The purpose of this circular is to inform that Panama now accepts electronic certificates issued according to the Guidelines for the use of electronic certificates by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) through the FAL.5/Circ.39/Rev.2 of April 20, 2016.
This initiative aims to facilitate the use and acceptance of electronic certificates on board ships.
The circular also provides information about the list of electronic certificates already issued by Panama and the recognized organizations authorized to issue electronic certificates on Panama's behalf.
This initiative supports the use and acceptance of electronic statutory certificates to replace traditional paper certificates.
Electronic certificates should adhere to specific features, including the required format, protection against unauthorized changes, a unique tracking number for verification, and a visible symbol confirming their source of issuance.
Instructions for verifying the certificates' information should be available on board ships.
The Panama Maritime Authority has implemented various electronic certificates, including Ballast Water Management Plan, Certificate of Insurance, and Radio License. These certificates can be verified through QR codes or the Verification System.
Recognized Organizations interested in issuing electronic certificates on behalf of Panama must apply to the General Directorate of Merchant Marine and provide the required information.
Several Recognized Organizations have been approved to issue electronic Statutory Certificates for Panama-registered ships.
Flag state inspectors should accept electronic certificates with the specified features and may request verification using instructions provided on board or through QR codes or the Verification System.
If any issues arise, the inspector should consult with the Panama Maritime Authority for resolution.