Panama, October 10.

As part of a visit to the offices of the Memorandum of Understanding of Paris, which are located in The Hague, Holland, the Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Mr. Jorge Barakat Pitty, reaffirmed the commitment of this administration to maintain the standards of maritime security for the merchant fleet that is registered in the Panamanian Registry.

The Secretary-General of the Paris MOU, Mr. Richard Schiferli, confirmed that the Panamanian merchant fleet “remains on the Paris MoU's white list”; therefore he congratulated the Panamanian administration.

Mr. Barakat pointed that the Panama Maritime Authority is consolidated as the largest registry of vessels in the world; it has high standards of navigation safety and of marine environment protection.

Mr. Barakat added that the inspection program has been strengthened in order to prevent arrests of ships because of technical faults. In the cases where vessels have been arrested, there is a follow up on this detention. The follow up includes an analysis, carried out by the technical staff of the institution, on corrective actions and on the causes of these deficiencies.

The Paris Memorandum of Understanding (Paris MOU) consists of 27 participating maritime administrations – twenty six European countries and Canada. The Paris MoU aims to harmonize the rules followed by the Port States, regarding inspection of vessels, in order to eliminate substandard ships. Through a statistical system of inspections, the MoU makes known the Vessel Registries that comply with the highest qualifications in the performance of the standards for maritime safety; to do so, the Paris MoU is based on the total number of inspections and detentions incurred during the last 3 years. Taking this into account allows it to sort the Registries into three groups or categories: a black list, a gray list and a white list, in which Panama is positioned.

In this official mission, the Administrator of the PMA was accompanied by the Director of Merchant Marine, Mr. Fernando Solórzano, the Director of Navigation and Safety of the Merchant Marine, Mr. Reynaldo Garibaldi and the Consul of Panama in Rotterdam, Mrs. Karien Droppers.