Statutory Alert: Port State Control – inspection of medicine chests, medical equipment and guides in Panamanian waters.
26 January 2013
Applicability: All shipowners and operators trading in Panamanian waters
The Panama Maritime Authority has issued a Merchant Marine Notice advising that its Flag and Port State Control Officers (FSCOs and PSCOs) are conducting inspection and verification of medicine chests, medical equipment and guides on board ships in Panamanian jurisdictional waters.
The Notice states:
"Flag and Port State Control (PSC) surveyors on Panamanian jurisdictional waters shall verify the on-board existence, of medicine chests, medical equipment and guides, whose specifications shall prescribe and be submitted to periodical inspections, taking into account the number of persons on board, the type and nature of the vessel, destination and duration of voyage.
The Flag State and Port State Control surveyors shall ensure the control of labels, expiration dates, conditions for the conservation of medicines and the corresponding prospects, as well as the proper functioning of the equipment.
Personnel in charge of on board medical assistance, must have satisfactorily completed a medical first aid or medical care training in accordance to the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW, 1978); Rule VI/4; Section A-VI/4, Paragraphs 1-6.
The training should be based on the content of the recent editions of the International Medical Guide for Ships, the Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods, the Document that will serve as guidance for the training of Seafarers and the medical section for the International Code of Signals."
Vessels trading in Panamanian jurisdictional waters should ensure that their operations department and onboard crew are aware of these requirements, which came into effect on 1 January, 2013.
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