FURTHER IMPLEMENTATION OF ACP NAVIGATION REGULATIONS, ARTICLES 23
The Articles 23 mentions regulations that all vessels shall meet for safety requirements during The Panama Canal Transits.
- Dead tows, small craft (vessels up to 125 feet in length) transiting s handlines, and vessels that do not meet all transit and safety requirements cannot be booked for transit.
- Payment Authorization: To participate in the Transit Reservation System, the vessel agent must furnish the ACP a letter containing the names and sample signatures of persons designated to authorize payment of the vessel's transit costs (including booking fees).
- Booking Form: To request a reserved transit slot, the vessel agent must complete a Request for Transit Booking by using the available system or other acceptable means as determined by the Authority. The booking request (ACP form 4623) may also be faxed to (507) 272-5137, or personally delivered to Maritime Traffic and Admeasurement Section, Building 910, La Boca, 24 hours a day.
- Processing Requests: Requests for reservations for the beginning of any period will be received daily beginning at 0900 hours, but processing will not begin until after 0930 hours.
- Competition booking request: shall notify the ACP Booking office in writing (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to the closing time of the competition.
- Shipping agencies must ensure that the Customer Codes are included in all ETA messages, as discrepancies with the Customer Code reported in the Booking Request may invalidate the request.
It is important that the Customer Code provided for each vessel’s visit be correct. After completion of a vessel’s visit, agents and customers are granted a 30-day grace period in order to request corrections to the Customer Code provided in the vessel’s visit, so that the correct code is credited for the transit.
If two or more vessels with the same customer code are competing for a reserved slot, the vessel agent may request priority for a particular vessel. In such case, the agent must send the written request to the ACP Booking office (email@example.com) prior to 0930 hours of the day of the competition.
Non-compliance with the Customer Code procedure by providing incorrect, false, or deficient information to the ACP constitutes a violation of the Maritime Regulations for the Operation of the Panama Canal and may result in fines ranging from $100 to $1,000,000.
- Incomplete Booking Request Forms Transit booking request forms that are incomplete (including not furnishing the vessel’s ETA), not signed by the vessel's agent, faxed to the wrong number, or personally delivered to someone other than the designated MTC reservation assistant, cannot be processed. Failure of the vessel agent to provide complete and accurate information required by the ACP when requesting transit bookings may result in rejection of the booking request or cancellation of the vessel's reserved transit slot.
- Acknowledgments: Vessel agents will be furnished acknowledgments of receipt of transit booking requests as soon as possible following receipt. Also, notification of approval or disapproval of a transit booking request will be furnished to the vessel agent once the request is processed.
- Substitutions: A vessel already booked may only be substituted by another non-booked vessel, subject to the following conditions:
(a) Both vessels are registered with the same operator (same Customer Code);
(b) Both vessels are transiting in the same direction.
(c) The new vessel must be within the same vessel classification (Neopanamax, super or regular) and be subject to the same or lesser transit restrictions as the original one. In addition, between Neopanamax vessels, both vessels must belong to the same market segment (same vessel type).
(d) The request for substitution shall be received by the ACP Maritime Traffic and Admeasurement Section at least 24 hours or more prior to the required arrival time of the booked vessel.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the substitution is requested at least 7 days or more in advance of the booked vessel’s required arrival time, there will be no cancellation charge. If the substitution is requested less than 7 days in advance of the booked vessel’s required arrival time, a cancellation fee will be assessed and the booking fee applied to the substituting vessel will be the higher of the two booking fees applicable to the vessels involved in the substitution, in accordance with the current booking rates.
- Swapping: The Swapping of reserved transit slots between two booked vessels is allowed, subject to the following conditions:
(a) Both vessels must be booked for transit within 21 days of each other;
(b) Both vessels must be transiting in the same direction;
(c) Both vessels must be within the same vessel classification (Neopanamax, super or regular) and be subject to the same transit restrictions and arrival requirements;
(d) Vessel operators (Customer Codes) must be the same for both vessels;
(e) A request for swapping must be received by Maritime Traffic and Admeasurement Section no later than 24 hours prior to the earliest required arrival time of the vessels involved in the swap. Such request may be made in writing;
(f) The booking fee applied to both vessels will be the higher of the two booking fees applicable to the vessels involved in the swapping, in accordance with the current booking rates; and
(g) Vessels are permitted to swap their reserved transit slot up to five times per booking. The swapping fee to be applied will depend on the number of swaps the vessel is involved in).
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