Panama formalized its maritime coordinates in accordance with international boundary standards and decided to keep its boundaries intact, official sources reported today.
The Panamanian Foreign Ministry explained in a statement "the definition of these maritime zones by means of geodesic and cartographic surveys was a pending responsibility of the Panamanian State since its ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1996".
This international treaty, said the ministry, states that countries must have four maritime zones, which include internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone and an exclusive economic zone.
The territorial sea of Panama has a maximum distance of 12 miles, while the contiguous zone is up to 24 miles from the baseline that measures the width of the territorial sea, the statement said.
The exclusive economic zone is a maritime strip located beyond the territorial sea, whose distance cannot exceed 200 nautical miles from the baseline, "which must be interpreted according to the limits set with Costa Rica and Colombia in the boudary treaties of 1980 and 1976, respectively," it added.
The formalization of the maritime coordinates was carried out after the approval of Law 637, which delimits the breadth of Panama's territorial sea in accordance with international standards and which was introduced in the Central American Parliament by the Foreign Ministry.