ISPS Code – guidance for Panamanian flagged ships

C23030 | 26 June 2023

Notice to: Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators/ Marine Auditors

This circular is issued to advise that the Panama Maritime Authority has issued a circular MMC-123, providing information and guidance regarding the Administration’s requirements for compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).

Circular MMC-123 supersedes MMC-124, MMC-125, MMC-126, MMC-128, MMC-206, MMC-223 and MMC-252.

The circular covers the following ISPS requirements:

1)     ISPS Code Applicability

2)     Ship Security Assessment

3)     Ship Security Plan

4)     Security Levels and Declaration of Security

5)     Ship Security Officer

6)     Recognition of Company Security Officers

7)     Training, Security Drill, Security Exercises and Records

8)     SSAS Exemption

9)     Stowaways – Risk Assessment

10)    Emergency Contacts

We would also like to draw attention to specific PMA requirements on the implementation of the ISPS Code, which are over and above the generic guidelines adopted by IMO / IACS, such as:

Clause 2.5 

requires Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Risk Management to be followed when making the Ship Security Assessment.

Clause 2.7 

lists specific types of security incidents for consideration when performing the Ship Security Assessment.

Clause 3.8

explains that whilst the security assessment for one ship can be used as a model for a sister ship’s assessment, provided that they are engaged in the same trade and on the same routes, ship specific variations still need to be addressed.

Clause 4.10 

reminds that any change in security level, or implementation of security measures must be advised to the PMA by e-mail.

Clause 6.6

advises that applications for CSO endorsements should be made online and states the documents to be attached to the application.

Clause 7.5 

states that security drills may be held in conjunction with non-security drills, i.e. a safety drill with a security component can be accepted as a security drill.

Clause 8.1–8.3

details the specific procedure to be followed when requesting a SSAS exemption.

Clause s9.4–9.11

addresses preventive measures and procedures that must be followed, as a minimum, when there is a risk of stowaway embarkation, as well as action to be taken when a stowaway is found onboard.

Clause 10.1 

gives contact details for:

  • Notifying security level
  • Emergencies
  • Reporting security incidents


Act now

Ship Owners, Managers, and Operators are advised to take note of the above and ensure that their Security procedures are in accordance with the updated requirements given in the Circular.

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