The Panama Ship Registry announced new digital measures to deal with the coronavirus, such as the issuance of 10 electronic certificates and eight more in process.

Rafael Cigarruista, director of the Registry of Ships of Panama, said that “we have been operating uninterruptedly with 100% teleworking from home, from the office and we are attending all the cases required by our users”.

Several shipowners, who had registered their vessels under small flags and considered that they had not received adequate support, have recently come to Panama in search of a modern and digital response, “where we can give them what they need,” said Cigarruista.

The agency presented the Electronic Ship Registry and Electronic Radio Licenses, issued by the 13 international offices and / or the 53 consular offices. These documents are validated through QRs and bar codes.

This goes hand in hand with the modernization plan of the registry, this is the beginning of the first stage for the complete digitalization process.

The Panamanian Consulates issue the Provisional Ship Registry and the Radio License in hard copy. “With these new techniques, we are introducing the use of digital signature. Both paper and electronic options will be maintained and operated on board, so we ensure that all ship owners and their vessels receive the documents they need in real time. There will be a transition period. By maintaining both options, we guarantee a smooth transition,” adds the director of the Ship Registry.

The dual system of paper documents (security paper) and electronic documents will be maintained for some time until the more than 8,000 registered vessels migrate to electronic registers.

The Panama Ship Registry has developed several actions with respect to Covid-19. About 500 vessels have requested support for which the 13 International Technical Offices – Segumar Offices – have granted authorizations, extensions, special authorizations, due to the COVID-19: Seafarers’ Employment Agreements; Equipment Inspection Extension (LSA / FFE); Dry Dock Extension (on a case by case basis); Conditional Certificate granted; Statutory Certificate Extensions; ISM and ISPS Audit Extension; Crew Dispensation; Certificate Revalidation; Non-Regulatory Fuel and Reinstatement.