Panama Canal Authority Advisory to Shipping No. A-20-2013
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reminds that vessels arriving at Canal waters, whether for docking or transiting the Panama Canal, must comply with vessel requirements as follows:
- The maximum length overall including bulbous bow for commercial or non-commercial vessels acceptable for regular transit is 366 meters. Vessels transiting the Canal for the first time, whether newly-constructed or newly-modified, are subject to inspection and prior review and approval of vessel plans. Vessels not receiving advance approval and/or not in compliance with Canal requirements may experience delays or denial of transit
- The maximum length for integrated tug-barge (ITB) combination acceptable for regular transit is 366 meters overall, including the tug. A tug-barge combination must transit together as one unit with the tug supplying propelling power.
- The maximum aggregate overall length for non-self-propelled vessels acceptable for transit is 305 meters, including accompanying tugs. Accompanying tugs must lock through with the non-self-propelled vessel. One time only transits that exceed these limitations may be permitted on a case-by-case basis with prior approval of the Executive Manager for Transit Operations, and subject to requirements listed in Section 2.k(9), of the OP’s Notice to Shipping No. N-1-2013 (Rev 1),”Vessel Requirements.”
- The maximum beam for commercial or non-commercial vessels and the integrated tug-barge combination acceptable for regular transit is 49 meters, measured at the outer surface of the shell plate, including all protruding structures below the top of the lock walls.
- The maximum beam for non-self-propelled vessels, other than integrated tug-barge combinations, acceptable for transit is 36.5 meters. One time transit of wider vessels may be permitted with prior approval of the Executive Manager for Transit Operations, and subject to requirements listed in Section 2.k(9), of the OP’s Notice to Shipping No. N-1-2013(Rev 1), “Vessel Requirements”
- Vessels that carry cargo within 2.5 centimeters or less of the extreme beam must have approved provisions, such as rubbing bands to protect the cargo, should the vessel rest alongside the wall while in the chamber. The maximum beam of 49 meters must not be exceeded by the cargo protection method.
- Anything that extends beyond a vessel’s hull, except for the main anchors, shall be considered a protrusion and subject to all applicable regulations and limitations.
- The ACP is not responsible for damages to protrusions, whether permanent or temporary.
- Vessels with protrusions may be permitted to transit provided that such protrusions will not interfere with the safe transit of the vessel or present a hazard to Canal structures and appurtenances, as determined by the Executive Manager for Transit Operations. Before transit is permitted, the master of the vessel will be required to complete a form “Undertaking to Release and Indemnify” to exonerate and indemnify the ACP from liability in case of an accident or damages sustained to or as a result of these protrusions.
- Vessels with permanent protrusions must, prior to proceeding to the Canal, furnish detailed information regarding the protrusion(s), including plans and request authorization for transit. Advance information will minimize the possibility of delays or denial of transit. For detailed information, contact the Executive Manager for Transit Operations.
Find more information at the Panama Canal AuthorityAdvisory to Shipping No. A-20-2013