 5 of the “Maritime Regulations for the Operations of the Panama Canal” which may be downloaded from http://www.pancanal.com/eng/maritime/regulations/ and http://www.pancanal.com/eng/legal/reglamentos/acuerdo2-eng.pdf. There is no charge for ACP admeasurement calculations if the ‘ITC 69’ values submitted are confirmed. If ‘ITC 69’ values are not confirmed the vessel will have to be admeasured and the ACP will assess appropriate charges.
    Herebelow is the list of drawings/documents that have to be submitted to the Admeasurement Unit (MRTD) prior to transit. This is in addition to the plan approval requirements listed above.
    • Lines Plan (or offsets table, if Lines not available)
    • Midship Section (or Shell Expansion and bilge radius info, if Midship not available)
    • General Arrangement
    • Cargo Securing Manual (container section)
    • Capacity Plan
    • International Tonnage Certificate
    • International Load Line Certificate
    . Suez Tonnage Certificate (if it has one)

  • Pre-Arrival Information

    We suggest that vessels advise us of their ETA no less than 7 days in advance in order that we may assist Masters in providing all the necessary information with the newly instigated Automatic Data Collection System (ADCS) and submission of the required declarations via the Electronic Data Collection System (EDCS). The ADCS system has been implemented in order to comply with ISPS and IMO regulations and the EDCS System provides the electronic means to submit all required pre-arrival information to visit and/or transit the Panama Canal. These systems enable the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) to provide the highest level of security/service to all customers whilst executing an on-line risk assessment matrix to properly comply with international security regulations, safeguarding the Panama Canal and its customers’ assets.
    All vessels arriving to canal waters are required to have submitted no less than 96 hours prior to arrival the information contained in the forms listed below. This information should be received at our agency no less than 120 hours prior to the vessel arrival at canal waters and allow for processing time. Information as to the required format or to obtain a copy of the latest PCA MyEDCS XML Editor OffLine Application software and or updated versions of General Reference Tables, Harmonized Codes or Port Codes, is available in the EDCS portion of the Panama Canal website. http://www.pancanal.com/eng/maritime/edcs/index.html
    Declaration Forms:
    Ship Due Form This form requires general information to include but not limited to, Deratting Certificate, Ship Change Information, Movement Information, Ship Security Information, Last 10 and next Port of Call, Origin of Meat Cargo Stores, Stowaways, Animals and Diseases On Board.
    Cargo Declaration Form This form requires the following information:
    General Cargo: It is required to specify the Harmonized Code, quantity in metric tones, Port of Loading and Port of Discharge, Location for each general cargo declared.
    Dangerous Cargo: It is required to specify Proper Shipping Name, designate the UN or BC Code, Flash Point in Celsius, the quantity in metric tones, Port of Loading and Port of Discharge, and location of each dangerous cargo declared.
    Containerized Cargo: It is required to specify the container ID, Type, Location above or below deck, Weight in metric tones, Name of cargo, Port of Loading and Port of Discharge. Please note it is required to declare all containers above and below deck including containers on deck being used for storage of vessels gear. Failure to declare all containers may result in tariffs for security inspections and escort services and/or delays to a vessel arriving in noncompliance. In addition to these charges, the Canal may also fine the vessel. Please note that for large quantities of cargoes or containerized cargo to be declared, information will have to be submitted electronically, via the Canal Internet Gateway (CIG) for those companies that have obtained proper accreditation. For companies without CIG accreditation, sufficient time must be allocated prior to the vessels arrival for the manual entry of the information into the EDCS system. (All vessels with local visits are required to submit only the dangerous cargo information).
    Crew List Form Name, Birthplace, Birth Date, Capacity, Nationality, Passport or Seaman’s Book number are required.
    Passenger List Form: Name, Birthplace, Birth Date and Nationality are the minimum requirements. For large quantities of crew or passenger declarations, information will have to be submitted electronically, via the Canal Internet Gateway (CIG) for those companies that have obtained proper accreditation. For companies without CIG accreditation, sufficient time must be allocated prior to the vessels arrival for the manual entry of the information into the EDCS system.
    Small Craft Form A combination of the above forms is for Yachts or small craft vessels under 125 feet in length. Small crafts vessels are required to submit only the “Small Craft Due” form, and are exempt from the 96 hours prior to arrival requirement. The Small Craft Form must be submitted upon arrival to canal waters.
    The Panama Canal authority has implemented tariffs for security inspections and escort services for vessels that fail to comply with the 96 hour pre-arrival notice or that submit wrong or incomplete information. Failure to provide timely and correct information may trigger escort and inspection fees and/or delays to a vessel arriving in noncompliance. In addition to these charges, the Canal may also fine the vessel. In order to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for information to be processed and checked, it is important that our agency receive all the required information no less than 120 hours prior to arrival at Canal waters.
    Should any additional technical assistance, information about the canal requirements or information regarding the establishment of a CIG (Canal Internet Gateway) or assistance in transmitting the information in a manner that is in accordance with Canal Regulations please don’t hesitate to contact us at asa@shipsagent.com

