Technical Circular No: 10/2020

Subject: Panama Maritime Authority Merchant Marine Notice, MMN-03/2020 Reg Coronavirus and Seafarers Employment Agreement

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  1. The outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has resulted in an extensive travel restrictions to and within China causing difficulty in moving personnel and disruption in crew change schedules.

  2. Accordingly, Panama Maritime Authority, vide Merchant Marine Notice MMN-03/2020 (copy attached) has informed that in those cases where crew change is not possible due to above situation, the Administration considers granting exemptions to the requirements under Standard A2.4.3, and Standard A2.5.1 of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended, in order to extend the seafarers period of service on board viz

    • Standard A2.4 – Entitlement to leave
      3. Any agreement to forgo the minimum annual leave with pay prescribed in this Standard, except in cases provided for by the competent authority, shall be prohibited.

    • Standard A2.5.1 - Repatriation
      2. Each Member shall ensure that there are appropriate provisions in its laws and regulations or other measures or in collective bargaining agreements, prescribing: … 
      (b) The maximum duration of services periods on board following which a seafarer is entitled to repatriation – such periods to be less than 12 months;

  3. Extension /Exemption as above will be granted by Panama administration through an Authorization letter.

  4. Shipowners seeking Extension / Exemption as above are required to request SEGUMAR Office detailing vessel name, seafarer name and position onboard along with following documents;

    • Copy of crew list of vessel.
    • Copy of Seafarer Employment Agreement of each seafarer for whom extension is requested.

  5. By the end of extension provided, the concerned seafarer shall have the right to annual leave and be duly repatriated as per standard A 2.4.3 and A

  6. Exemptions granted by Panama Administration under above provision will be reviewed by the Administration within a period of one month to decide whether the exemption granted is to be maintained or terminated.

  7. Ship owners/ operators and masters of Panama flagged ships are advised to be guided by above.



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.

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