Mr. Gerardo Varela, the General Director of Ports and Maritime Auxiliary Industries of the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) and Mrs. Guimara Tuñón, the Deputy-Director of Ports and Maritime Auxiliary Industries attended a meeting with the Bunkering Committee of the Panama Maritime Chamber, in order to strengthen and enhance the relation and show, at the same time, how committed the new Administration is to find consensus.

The General Director took advantage of this first rapprochement with representatives of the Bunkering Sector to express the Panama Maritime Authority’s firm commitment to help this industry to increase and expand its businesses, which will have a direct impact on the growth of the country and will increase our level of competitiveness. Mr. Varela stated, though, that “the entity will not allow illicit business, nor lobbies, but will work professionally and will not benefit small groups.” In addition, he emphasized the progress accomplished in these days, in the process of derogation of the Law 41 of 2013. This project will be soon brought to the Parliament (Litt. The National Assembly).
On behalf of the Maritime Chamber, Mr. Nicolas Vukejia, Vice-Chairman explained the work agenda that this Entity will cope with in a near future. Among the main points of the work agenda, there is the creation of a process of supply and refueling (Bunker Procedure), adapted to the realities of the Panamanian sector, which aims to standardize this service in our country. Mr. Varela also pointed the need of establishing a regulation on the cabotage service

During this session, representatives from different companies expressed their concerns related to the issues linked to the locations where the bunkering operations are to be carried out; they also discussed the status of the concessions and the topic of the operating licenses. Mr. Varela replied that we are looking for the locations where the bunkering procedures can be carried out. Regarding the operating licenses and the concessions, he also ensured that the issuance process will become more expedite. He also stated that the Current Laws will be restructured, the Law on the Ports, as for instance. The laws will be restructured in such a way that they will make more flexible the investments in the port sector.

In connection with this meeting, the need for an effective logistic model, adapted to the needs and features of our country came into question. The Deputy Chef of the Maritime Auxiliary Industries stated that “we will work on the acquisition of a standardized regulation that works out for everybody.” She further added “we work on the creation of a logistic map, where one will be able to see what areas are available for the establishment of diverse maritime industries. We work also on the development of the National Logistic Platform.”