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Wednesday, June 24, 2020 

With clear references to crew change protocols suggested by BIMCO, ICS and other industry stakeholders in IMO circular 4204/Add 14, the Panama Maritime Authority have allowed for facilitation of crew change and repatriation through Panama since 11 June, a pragmatic approach with has been applauded by shipowner organisation BIMCO.

The revised protocol implemented in Panama operates with a scenario for repatriation of Panamanian seafarers overseas and additional scenarios for seafarers of all nationalities travelling through Panama in the following:

  • Repatriation or change of combined crew
  • Transfer of crew from ship to ship
  • Group repatriation of Panamanian crew by ship
  • Repatriation ship-to-ship under intermediate land
  • Change of crew, Panamanian for Panamanian
  • Change of crew, foreigner for Panamanian.

BIMCO says it is monitoring restrictions to crew mobility and is able to provide a variety of information on the topic to the shipping industry such as:

  • Details about implementation measures
  • Overview of challenges to crew mobility
  • Overview of extensions and exceptions to seafarers’ certificates.

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