Panama began consultations to modernize its current Merchant Marine legislation, with the aim of maintaining its leadership and competitiveness at the global level, reported the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP).

“The international competitiveness, the dynamic and changing international maritime sector, and the business of the Panamanian State around the Registry of Ships of Panama, requires a country strategy, which must be based on a clear and transparent legislation that contributes to a sustainable growth of the activity,” says a report from the institution.

The AMP, through the Directorate General of Merchant Marine among its objectives and goals, has begun the revision of the General Law of Merchant Marine (Law 57 of August 6, 2008) to continue maintaining its competitiveness in an international market. The main idea is to carry out a comprehensive review of existing regulations that date back 12 years.

To this end, members of the maritime sector were convened to participate, including the Panamanian Association of Maritime Law (Apademar), the Panama Chamber of Commerce (CMP), the Panamanian Association of Marine Officers (Apom), the International Association of Recognized Organizations (Iaro) and independent professionals, who have formed working groups.

The Panama Ship Registry has been in existence for more than 100 years, but the world scenario in which the Merchant Marine law was drafted in 2008 has changed considerably and these changes are influencing the global market.

The revision of the legislation is accompanied by the reengineering and reorientation of the Registry. This project, considered as one of the pillars of the present Administration, contemplates with a wide plan of international marketing, creation of new departments, reassignment of functions to existing departments and sections, adoption of new technologies, among others.

“We hope that by August this year, a draft with all the consolidated information of the contributions made by those who make up the working table where we are talking,” said Rafael Cigarruista, director general of the Merchant Marine.

On behalf of the AMP, the Directorate of Public Registry of Ships, the Directorate of Information Technology, the Directorate of Planning, the Directorate of Finance, the Directorate of Legal Counsel, all this group of professionals under the direction of the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Administrator of the Maritime Authority, Noriel Arauz, are also part of the discussions.