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Canals, Port Conditions, Ports & Terminals, Regulatory — By on October 18, 2017 at 8:26 PM


Panama Canal, Panama
Pre-arrival information reminder
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Panama Canal, Panama

Vessels arriving for transit, anchorage or port calls at Balboa and Cristobal shall provide the required information not less than 96 hours prior to arrival or as advised by the ACP [Panama Canal Authority].

Timely submission of this information is essential for accurate scheduling of vessels and the appropriate assignment of resources.

Nevertheless, we continue to experience difficulties in scheduling vessels due to incomplete or inaccurate information, particularly regarding the vessel’s ETAs, ready times and drafts. On several occasions, the vessel’s transit reservation was cancelled, but the ETA was not updated nor cancelled in the system. This affects Canal operations by creating difficulties with scheduling of vessels and resource planning, which also affects the service that the Canal offers its customers.

We encourage all customers to continuously review and update the information provided in the Maritime Service Portal (ETAs, drafts, ready times, etc.). ETAs should be updated when the master detects a 30-minute or more variation in the arrival time. Please take time to review your vessel’s open visits and cancel those that do not include the Panama Canal in their itinerary.

Failure to provide the required information in a timely manner, or providing incorrect, false, or deficient information, constitutes a violation to the provision on safety of navigation in Canal waters, and may be subject to a fine (Law No. 19 of June 11, 197, Article 127; Regulation on Navigation in Panama Canal Waters, Chapter XI, Articles 158-160). Non-compliance with this requirement may also generate the assignment of additional resources, and may delay the transit or docking of the vessel.

Canal customers are encouraged to review pertinent Panama Canal Regulations, as well as notices and advisories to shipping, for additional requirements. Additionally, the pre-arrival requirements quick reference guide is available at:

(For information about operations in the Panama Canal, contact GAC -Wilford & McKay at

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory to Shipping No.A-38-2017 dated 17 October 2017

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