Panama rejects ‘malicious’ attacks after ship grounding

A delegation from The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) is on its way to Mauritius to participate in the investigation of the grounding the Panamanian flagged MV Wakashio and the , subsequent fuel sill causing an .environmental catastrophe for the island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa.

Panama’s ship registry, with more than 8.000 vessels in the world, remained for over n 10 years on the white lists of the MOU Paris, and Tokyo the bodies that inspect ships before arriving at ports to verify that they have security measures. Likewise,

However, following the grounding questions have arisen that point to Panama.

In response to accusations against the registry, the AMP responded that a video that circulates on social networks ‘misinforms, lacks veracity, is slanderous, defamatory, disrespectful and malicious not only for the Panama Ship Registry but also for our country .

It says that the content that has been circulated shows “a total lack of knowledge about the regulations that govern the maritime industry worldwide.”

Contrary to what the video says, the AMP indicates, the shipping industry is not unsafe, ships, which carry most of the world’s trade, are not dangerous.

It is not only unfair, it adds, but totally imprecise to blame the accident on the Panama Ship Registry for the fact that it is registered under the Panamanian flag.

The AMP said that in the last 5 years, over 200 reports of investigations of maritime incidents and accidents have been sent and published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These reports are public for all 174 countries. As a leader in vessel flagging, the Panamanian registry was inspected more than 16,000 times last year and the level of compliance was 96.5%, placing the Registry at a high international level.

The Registry does not flagships of doubtful origin. As an example, it indicates that in 2020, 118 vessels that did not meet the requirements have been rejected and 200 vessels that did not meet the standards have been canceled.

The registration of companies in Panama [by shipowners] goes through a similar process of due diligence since Panama is a signatory to the international tax cooperation forums led by the OECD. Therefore, says the AMP, “it is irresponsible to point the finger at the Ship Registry and Panama while being accused of being a refuge for tax evaders.”

The Wakashio was built by Universal Shipbuilding Corporation in Japan and incorporated into the Panamanian Registry on March 29, 2007. The AMP confirmed that it has all its current technical certification, issued by the NKCLASS Classification Society ( Nippon Kaiji Kyokai), certification valid until April 22, 2021, when it will have to go through its cycle of inspections

The last Wakashio inspection was completed on March 1, 2020, in Kawasaki, Japan and the previous port state inspection was in Por Hedland, WA, Australia on February 14, 2020.

‘Therefore, the vessel is in compliance with its structure and team, with the international conventions of the IMO.

When it went aground on July 25 the vessel had 20 crew members of different nationalities, all of whom had their required certificates, as required by the International Convention on Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping Standards for Seafarers (STCW)as well as insurance policies related to pollution prevention. The AMP said that in terms of civil liability, protection, compensation, and insurance, they are still in force.
Source: Newsroom Panama

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