Ship Agents in Panama

Extension of Condition 3 in the Panamax Locks and Transition from Condition 3 to New Condition 5

PANAMA FLASH! – Panama City – October 25th, 2023

Re: Extension of Condition 3 in the Panamax Locks and Transition from Condition 3 to New Condition 5:

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announces the extension of Booking Condition 3 in the Panamax Locks until November 7, 2023. Meanwhile, the new Booking Condition 5, to be implemented on November 1, 2023, becomes effective for booking dates beginning November 8, 2023.

The details regarding the implementation phase of the modifications announced in Advisory to Shipping A-43-2023 are provided below:

For Supers, beginning on November 1, 2023, the auction slots for November 3 through November 7, 2023, will be offered each day (two days prior to transit date). In addition, slots that become available for these dates due to cancellations or other reasons will be offered through extraordinary auctions. There will also be a daily special competition for the new booking slots being added to Supers, for transit dates beginning on November 8, 2023. Similarly, beginning on November 1, 2023, the daily auctions for the new Period 3 will be offered for transit dates beginning on November 8, 2023.

The following table summarizes the slot allocation process for Supers during the first week of the implementation phase:

For Neopanamax vessels, beginning on November 1, 2023, the daily auction slot will be offered for November 8, 2023. The special auction is being suspended until further notice.

The following table summarizes the slot allocation process during the first week of the implementation phase:

For regular vessels (vessels under 91 feet or 27.74 meters in beam), beginning on November 1, 2023, the auction slots for November 3 through November 7, 2023, will be offered each day (two days prior to transit date). In addition, slots that become available for these dates due to cancellations or other reasons will also be offered through extraordinary auctions. The daily auctions for the new Period 3 will be offered for transit dates beginning November 8, 2023. The following table summarizes the slot allocation process during the first week of the implementation phase:

Under the new Booking Condition 5, the limits per direction and restriction per vessel category, prior to the opening of Booking Period 3, will be as follows:

Neopanamax Locks. No more than four (4) Neopanamax vessels may be booked for transit in the northbound direction, and of these, no more than one (1) with daylight at the locks restriction (HML-M, HML-D or HML-O). Similarly, no more than three (3) Neopanamax vessels may be booked for transit in the southbound direction, and of these, no more than one with daylight at the locks restriction (HML-M, HML-D or HML-O). The maximum number of daylight at the locks restricted vessels allowed, combined with LNG vessels remains at three (3) per day. The conditioned slot may be northbound or southbound.

The total number of slots while this condition is in effect may not exceed seven (7). The table below summarizes the slot distribution per direction and restriction for Neopanamax vessels:

In addition, during Booking Period 1, a maximum of two (2) slots may be allocated to Neopanamax vessels transiting in the northbound or the southbound direction. During Period 1.a, the maximum number of slots that may be allocated vessels transiting in the northbound direction is limited to three (3) and the maximum number of slots that may be allocated vessels transiting in the southbound direction is limited to two (2).

Supers. No more than seven (7) vessels may be booked in the northbound direction, and of these, no more than 4 with daylight at the locks restriction (HML-M, HML-D or HML-O). Similarly, no more than seven (7) vessels may be booked in the southbound direction, and of these, no more than four (4) with daylight at the locks restriction (HML-D or HML-M). The total number of daylight at the locks restricted vessels cannot exceed eight (8). The table below summarizes the slot distribution per direction and restriction for supers:

Regulars. No more than three (3) vessels may be booked in the same direction. Of the total number of slots available, no more than two (2) shall be allocated to vessels transiting with restrictions, i.e., clear[1]cut, daylight in the cut, or daylight at the locks. The table below summarizes the slot distribution per direction and restriction for regulars:

During the transition phase, the slots that are being added in different booking periods for both Neopanamax vessels and Supers will become available when the subsequent periods open.

Once the transition phase is completed, in Booking Period 3, only auctions will be offered. Slots that become available while Period 3 is open will be offered through extraordinary auctions. The conditions for the daily auction, as well as for other auctions, will be determined based on the slots already allocated in previous periods. The In-Transit-Time (ITT) for these auctions will be 18 hours, unless otherwise indicated. For vessel categories where there is more than one slot to be auctioned, subsequent auctions will be offered after the slots from previous auctions are awarded.

Once the changes are implemented, the waiting time for non-booked vessels will likely increase considerably, depending on the availability of slots based on the published Canal capacity and the new booking slot distribution.

As indicated in Advisory to Shipping A-35-2023, we strongly recommend customers to make use of the Transit Reservation System to reduce the possibility of extensive delays.

For additional information, please reach out to our operators at operations@nortonlilly.com.pa.

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Norton Lilly International (Panama) S.A.

Bldg. 3825  – Office 204

Howard – Panama-Pacifico

Panama, Rep. of Panama

Tel: (507) 304-4600

Main email: operations@nortonlilly.com.pa  (24 hours)

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