Updates in Panama 2020


Re:  Neopanamax Authorized Draft.  In accordance with Panama Canal Advisory to Shipping ADV18-2020 (attached), effective immediately, the Maximum Authorized Draft for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks will be 13.87 m (45 feet 6 inches) Tropical Fresh Water (TFW).

Re:  Panamax Locks Draft. Maximum transit draft in the Panamax locks remains unchanged at 12.04 meters (39 feet 6 inches) Tropical Fresh Water, deepest point of immersion.

Re:  Lake Levels. Panama is now in rainy season, customarily April/May-November.  Gatun Lake level is currently 81.2 ft.

Re:  Locks Maintenance Suspended. The Panama Canal Authority advises that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, all scheduled maintenance to the Panamax locks that were announced in the Advisory Notices in previous months have been suspended until further notice.

Re:  Maritime Authority temporarily suspends anchorage fees.  Reminder that in accordance with AMP Resolution of J.D. No. 047-2020 – Anchorage fees have been suspended for a period of 90 days for all Panama flagged vessels exceeding 500 gross register tons (GRT).  This same beneficial exemption is extended to foreign flag ships over 500 GRT for a period of 60 days.

Re:  COVID-19, general Panama update

  • International passenger flights, inbound and outbound, are suspended until June 22.  Cargo and humanitarian flights are permitted.
  • Panama Immigrations have temporarily stopped issuance of crew Visas for inbound personnel.  We do not expect this to change until the airport resumes operations sometime after June 22.
  • Crew embarkation and disembarkation is prohibited except in emergency situations with prior approval of local authorities.  Crew medical and doctor visits are permissible with prior approval from local authorities.
  • Crew change from ship-to-ship is permissible but with permission from local authorities.
  • Mandatory 24 hour national curfew remains in effect until June 1st.  Maritime sector workers are exempt from this curfew.  Non-essential businesses are slowly being allowed to reopen but with limited capacity and telecommuting is still encouraged.
  • Panama Canal and surrounding ports continue operating 24/7 unhindered but with heightened security and reporting protocols.
  • Ancillary maritime services such as bunkering, ship chandlery, delivery of spares and provisions, slops and trash removal, fresh water delivery, are permitted.
  • In an effort to minimize person to person contact,  Norton Lilly Panama continue telecommuting for most of our staff and flexible work schedules for others.
  • For more information regarding crew changes, please contact our Shipmanagement Services Team at  shipmgtpanama@nortonlilly.com.pa

Re:  Panama Canal traffic.   Currently 38 vessels waiting at anchorage (Pacific & Atlantic anchorages combined).

Waiting times in the Panama Canal for vessels without transit reservation (booking):
– Neopanamax northbound 2 days
– Neopanamax southbound 2 days
– Panamax northbound 2 days
– Panamax southbound 2 days
– Regulars northbound 1 day
– Regulars southbound 1 day

For more information, please contact: operations@nortonlilly.com.pa

Please find attached our updated contacts directory including after hours and 24 hours Duty Officer contact details.

Re: Internet / Bank Fraud

A further reminder that email hacking and false bank details are a constant threat to our industry.   Following we reconfirm bank details for Norton Lilly Panama at Citibank New York, same bank account we have used for more than 10 years.  Should you receive any instructions containing different bank details or wiring instructions for Norton Lilly Panama, please contact us by telephone to reconfirm.


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: operations@nortonlilly.com.pa  (24 hours)
Management email:  nortonadm@nortonlilly.com.pa (office hours)
Web: www.nortonlilly.com.pa


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