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  • Zenas Kanther 2B, Alta Building, Ag. Triada 3035, Limassol, Cyprus
  • Tel: +357 25 747638
    Fax: +357 25 747894

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Cyprus

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  • Tel: +357 25 747638
    Fax: +357 25 747894

Egypt

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  • 26 (B) Fawzy Moaaz St., Office No. 903, Mefco Helwan Building, Smouha, Alexandria, Egypt
  • Tel: +20 3 4250155
    Fax: +20 3 4250955

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  • GMCG-DAVCON,P.O BOX KN 257, KANESHIE – ACCRA, GHANA
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Panama

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  • Tel: +65 6 2232203
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  • Tel: +94 11 258 1134

UAE

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  • Tel: +971 4 2965595, +800-472823(Toll free)
    Fax: +971 4 2965597

USA

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  • 571 SW 178th Way,Pembroke Pines, FL 33029, USA

  • Tel: +1 754 217 3851

The Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP)

Overview

The purpose of the PCSOPEP Program.

PCSOPEP is a program that seeks to implement emergency preparedness strategies for Panama Canal waters. The PCSOPEP aids the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in minimizing the consequences of spills and emergencies by safeguarding life, reducing the impact on the environment, and ensuring the continuous operation of the Canal.

Vessels have the responsibility to comply with the provisions of PCSOPEP and, in the event of a spill, shall activate its own plan and notify the ACP, as stated in the Regulation on Navigation in Panama Canal Waters, Chapter IX, Section Four, following the procedures developed herein.

Applicability

Commercial Vessels: The provisions apply to toll-paying vessels that transit the Panama Canal with a 400 Metric Ton (MT) or more carrying capacity of oil as cargo and/or fuel.

PCSOPEP program requirements do not apply to:

  1. Military Vessels
  2. Auxiliary Vessels on government non-commercial service.
  3. Local call vessels not scheduled for transit.

Plan Elaboration and Requirements

PCSOPEPs shall be developed by organizations or individuals experienced in pollution prevention and response that comply with the following requirements:

  • 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 marine oil or dangerous substance spills developed by the organization or individual.
  • Provide a training profile or proof of knowledge and skills in this type of work.

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

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

At a minimum, a PCSOPEP must include the following information:

  • Vessel particulars
  • Oil pollution prevention measures for Panama Canal waters
  • Spill notification procedures in a prioritized sequence
  • Record of exercises.
  • Identification of the Authorized Person and telephone and facsimile where they can be reached on a 24-hour basis.
  • PCSOPEP Tier classification.

Plan Submission and Processing

Vessels must provide the following documents to the ACP for verification, where applicable:

  1. Copy of the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP) or the

International Pollution Prevention Certificate (IPP).

  1. 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.

All PCSOPEP submissions are subject to the following requirements:

  1. Delivery to the ACP, for verification, not less than 96 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival at Panama Canal waters. A vessel holding a verified plan does not have to resubmit a PCSOPEP for sub sequent transits, unless it is requested by the ACP or it becomes invalidated.
  2. The delivery must be via electronic mail, in portable document format (٭.pdf) or MS Word™ documents; with only one

plan per electronic mail

PCSOPEP’s Authorized Persons (AP)

The PCSOPEP requires the identification of the Authorized Person and telephone and facsimile where they can be reached on a 24-hour basis.

The authorized PCSOPEP entity or person shall:

  • reside in the Republic of Panama
  • be fluent in either English or Spanish
  • understand the vessel’s PCSOPEP
  • Act as a liaison with the ACP.

In addition, the Authorized Person’s duties include arranging for and posting, on behalf of the vessel, a bond acceptable and satisfactory to the ACP for the payment of the costs that the ACP may incur by reason of the oil spill response and cleanup tasks.

Finally, the Authorized Person should have general knowledge and skills or experience in the Incident Command System and emergency preparedness. Knowledge of spill response operations is optional, but certainly in the best interest of the plan holder.

Vessel Exercises and Records

Vessels must perform PCSOPEP notification exercises to the Authorized Person at least twice a year and must document them for verification by the ACP. These exercises may be conducted outside Panama Canal waters.

At any time, the ACP may require a vessel to perform a PCSOPEP notification exercise and/or to participate in response drills and exercises with the ACP. The vessel must properly document such drills and exercises. Joint exercises, with the participation of vessels and the ACP, will be timely coordinated and will not delay transits.

Vessel exercise records must be kept for at least three years.