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Web Alert: Panama Canal announcement of second draft restrictions

05 April 2016

Further to the club’s latest update on the Panama Canal draft reduction, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has issued a new Advisory to Shipping (No. A-14-2016) informing that with effect from 29 April 2016, the maximum authorised transit draft will be set at 11.74m (38.5 feet) in tropical fresh water (TFW - density of 0.9954 at 29.4oC).
Vessels loaded after 1 April 2016 must comply with this new draft limitation. However, vessels already loaded to the prevailing draft limitation at the time of announcing the new draft restrictions will have this restriction waived for transit, subject to safety considerations.
Vessels arriving with TFW drafts over 11.74m (38.5 feet) may be allowed to transit after 29 April 2016 depending on the level in Gatun Lake at the time of transit; otherwise they may have to trim or off-load cargo. These draft restrictions are expected to be eliminated as soon as the Gatun Lake level returns to normal.
Members are recommended to ensure that their vessels which are due for Panama Canal transit observe the new draft limitations till further announcements from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).