The plan is an Annex to the MARPOL - Annex I SOPEP and it implements emergency preparedness strategies for Panama Canal Waters according to the requirements of Section Four of Chapter IX of the Regulation on Navigation in Panama Canal Waters. Section Four of the regulation is implemented through the procedures of the PCSOPEP Requirements.


The PCSOPEP will aid Panama Canal Authorities (ACP) to minimize consequences of spills and emergencies by safeguarding life, reducing the impact on the environment, and ensuring the continuous operation of the Canal.


The PCSOPEP assists vessels prepare for emergencies in the Panama Canal by the following strategies:


  • It identifies an Authorized Person that resides locally (in Panama) and represents the vessel in case of an emergency.
  • It identifies the resources required to prepare for an oil spill emergency and carrying out the response and clean up tasks to an end and
  • It indicates other activities required by regulation, such as training, record keeping and exercising.


The provisions in this document apply to vessels in Panama Canal Waters carrying 400 MT or more of oil as cargo and/or fuel. The total amount of oil carried by a vessel is equal to the sum of oil contained in all cargo and fuel tanks. A vessel that meets this criterion will have to submit a PCSOPEP to the ACP for verification, and shall be classified according to the criteria stated in Section 7 of this plan.


Furthermore, vessels shall present, where applicable, the following documents to the Panama Canal Authority for verification:


  • A copy of the Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP) prepared specifically for the vessel.
  • A copy of the International Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP).


Additionally, either a copy of the Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP), or a copy of the Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP) must be available upon request.