- Download Country profile for Panama (132 kB)
Spill Notification Point
Autoridad Maritima de Panama (AMP)
Control de Contaminacion
Tel: +507 501 5154/5 Mobile: +507 6550 6976 / 6841
Fax: +507 501 5457/5213
Autoridad del Canal de Panama Emergency Dispatch Center
24 Hr: +507 276 3669
Control y Respuesta a Contaminacion
Tel: +507 276 6428
Competent National Authority
Contact details as above.
Oil pollution control in Panamanian waters, except for the Panama Canal, rests with the Autoridad Maritima de Panama (AMP), under authority provided by Law 21 of 9 June 1980. In practice, serious incidents along the Caribbean or Pacific coast would be handled by contractors appointed by AMP.
In Canal waters, oil pollution control is provided by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Contamination Control and Response Unit. ACP requires vessels entering its waters to have a Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP). Requirements are set out in a notice to shipping, updated annually.
AMP contractors have mechanical equipment available for clean-up. ACP also has a large inventory of mechanical equipment and a Memorandum of Agreement with the US National Response Team (NRT) and Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL) for oil spill response. The US NRT supports an annual pollution response drill between the two parties. The use of dispersants is not officially allowed, although permission may be given in individual cases. The Panama Canal has identified some areas for preapproved use of dispersants.
Government & Private
Contractors appointed by AMP have adequate equipment, including stocks of boom, skimmers, vacuum trucks, barges etc. The ACP, through their Contamination Control and Response Unit, Dredging Division, have equipment for clean-up within Canal waters.
Further equipment is held by private companies at refineries and terminals. This equipment is primarily used to respond to small spills, following the operators' contingency plans. The operators are, however, expected to liaise closely with the AMP on any proposals on oil spill clean-up.
Previous Spill Experience
Panama has been the site of a number of oil pollution incidents as a result, primarily, of collisions and groundings in the Panama Canal.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances
Contingency arrangements for an HNS incident will eventually be incorporated within current spill response arrangements. The Autoridad Maritima de Panama would work in conjunction with the fire authorities. Panama has had some experience of small spills of soya and phosphoric acid within port limits.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
Cartagena Convention (Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region) with states of the Wider Caribbean Region.
Operative Network for Regional Cooperation among maritime authorities of South America, Mexico, Panama & Cuba (ROCRAM).
Date of issue: December 2019