TODAY Panama opens DLMC-I certification, Maria Dixon* writes:
As from today, 11th March 2013 the International Technical Office of Segumar in Panama will start issuing Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance, Part I, (DMLC-I) in digital format
Eleven days ago, the Official Gazette 27234-A of the Republic of Panama published the Executive Decree 86 of February 22, 2013, where the Maritime Labour Convention MLC, 2006 was adopted after extensive tripartite consultations with representatives of seafarers, ship-owners (represented by the Panama Maritime Chamber) and the Panama Maritime Authority.
Since its publication, the Panama Maritime Authority through the Directorate General of Merchant Marine has been issuing new Merchant Marine Circulars and revoking certain circulars. It is important that ship-owners and operators keep consulting the merchant marine circulars on line, as they are updated continuously.
The DMLC-I application for can be downloaded by visiting www.segumar.com, Merchant Marine Circular number 269.
Although there is no official cost to obtain a digital certificate; however, if a printed original is required, this must be notified when applying, as there will be certain expenses that must be covered by the applicant such as courier services.
The Segumar offices in New York, Greece, Korea, Singapore and Tokyo will start issuing the DMLC-I, by the end of March, 2013.
Vessels with a gross tonnage of 500 GT or more, engaged in international voyages, and those with a gross tonnage equal or over 500 GT flying the Panamanian flag and operating from a port, or between ports from another country, must have on board and in a visible place a copy of the Maritime Labour Convention and the Maritime Labour Certificate complemented with the Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance, which consists of two parts, DMLC-Part I and DMLC-Part II.
Vessels with a gross tonnage from 200 GT to 499 GT engaged in international voyages or voyages between ports, may voluntarily request the Maritime Labour Certificate, for which compliance with all national regulations shall be required.
Once the DMLC Part I is issued, the ship-owner must complete the Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance Part II (DMLC-Part II), indicating the actions taken in order to ensure permanent compliance with the national requirements during the periods between inspections, as well as the measures proposed for guaranteeing continuous improvement of the aspects subject to inspection.
Ship-owners and operators should note that Merchant Marine Circular number 269 has revoked the merchant marine circulars number MMC-248, MMC-254 and MMC-256.
Note that Panama interpretation differs somehow with other countries, for instance, in Merchant Marine Circular number 265 contrary of what it has been said in the UK, Panama does not consider armed guards, divers and a long list of other professional ancillary services as seafarers.
[I attended a private course in Panama City last week where MLC and all the interpretation were pointed out; this week the same course has been organised in Europe directed to interested ship-owners and surveyors on the elements and parts that the Panamanian authorities has added in their legislation. In April a similar course will be organised in London. ]
*Maria Dixon is director of ISM Shipping Solutions Ltd, a British company specialised in Panamanian shipping and with over 30 years’ experience. For additional information send an email to Maria Dixon firstname.lastname@example.org