A. All vessels transiting the Panama Canal must comply with the following navigation bridge minimum visibility requirements:
•If the vessel is laden, the view of the water surface from any conning position in the navigation bridge shall not be obscured by more than one (1) ship length forward of the bow, under all conditions of draft and trim. Note: Vessels billed at the laden rate are considered laden for the purposes of this requirement.
•If the vessel is in ballast (not laden), the view of the water surface from any conning position in the navigation bridge shall not be obscured by more than one and one half (1.5) ship lengths forward of the bow, under all conditions of draft and trim.
•If the visibility from normal conning positions is obscured by cargo gear or other permanent obstructions forward of the beam, the total arc of obstructed visibility from Conning Position 1 shall not exceed 15 degrees.
•The side hull plating at the vessel’s waterline, fore and aft, shall be visible from bridge wing conning positions.
•Vessels shall be required to execute an Undertaking and Release if visibility from the bridge is considered by the Canal Authority to present a hazard.
Container vessels may be allowed to transit while not in compliance with the visibility requirements provided they comply with all of the following requirements and conditions:
1. Must be 700 feet (213.36m) or more in length.
2. Must have clear visibility forward; therefore, should not be equipped with centerline cranes or cargo gear, which in any way obstruct forward visibility.
3.The view of the water surface from conning position No.1 shall not be obscured by more than two (2) ship lengths, or 500 meters, whichever is less, forward of the bow to 10° on either side, under all conditions of draft, trim and deck cargo.
4. Must have installed, prior to transit, the pilot shelter platforms as required by the ACP.
5. Must be equipped with an operational bow thruster, otherwise it may, at pilot request, be assigned and charged for an additional tug through the Culebra Cut.
6. Must notify the ACP of their voluntary request to “Exceed ACP Visibility.” This notification, which may be included in the remarks section of the ETA message, must be received at least 48 hours prior to arrival.
7. Incur a service charge to cover the costs resulting from the assignment of additional resources provided adequate notification has taken place.
8. Vessels failing to meet ACP visibility requirements that, nonetheless qualify for this test, but for which notification was not received as required, may be subject to delays and additional charges as well as the service charge.
9. Requests to modify previous ETA messages, which would change the “Exceed ACP Visibility” status of the vessel, will only be allowed, with no service charge assessed, if notification is received 48 hours prior to arrival.