Panama Canal: Deadlines and Interim Procedures for the Definitive Phase-out of Single Hull Oil Tankers Issued
Conscious of its responsibility to safeguard its waterway, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has determined that effective December 31, 2012, single hull (single side/single bottom, single side/double bottom, or double side/single bottom) oil tankers of 600 tons deadweight and over but below 5,000 tons deadweight will no longer be allowed to transit the Panama Canal if loaded with oil (as defined in MARPOL, Annex I). In the meantime, when aforementioned tankers arrive for transit loaded with oil, they will be assigned extraordinary tug assistance at all locks and through Culebra Cut at the vessel’s expense.
Category 2 and 3 oil tankers with extensions granted in accordance with regulations 20.5 and 20.7 of MARPOL, Annex I, will continue to be allowed to transit the Panama Canal, provided these extensions do not go beyond the anniversary of the date of delivery of the vessel in 2015, or the date in which the vessel reaches 25 years from the date of its delivery, whichever is earlier. When loaded with oil, these tankers will continue to be assigned extraordinary tug assistance at the vessel’s expense, as described below:
- For tankers of 30,000 tons deadweight and above, escort tugs will be assigned to assist at all Canal entrances, locks approaches, through Culebra Cut, and across Gatun Lake.
- For tankers of 5,000 tons deadweight and above but less than 30,000 tons deadweight, escort tugs will be assigned to assist at all locks approaches and through Culebra Cut
The ACP will also allow the transit of single hull tankers of 5,000 tons deadweight and above subject to Regulation 21, MARPOL, Annex I, which have been granted extensions in accordance with 21.5 and 21.6.1, provided they do not go beyond the date at which the vessels reach 25 years from the date of delivery. Extraordinary tug assistance will be assigned at the vessel’s expense to these tankers, if loaded with oil, at all locks approaches and through Culebra Cut.
Single hull tankers subject to the above-mentioned conditions shall submit electronic copies of their IOPP Certificate and the Supplement to the IOPP Certificate to [email protected] prior to arriving at Canal waters for transit.
Requests for additional information regarding this Advisory may also be submitted to this address.