Panama requirements on SSAS test

14 March 2019 |  C19015

The Panama Maritime Authority has updated the SSAS test requirements as per Merchant Marine Circular 133.

Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Surveyors / Auditors

All Panamanian flagged vessels must code in their SSAS terminal the following email address For ships to enter the Panamanian registry as of January 01, 2018, they must schedule the first SSAS TEST through the use of the new SSAS platform, which must be verified by their RSO during the initial verification.

In those cases that the SSAS terminal has not been configured with the main email address, PMA granted a period until August 31, 2019 to make all the necessary arrangement to configure the SSAS terminal.[1]

Once the SSAS terminal has been configured with the main email address, the company operator shall request access to platform by email to, and should submit copy of the last Declaration of Company Security Officer (CSO) endorsed by PMA in order to receive an email from, with their access credentials and instructions for using the platform and be able to schedule the annual SSAS TEST. The confirmation message of the annual SSAS TEST only be confirmed through the SSAS platform and should be retained on board as evidence during the ISPS/ISSC audit.

When the vessel changes name it will be necessary to schedule a new SSAS TEST, through the SSAS platform and must to follow the instructions as given in MMC-133. When the vessel has been requested an SSAS Malfunction authorization it will be necessary to schedule a new SSAS TEST, through the SSAS platform in order to verify that the SSAS is working properly and the captain should send us the technical report at the following email:

From August 31, 2019, the Administration will only recognize the SSAS TEST that is made through the SSAS platform with the main email address

Special Requirements

The SSAS TEST messages must include the information described in MMC-133. It is important that the information is encoded as it is being requested so that the SSAS TEST MESSAGE can be received.

Confirmation Message of the Annual SSAS Test

A SSAS test is successful when:

  1. The Maritime Ships Security Department confirms the reception of the same in the date scheduled in the Electronic Platform.
  2. The TEST message includes all the information described in this Merchant Marine Circular.
  3. The general ship data such as: name, IMO number, call signs and MMSI numbers are correct, as are the geographic coordinates and date received.

A SSAS test is failed when in the event that the test does not comply with the required information and shall be re-scheduled through the SSAS platform in accordance with MMC-133.

A SSAS test is pending when in the event that the SSAS TEST cannot be carried out, and this must be notified by email to the account 24 hours in advance, the reasons and the new date of programming through the SSAS platform.

In cases where the SSAS TEST cannot be performed due to technical problems of the equipment, it should be communicated to the email:

Special instructions in HRA

The PMA recommends that all Panamanian Flagged vessels with or without armed or unarmed security personnel, and that prior to the entry into the High Risk Area (HRA), the crew should be fully briefed on the preparations and a piracy drill shall be conducted as well. The security drill should be reviewed, and all personnel briefed on their duties, including familiarization with the alarm using to identify a piracy attack.

These drills must to schedule through the SSAS platform in following link:, indicating that it is a “Piracy Drill” or “SSAS Test”, at the same time the Panamanian Flagged vessels are requested to verify that the SSAS equipment have been correctly set-up and is working properly. In case that the message received indicates the words SSAS ALERT or SECURITY, the PMA will require a confirmation about the status of the ship and the crew.

The vessels that have been granted a Certificate of Exemption from the use of the SSAS or they are out of service during a calendar year and have a Certificate of Special Registry of Laid-Up, are excluded of MMC-133.

In cases of noncompliance with these regulations, the PMA may impose the following sanctions:

  • The International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) may be invalidated y/o will not be issued.
  • Additional audits of the ISPS Code may be authorized to vessels that demonstrate non-compliance with the provisions of MMC-133.

Read the full MMC-133, here.

Act now

Ship owners / Managers / Operators of Panamanian vessels should take into consideration the revised PMA circular in order to achieve compliance.

[1] The use of email is optional, if the company operator decides to maintain both email address in their SSAS equipment.

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