Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance and Enforcement Department

Directorate of Merchant Marine




That through Law No.8 of January 26, 1959, Panama becomes a member of the Constitutive Convention of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The above mentioned organization has adopted a scheme of compliance measurement with the purpose of  contributing  to the effective practice of the functions of its members as Flag State, Coastal State and Port State Control.

That on Decree Law No. 7 of February 10, 1998, it becomes official the way in which the coordination of all those institutions and Authorities related to the maritime sector will be performed. It also indicates on its article 30, number 5, that it is the function of the General Directorate of Merchant Marine to ensure Panamanian registry ships comply with national legal dispositions and that they are part of the International Conventions ratified by the Republic of Panama, in terms of  navigation safety, maritime safety, as well as the prevention and control of pollution at sea.

In this sense, the Department of Compliance and Enforcement is created, with the purpose to advise the Administrative Units and Departments of the General Directorate of Merchant Marine regarding compliance with the mandatory instruments of the IMO.





To guarantee the promulgation of laws and regulations in order to take the needed and effective measures for the full compliance with these to ensure that in regards to the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine life, the vessels are suitable for the service for which they are intended:






Among the main functions of the Department, the following can be mentioned:

•Guarantee that the General Directorate of Merchant Marine establishes and applies the international standards related to the Flag State and Port State Control in order to provide immediate response to our users and the maritime international community.


• Permanently supervise, verify and control the compliance with International obligations.


• Provide orientation to the General Directorate of Merchant Marine in relation to the international conventions and regulations about the Maritime Safety and Security as well as the Conservation of the Marine  Environment in order to follow up on the implementation of such instruments.


• Coordinate with the Quality System of the General Directorate of Merchant Marine the follow up to the implementation and certification of the International STANDARDS of quality ISO 9001:2000, supervising  the development, implementation and certification of the mentioned system, within the General Directorate of Merchant Marine of the Panama Maritime Authority.


• Coordinate and verify the promulgation of the national regulation which facilitates the implementation of the International conventions signed by Panama.


• Determine and document the responsibilities, authorities and interrelationship of the Recognized Authorities with Panamanian Administration in the operations of survey and certification that are carried out on behalf of the same.


• Evaluate periodically the performance of the Recognized Organizations, with respect to the enforcement of the administrative processes and the use of the procedures established by the Panamanian Administration, in accordance to the International Conventions in which Panama is signatory.


• Request and coordinate with the Directorate , to the Technical Committee, if necessary, an extraordinary audit in order to verify irregularities found in the ordinary audit.


• Ensure the enforcement of the action plan intended to comply satisfactorily with the voluntary audit of the Member States of the IMO in addition to provide follow up to the implementation of the same.


• Represent the AMP, when appointed, during national working or meeting groups, related to your areas of competence, carrying out the coordination that such tasks require.


• Keep, as the focal point of the Panama Maritime Authority in its relationship with the national and foreign authorities, as well as with the international entities, with respect to; exchange of information about the organization, functions, regulations, operative and administrative procedures, courses, seminars, visits, technical publications, among others.


• Coordinate and develop training proposals in the country or abroad intended for the personnel of the General Directorate of Merchant Marine, related to issues such as safety, security and maritime and marine  environment conservation.


• Coordinate with the Permanent Representative of Panama to the IMO, the different issues and meetings that are treated in the Committees, Subcommittees, working Groups, among others, of this Entity, ensuring the interests of the country in the maritime sector.


• Cooperate with national and International matters related to the maritime sector and promote the mission of the PMA


• Coordinate and cooperate, in the area of its competence, with the components of the PMA, National Entities and Institutions with  technical related tasks that ensure a better implementation of Agreements and Conventions signed by our Country; proposing the pertinent actions.


• Ensure the  diffusion within the National Maritime sector, through Publications or a Web page, of all the technical information of general interest in its area of competence.


• Advise and make proposals to the General Directorate of Merchant Marine as well as keeping a close bond with the Department of  Resolutions and Legal Consultations with respect to the adoption or modification of national regulations and International Conventions  signed by Panama.