Technical Circular No: 132/2020

Subject: Panama MMC- 200 reg. Revision of IBC/BCH Code and MARPOL Annex II

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  • IMO through MSC and MEPC resolutions has adopted amendments to the IBC Code, BCH Code and MARPOL 73/78 Annex II which will be entering into force from 1 January 2021. All ships carrying dangerous chemicals and/or noxious liquid substances in bulk are required to comply with these revised requirements prior to the date of entry into force of the amendments.
  • In view of above amendments, Panama Maritime Authority vide Merchant Marine Circular MMC-200 has provided its instructions related to compliance and certification of the vessel to which these amendments are applicable.
  • The amendments includes changes towards ship type requirements, tank type, other carriage requirements for some of the products due to which, the range of products a ship is certified to carry will differ before and after 1 January 2021 resulting in issuance of new certificate of fitness.
  • Further, the standard format of the Procedures and Arrangements (P& A) manual has been revised to incorporate prewash procedures and instructions on dealing with tank washings for persistent floating products. This requires approval of P&A manual as per revised format prior 01 January 2021.
  • Administration has informed that, the Offshore supply vessels with Certificates of Fitness in compliance with the “LHNS Guidelines” - IMO Resolution A.673(16) or “OSV Chemical Code” - IMO Resolution A.1122(30), are also subjected to these amendments.
  • Accordingly, a new Certificate of Fitness based on the amendments, as required, will need to be issued prior to 01 January 2021 and all the cargo loading after 01 January 2021, is to be carried out in accordance with new certificate.
  • When a product is loaded prior to 1 January 2021, and unloaded after this date, the relevant provisions of the IBC/BCH Code at the time of loading are applicable until the product has been unloaded.
  • Owners/operators and masters of Panama flagged ships are advised to take note of above requirements and contact IRS HO with the list of products intended to be carried on ships issued with Certificates of Fitness under IBC Code / BCH Code, OSV Chemical Code, LHNS Guidelines and NLS Certificates as per MARPOL Annex II taking into account the revised minimum carriage requirements. Further, the P&A Manual corresponding to the revised standard format is to be submitted at the earliest so that same can be approved and placed on board prior to 1st January 2021.



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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