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Issuance of Tonnage Certificates (ITC,69 and NTC)

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Merchant Marine Circular 69 replaces and compile: MMC-45, MMC-89 and MMC- 109. The purpose of this Merchant Marine Circular is to inform to all Recognized Organizations (ROs), Classification Societies, Ship-owners/Operators and other stakeholders F-33 (DCCM) V.04 the applicability and procedures for the issuance of Tonnage Certificates to Panamanian flag vessels (IT69 which became effective as of 1 January 1987).

The amendments do not affect the relationship between ship-owners and Class Societies or neither other Recognized Organizations nor the validity of Tonnage Certificates already issued to Panamanian flag vessels.

International Tonnage Convention, 1969 establishes that all ships engaged on international voyages, except warships and ships of less than 24 meters in length, are subject to the Convention. Therefore, the International Tonnage Certificate (ITC69) apply to ships of 24 meters (79 feet) in length.

National Tonnage Certificate (NTC) applies to ships less than 24 meters (79 feet) in length.

International Tonnage Certificate (ITC69)

Ships in the following categories shall be measured according to the International Tonnage Convention, 1969 and shall carry the International Tonnage Certificate on board (5.1):

All ships whose keels are laid, or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after the July 18th, 1982. These ships are considered as new ships by the Convention. (5.1.1)

All ships, other than new ships, which undergo alterations or modifications on or after July 18th, 1982, which the Administration deems to cause a substantial variation in their existing gross tonnages. (5.1.2)

All ships, other than new ships, if the owner so requests. This option, once exercised, cannot be reversed by the present or subsequent owners, even in the event of a change of flag. (5.1.3)

All ships, other than those indicated in paragraph 5.1.1, 5.1.2 and 5.1.3 above, on the July 18th, 1994. (5.1.4.)

Ships to which the Convention does not apply shall continue to use national tonnage certificates issued according to the regulations in force before the July 18th, 1982. (5.1.5)

Interim Scheme and ITC 69 (5.2)

Ships included in categories indicated in paragraph 5.1.1, 5.1.2 and 5.1.3 above may continue the use of tonnages measured according to the applicable national tonnage rules in force prior to 18 of July 1982 (before the entry into force of the ITC,69), for the purpose of the application of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 (SOLAS) according to recommendation indicated in Resolution A.494(XII), except for its Chapter IV “Radiocommunications”, if the keel of such ships was laid before the following
dates (5.2.1):

  1. December 31st, 1985, for ships of 1600 GRT and above.
  2. 18th July 1994, for ships under 1600 GRT.

Ships included in the following category may continue indefinitely the use of tonnages measured according to the applicable national tonnage rules in force prior to 18 July 1982, for the purpose of the applications of MARPOL Conventions according to recommendation indicated in Resolution A.541(13)(5.2.2):

  • ships which keel was laid before 18 July 1994 under 400 GRT;

The Interim Schemes for Tonnage Measurement for the use of national tonnage in applying relevant requirements under international conventions to certain ships with keel laid dates on or before 18 July 1994 does not apply to International Ship and Port Facility and Security (ISPS) and International Safety Management (ISM) Codes.(5.2.3)
Ships intending to apply the provisions of 5.2.1, or 5.2.2 above must have both the International Tonnage Certificate (1969) and the National Tonnage Certificate issued under the regulations in force prior to the 18 July 1982. (5.2.4)
Ships measured according to the rules of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969, will use this measurement for the purpose of assessing Panamanian tax obligations. (5.2.5)

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