Ship Agents in Panama

New Positioning System Requirement for Transiting Neopanamax Vessels

PANAMA FLASH!RE: New Positioning System Requirement for Transiting Neopanamax Vessels Beginning October 2023

July 4th, 2023,

As published in Advisory A- 32- 2022 dated October 5, 2022, effective October 1, 2023, all vessels transiting the Panama Canal with beams 33.2 meters (109 feet) or more will be required to have a fixed (non-portable) piloting unit with real time kinematics (RTK) for submeter accuracy.

Even though  a portable piloting unit with real time kinematics (PPU- RTK) will be available for rental during a period of  time, we encourage all customers to continue their procurement, configuration, and installation process of the fixed RTK antenna  to comply with the above- mentioned requirement, which cost and time  are  significantly  less than the possible transit delay and rental cost you may have without it.

The above- mentioned requirement is mandatory, and the following procedure must be followed:

a.  Send an email to when the installation and configuration of the fixed RTK fixed antenna has been completed.

b.  When a vessel with fixed RTK antenna installed announces its visit to the Panama Canal, include the following in the visit remark through the Panama Maritime Single Window (VUMPA for its Spanish  acronym):  NPU  completed.

c. A minimum of three connections shall be  available in the RTK ant enna network for Panama Canal usage, while the vessel is in Panama Canal waters. In addition, we recommend designating Wi- Fi channel 11 exclusively for the RTK antenna network.

We are currently working with several suppliers,  and they  have informed us of the following: (a) there is equipment available; (b) the installation and configuration of the antenna takes  less than a day. 

The list of evaluated and approved equipment, specifications, installation guide  and  the frequently asked questions are available through the following web link: unit/

For inquiries or additional information regarding this advisory, please contact us at


Norton Lilly International (Panama) S.A.

Bldg. 3825  – Office 204

Howard – Panama-Pacifico

Panama, Rep. of Panama

Tel: (507) 304-4600

Main email:  (24 hours)


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