Panama Canal Authority’s rules for pre-arrival reporting


Re:  Advisory to Shipping ADV12-2020Transit of Vessels with Positive or Suspected Cases of COVID-19, advising Panama Canal Authority’s rules for pre-arrival reporting,  boarding process for clearance formalities, the protocols implemented for vessels arriving for transit of the Panama Canal, and joint efforts in effect together with the Panama Ministry of Health (Minsa) to the prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Re:  Ministry of Health (Minsa), please find attached regulations, effective April 2, 2020, for vessels arriving from Ecuadorian ports.

Re:   Advisory to Shipping ADV11-2020Modifications to the Procedures Regarding Guarantees for Booking Substitutions and Changes in Booking Date.  Effective April 1, 2020,  please find attached a self-explanatory advisory from the Panama Canal Authority concerning the change in booking date and the guarantee requirement prior the substitution process.  The transit itinerary creation fee and substitution guarantee shall be reimbursed within 10 working days after the substitution is processed.

Re:  COVID-19, overall situation in Panama

  • 1,181 cases of coronavirus have been identified in Panama, including 30 deceased.
  • Mandatory 24 hour national curfew.  Maritime sector workers are exempt from this curfew.
  • Panama Canal and surrounding ports continue operating 24/7 unhindered but with heightened security and reporting protocols.
  • International passenger flights, inbound and outbound, have been suspended since March 22.  Cargo and humanitarian flights are permitted.
  • Panama Immigrations have temporarily stopped issuance of crew Visas for inbound personnel.
  • Crew embarkation and disembarkation is prohibited except in emergency situations with prior approval of local authorities.
  • Ancillary maritime services such as bunkering, ship chandlery, delivery of spares and provisions, slops and trash removal, fresh water delivery, are permitted.
  • Panama Customs Authority have approved a temporary digital documentation process for cargo tax liquidation for import cargoes.
  • In an effort to minimize person to person contact,  Norton Lilly Panama have implemented telecommuting for most of our staff and flexible work schedules for others.
  • We continue to physically board vessels but only when absolutely necessary, otherwise we are making all coordination for the vessel, Master and crew remotely.
  • Please find attached our updated contacts directory including after hours and 24 hours Duty Officer contact details.

If any specific questions, we would be pleased to assist.  Email.


For further information 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
Fax: (507) 269-3926
Main email:  (24 hours)
Management email: (office hours)


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