113 - 10/99 - Panamanian Flag Fines - Torres Strait - Australia

We would bring Members' attention to a recent case where a fine has been levied by the Panamanian Flag State Authorities on two small chemical tankers.

The fine has been imposed because the vessels transitted the Torres Strait  Strait (Northern Australia)  without utilising the services of an  Australian pilot. While local agents advised that such a pilot was not required, the Panamanian authorities have collected the fine under  IMO resolution A710(17) which states:

"Vessels having a length of 70 meters or more, and all of the oil, chemicals and liquefied gas tankers regardless of their size shall use the service of pilots licensed under the laws of Australian Authorities, of its State or its territory, whenever they sail they navigate through the Torres Strait and the Great Northeastern Canal of the Great Coral Barrier between Booby Island (10-36S 141-54E) and Bramble Cay (09-09S 143-53E)."

It would appear the Panamanian Authorities will be strictly following the above resolution for ships under their flag. Owners whose ships are registered under the Panamanian flag should bear  this in mind when trading in the area.


Source of information :

Bruce Hung (Hong Kong)

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