The PCSOPEP can be a standalone document or an annex to an existing SOPEP or SMPEP with adequate cross references. However, neither the SOPEP nor the SMPEP alone can substitute the PCSOPEP. Evidence of approval is in two forms, the Confirmation of Compliance (COC) and the Notice of acknowledgement (NOA). The confirmation of compliance takes place after the PCSOPEP is reviewed by the Canal and found to be in order, at which time the Canal sends an e-mail to the plan writer confirming the said condition. The plan writer will in turn notify the Operator of the vessel. The NOA (Notice of acknowledgement) is accomplished at the time the ship arrives at the Canal and is boarded by the Authorities, and this can happen several months or even years after the PCSOPEP was originally submitted for verification. It is the NOA what establishes the expiration date of the PCSOPEP.
The PCSOPEP expires four years from the date the NOA is delivered to the ship by an ACP boarding officer. Vessels shall provide, where applicable, the following documents to the ACP for verification:
• A copy of the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP).
• A copy of the Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP), prepared specifically for the vessel.
Additionally, a copy of the Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP), Annex I, MARPOL, or a copy of the Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP), Annex II, MARPOL, must be available upon request. A PCSOPEP shall include the following information, as a minimum: