1. Panama Maritime Authority has issued Merchant Marine Circular, MMC-195 providing revised requirements in respect of LRIT. Specifically, the requirements for Conformance Testing of LRIT has been revised.
2. As per the revised requirement, the conformance test for LRIT is now required to be carried annually (after one year from the initial/latest conformance test performed upon the registration of the vessel under the Panama Flag).
3. Accordingly, vessels whose proof of Conformance Test is less than one year old, will be required to carry out the Conformance Test when the existing Conformance Test Report is one year old.
4. To comply with this annual conformance test requirement, existing Panama flagged vessels are to complete the Conformance test as follows:
i. Vessels having the conformance test completed prior to December 2018, should complete the test before the end of September 2023.
ii. Vessels having the conformance test completed between 1st January 2019 and 31st December 2021 should complete the test before the end of November 2023.
iii. Vessels having the conformance test completed after 1st January 2022, should complete the test before 31st December 2023.
5. Vessels that have successfully completed a Conformance Test before 1st July 2023, and request their first annual Conformance Test Report between 1st July 2023, and 31st December 2023, will be allowed to obtain an updated annual Conformance Test Report supported by their existing Conformance Test, provided that Conformance Test is still valid, as per MSC.1/Circ.1307, and the vessel has transmitted LRIT information to the National Data Center as expected at least 82% of the time during a period of up to twelve months prior to the date when the updated Conformance Test Report is requested.
6. The updated Conformance Test Reports will include the same information as the current reports plus the following information:
i. The expiration date of the Conformance Test Report shall be one year after the date of issue.
ii. A QR code that links to a web page where the compliance status of the vessel can be verified.
7. Further, MMC-195 provides that Panamanian registered vessels that deliberately deactivate the Long-Range Identification and Tracking Equipment (LRIT) or the Automatic Identification System (AIS) may be subject to be sanctioned.
8. Owners/operators and masters of Panama flagged vessels are advised to be guided by above and ensure compliance.
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.