This is not just about having a green conscience, this is a must when you are involved in the shipping industry. A plan has to be created for accidentally pollution of the environment, and for your daily operations in the sea as well, specially when you are planning to transit the Canal. The PCSOPEP helps the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) by limiting results of spills, diminishing the effect on nature, protecting life and also, guaranteeing the persistent operation of the Canal.

In order to fulfill ACP requirements we have created a special division just to take care of all the oil spill emergency plan for you. At you may find all what you need to get your vessel fully backed up. Vessels have the obligation to consent to the arrangements of PCSOPEP and, in case of a spill, should execute its own particular plan and advise the ACP.

PCSOPEP prerequisites were declared with Agreement No. 78 of May 27, 2004 of the ACP Board of Directors and noticeably successful on January 1st, 2005.

PCSOPEP Applicability

Military and Auxiliary Vessels: The PCSOPEP program requirements does not apply to military vessels or to auxiliary vessels.

Commercial Vessels: The following applies to toll-paying vessels calling the Panama Canal with a carrying capacity of oil (cargo and/or fuel) of 400 Metric Ton (MT) or more. These vessels have to submit their PCSOPEP to the ACP for verification, and will be classified according to the following:

• For vessels with an oil limit of 400 MT up to 1,000 MT – – Tier S

 For vessels with an oil limit of more than 1,000 MT up to 7,000 MT – – Tier 1

•  For vessels with an oil limit of more than 7,000 MT up to 15,000 MT – – Tier 1, Tier 2

•  For vessels with an oil limit of more than 15,000 MT – – Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3

The oil carrying limit of a vessel is the summary of the total capacity of tanks for fuel, lube oil, oil cargo, slop, and some other tanks or compartments used to transport products under the category of MARPOL 73/78 Annex I. Total oil capacity must be in metric tons and when attemping to convert from cubic meters (m3) to metric tons, the following equation should be used:

Metric Ton = 0.9442 x m3

PCSOPEP Elaboration and Requirements

The following is the minimum information needed:

• ID of the Authorized Person (AP) and a telephone where they can be reached 24/7

• Ship particulars

• PCSOPEP Tier classification.

• Crew training program for spill incidents

• Record of exercises

• Oil pollution prevention measures for Panama Canal waters

• Spill notification procedures in a prioritized sequence

• Spill response procedures

Also, the following documents (when applicable) should be provided to the ACP for verification:

• Copy of the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP) or the International Pollution Prevention Certificate (IPP)

• Copy of the especially prepared Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP), also, a copy of the Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP), MARPOL Annex I, or a copy of the Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP), MARPOL Annex II, must be available upon request.

The PCSOPEP may be prepared as an appendix to an existing SOPEP or SMPEP. However, neither the SOPEP nor the SMPEP alone may be substitutes for the PCSOPEP.

Regarding the Authorized Person (AP)

His tasks may include:

  • Arranging for and posting on behalf of the vessel
  • Being a link to the ACP for the payment of the costs that the ACP may incur for the oil spill response and cleanup tasks
  • The AP has to reside in the Republic of Panama
  • Be a fluent English or Spanish speaker
  • Have general knowledge and skills or experience in the Incident Command System and emergency preparedness.
  • Having knowledge of spill response operations is not a must but desirable.

When a PCSOPEP is about to be developed, whether by a organization or individuals specialized in pollution prevention and response, the following requirements must be considered:

  • Provide proof that the organization or individual has experience in the development of plans for marine oil or dangerous substance spills
  • Provide a list of plans for spills developed by them
  • Provide a training profile or proof of knowledge in this kind of work.

Note: The ACP may request written proof of these requirements to plan developers, the vessel’s owner or operator holding a PCSOPEP at any time.

The information above is just a brief summary of the requisites for the PCSOPEP. Most of our customers don’t have a clear idea of all the process involved when preparing all the documentation needed, and this is completely understandable. This is why at Adimar Shipping Inc, through our PCSOPEP division, you will find a experienced team willing to help, allowing you to focus only on your business. For more information, do not hesitate and contact us.