  • Documents Required on Arrival

    The Panama Canal Treaty of 1978, which replaced the 1903 Treaty, disestablished the former Canal Zone, the territories and ports reverting to the Republic of Panama on October 1, 1979. Consequently, vessels calling at the Canal now deal with the governmental authorities of the Republic of Panama for any port related activities, as well as with the Panama Canal Authority for transit related formalities. If a vessel is calling for transit, the Authority Boarding Officer will require the following form, which should be completed prior to arrival.
    Ship’s Information & Quarantine Declaration form – view form
    In addition, the following documents should also be available for inspection:
    Clearance from last port Panama Canal Tonnage Certificate Ship’s Register Sanitary Certificates (Deratting exemption, etc.)
    If a vessel is berthing at either of the terminal ports, a boarding party of representatives of the Panamanian Government will also attend. The Panamanian forms are similar to the Canal forms listed above, with the exception that they are in English and Spanish, will be processed in similar manner.

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  • VHF Radio Communication

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  • Transit Scheduling

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  • Agency

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  • Manning

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  • Towing Locomotives

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  • Pilot Platforms

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  • Pilot Shelters

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  • Accidents

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  • PC Minimun Visibility Requeriments

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  • Size

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  • Draft

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  • Minimun Drafts

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  • Indicators

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  • Whistle Controls

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  • Steering Light

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  • Bow/Stern Thrusters

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  • Compass

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  • Sanitary Facilities

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  • Mooring Lines

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  • Boarding Facilities

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  • Initial Transit

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  • Contruction / Chocks and Bitts

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  • Initial Transit

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Jaime Torne

Jaime Torne

Cruiseships Department
Alessandro Risi

Alessandro Risi

Operations Manager

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Panama Canal Information

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic entrance is at Cristobal and the Pacific entrance at Balboa.

The Costs

The Panama Canal Authority and the Port Operators, require that payment to cover Canal transit and or port expenses be made in full prior

Transit Requeriments

Time is always of importance in the shipping industry and transit of a vessel through the Panama Canal is certainly no exception

PCSOPEP

Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP) All vessels approaching Canal waters for transit must submit a

Booking System

Reservation Procedure: Request for transit reservations must be presented to Marine Traffic Control within one of the periods designated on

Advisories and Notices

Advisories and Notices – Click on the left buttons for more information.

Traffic & Maintenance Schedule

Traffic Situation and Maintenance Schedule – Click on the left buttons for more information.

Customs/Immigration Information

Customs formalities and dues will usually be arranged and settled through our office. In some cases, however, customs inspectors

Supplies & Services

Emergency repairs can be carried out at both Cristobal and Balboa by local workshops. At Balboa, the Balboa Drydock, operated by

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