Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) has revised merchant marine circular MMC-133, providing updated instructions and procedure on use of Ship Security Alert System (SSAS).
Salient points of the circular are as follows:
From 1st January 2018, annual SSAS test is to be done through the use of an electronic platform for supply and operation of the Ship Identification and Monitoring System, provided by PMA.
CSO have to request access to platform and their access credentials by email to firstname.lastname@example.org from 30th November 2017.
One annual SSAS TEST is mandatory. In case of vessels that perform more than one test and require a flag confirmation they should not schedule it through the platform, in those cases they have to use the SSAS TEST message information and send an email directly to email@example.com using ASCII, UTF-8 or ANSI encodings.
In cases where the SSAS TEST cannot be carried out; same must be notified by email to firstname.lastname@example.org 24 hours in advance, the reasons and the new date of programming through the platform.
In cases where the SSAS TEST cannot be performed due to technical problems of the equipment, it should be communicated to the email: email@example.com
Non compliance with above regulations may result in
Invalidation of the International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC).
Additional audits of the ISPS Code
Security drill is to be conducted once in every three months and must test the proficiency of vessel personnel in assigned security duties at all maritime security levels including the effective implementation of the Ship Security Plan (SSP).
Security exercise with shore must be carried out at least once each calendar year with no more than 18 months between exercises
Records of confirmation message of the annual SSAS test, drills and exercises are to be retained onboard in paper or electronic format; for period of time as specified in Ship Security Plan (SSP) or as per internal procedure of the company or for a time equivalent to duration of the international Ship Security Certificate (5 years).
A copy of radio technician’s report demonstrating compliance with relevant requirements of SOLAS 74, Ch. XI-2 will be verified by Recognized Security Organization (RSO) at next scheduled ISPS audit.
At subsequent ISPS verification, the RSO will examine the records of activities on the SSAS equipment, as specified in the ISPS Code A/10.1.10, witness a complete security alert test and verifying the operational requirements and in the case of a SSAS
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.