Canal Transits

Serving world shipping at the Panama Canal since 1925.

Vessel Requirements

The Panama Canal Authority has available through their website ( all the pertinent rules, regulations, and guidelines governing transit of the Canal. Particular attention should be paid to the following points:

· ETA Reporting, 96 Hour Notice

· Transit Draft

· Length & Beam Restrictions

· Pilot Platforms

· Navigation Bridge Features

· Chocks and Bitts

· Deckload Cargo

· Visibility Requirements

· Dangerous Cargo (IMO)

· Documents for Maiden Transit

96 Hours ETA – It is imperative that vessels submit an ETA and all related information to the agent with sufficient lead time to permit conversion of data to the EDCS system prior to 96 hours in advance of arriving in Panama Canal waters. We recommend submitting data to the agent no less than 112 hours in advance. Failure to provide timely/accurate information may be subject to fines, additional resources assigned at the vessel´s expense, and/or transit delays.

Vessels arriving from ports fewer than 96 hours away from the Canal are required to provide preliminary information in order to meet the 96-hour deadline. A second and final advice must be submitted immediately upon departure from the last port of call.


Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP) - All toll paying vessels that transit the Panama Canal with a carrying capacity of oil as cargo and/or fuel in excess of 400 mt must have their PCSOPEP documentation/plan submitted no less than 96 hours prior to arrival in Panama Canal waters.

Transit Draft – The maximum transit draft, loadline and lake level permitting, is 39 feet 06 inches or 12.04 meters Tropical Fresh Water. In order that vessels may be considered eligible to transit at the maximum permissible draft, following bilge keep information must be submitted:

1) “A” – Half breadth of vessel to outside of shell

2) “R” – Radius of turn of bilge (feet & inches)

3) “DR” – Dead rise at side of vessel (inches)

Maximum permissible length – 950 feet
Maximum permissible beam – 106 feet

Transit Reservation System – Please refer to our Handy Transit Booking Guide

Auction System – If all 3rd Period booking slots have been utilized, the Canal Authority will make one additional slot available through auction. Minimum daily bid $35,000/Supers (over 91’ beam - $15,000/Regulars (under 91’ beam). Maximum bid is submitted by the agent, the auction closes at 13:30 hours daily (GMT – 5).

Transit Costs – On request, we shall be pleased to provide a proforma estimate of transit expenses. For quick reference, please refer to our Basic Canal Costs

Financial Arrangements – The local agent is obliged to place a bank guarantee prior to arrival for every vessel. No credit is extended nor discounts granted by the Canal Authority on tolls and related transit costs that are fixed tariff items.