The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) reported today that the China Classification Society (CCS) can issue electronic certificates to Panamanian flag vessels, implementing the recommendations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The AMP indicated that as a "world-wide leader" in the registry of ships, it tries to satisfy its clients with "the application of new and better technologies that speed up the movement of ships and alleviate the administrative load".
"Given the above, this Administration has authorized the CCS to go ahead with the issuance of electronic certificates to Panamanian Flag vessels."
The technology of electronic certificates significantly benefits shipowners, operators, charterers, Port State Stewards and crew, reducing the time of document verification, the AMP explained.
It also streamlines the process of issuing certificates, saves shipping costs and contributes to the protection of the environment, considerably reducing the use of paper.
The Recognized Organizations (ORs), such as the CCS, are private auxiliary entities authorized by the Flag Administrations, so that, in this case, they "guarantee compliance with the rules of navigation and maritime safety of the merchant marine on behalf of the Republic of Panama, in accordance with national and international standards."
The AMP stressed that the ORs and Classification Societies must have the proper authorization from Bandera State, which verifies and certifies that they comply with international regulations issued by the IMO aimed at safer navigation, clean seas and the facilitation of maritime transport.
It recalled that in 2016, technical personnel of the General Directorate of Merchant Marine (DGMM) of the AMP visited CSS to verify its performance, and that "it was found that it meets international and national requirements to provide the inspection and certification service of ships in the name of the Republic of Panama."
CCS, founded in 1956, aims to provide services for maritime transport, shipbuilding, offshore development and related manufacturing industries and marine insurance.
It provides legal services to ships and offshore installations, to protect the safety of life and property at sea and to prevent pollution of the ocean environment.
The Panamanian merchant marine brought together 18 percent of the world fleet in 2016 and registered a total of 8,094 vessels and 226.6 million tons.