13 JANUARY 2020

Panama’s Ship Registry maintains its leadership of the world merchant fleet with a total of 8,289 vessels, over 500 gt, and 220, 1M gt, representing 16% of the total merchant fleet of 98,027 ships, according to IHS Markit.

The closure of 2019 shows an increase in tonnage and number of vessels registered as compared to 217.1M tons and 8,000 vessels at December 2018.

The Ship Registry has made changes in the registration’s daily process and re-engineering of the register, including the implementation of the Electronic Registry of Ships that should be operational in 2020 and which will allow a quicker vessel registration.  “We control carefully our statistics and monitor closely the behavior of the fleet, in general,” says Rafael Cigarruista, Panama Maritime Authority (AMP)’s director of Merchant Marine and head of the Ship Registry. 

"Our priorities are customer’s satisfaction and efficient service," he adds.

At January 13,2020, Japan is Panama Registry’s main customer with 42% of the fleet (91.405,585 gt) followed by South Korea with 11.1% (24,178,637 gt), Greece with 8% (17,464,120 gt), China with 8% (17,277,520 gt) and Italy with 7.4% (16,050,457 gt).

The new administration that took office July 1, 2019, is reorganizing the Registry marketing strategies aiming at customers’ satisfaction and the unification of competitive rates aligned with the international market.

The AMP Directorate General of Merchant Marine expects the Ship Registry to grow by at least 5M tons in 2020 thanks to quicker registration, on-line processes and transparency and reliability.

The acceptance of Panama in the Tokyo MoU as a member country “will allows us to provide better support to our customers, in the region,” said Cigarruista. Panama has also been re-elected as Category A" at the IMO General Council, being the only open registry among the 10 States members of the Category A.

“Port State Inspections compliance has been improved globally in our fleet and we are implementing fully the IMO 2020 requirements, a milestone that marks a profound change in the international maritime industry with respect to the use of low sulphur fuel,” he adds.

"Our Ship Registry is taking a new orientation by looking at reinforcing its position as a world’s leader with innovative measures which will mark a before and after our modernization process,” said Cigarruista.