Our renowned international experience is at the core of who we are and what we do.
Unquestionably a sector leader and the industry’s trusted counsel, GMCG’s breadth and depth of expertise within marine legal advisory services is evident: our experience spans three decades, in which time we have facilitated in excess of 5,000 ship registrations, 10,000 company incorporations and tens of thousands of crew certifications.
With extensive knowledge of industry regulations and standards at both local and global levels, GMCG’s venerable team of dedicated legal representatives specialise in vessel registration, offshore corporations and crew certification and training.
Wherever you are in the world, our vast network of dedicated associates enables us to complete registrations and deliver certificates in real time.
The relationships we have garnered through our considerable experience, coupled with our commitment to providing a notable quality of service, ensures the accurate and thorough fulfilment of ship registrations and allied services for the most renowned flags, including:
GMCG offers Registration and Offshore Incorporation services through official representative agreements with respective principles. For Panama, these services are conducted by GMCG’s exclusive local law firm.
Whilst assisting you in commissioning the most ideal jurisdiction, at GMCG we are cognisant of your unique position and any relevant tax implications, legislation and trade specifications.
Your experienced associate works with you to fully disseminate your requirements before proceeding with the most expedient course of action, and is also best placed to provide assistance in appropriating bank accounts, nominating directors and establishing shareholders.
GMCG currently provides incorporation of companies in major jurisdictions, including:
|• British Virgin Islands||• Marshall Islands|
|• Cyprus||• Panama|
|• Hong Kong||• Singapore|
CREW CERTIFICATION & TRAINING
GMCG’s global network of associates are eligible to prepare and assist seafarers with all requisite documentation, including medical fitness certificates.
In addition, we are able to administer necessary training and the upgradation of competency through IMO accredited organisations in a number of locations worldwide.
GMCG is permitted to process seafarer’s licenses and endorsements under the following Flags:
|• Georgia||• Palau|
|• Honduras||• Panama|
|• Liberia||• St. Kitts & Nevis|
For further information about the training we provide, please see our Training & Management Support System Consultancy section.
GMCG is a specialized technical, legal and management consultancy service provider in the maritime industry.
The Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP)
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.
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:
- Military Vessels
- Auxiliary Vessels on government non-commercial service.
- 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:
- Copy of the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP) or the
International Pollution Prevention Certificate (IPP).
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.