Specifically, the Panama Canal’s efforts include:

From the first days, the Canal has been publicly outlining its plant to implement not only the Sulphur limits, but also the heavy fuel carriage ban that will enter in force on March 1, 2020, by requesting the type of fuel on board as part of the documentation required before transit.

From more than 20 years, the Canal has been a firm supporter of not discharging any type of solid or liquid wastes into its waters. Similarly, in October it announced the prohibition of open loop scrubbers.


Prior to arriving in Canal waters, ships must provide information on type of scrubber, capacities of holding tanks, and copies of their supplement to the International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) certificate. Inspections on site include review of logbooks and operational status of the scrubber.

In Novembers, Panama Canal announced the fuel requirements for vessels transmitting, so that they are compliant with the new regulations. The fuel changeover should be recorded in the vessel’s Engine Room Logbook and/or the Fuel Oil Changeover Record Book. Vessels may supplement or replace marine distillate fuels with LNG fuel, biofuels, closed loop scrubbers and ultra-low Sulphur fuel oil (ULSFO) and very-low Sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) with a viscosity not exceeding 70 centistokes @ 50 °C.

Also, on the same month, the Panama Canal and the Panama Maritime Authority upgraded their Panama Maritime Single Window Systems (VUMPA) to optimize procedures for vessels travelling through the Canal and track carbon dioxide emissions more efficiently.

The Canal also conducts training to personnel to ensure that transit operations will be well-versed on IMO 2020 compliance issues, including new technologies and alternative fuels.

This year, it became the first Latin American member of the Global Industry Alliance, signed an agreement with UN Environment and actively participated in key industry meetings, such as the Global Maritime Forum and the IMO.