Speaking this week at the AAPA Latino conference in Colombia, Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez Morales announced the authority’s plan to implement a green vessel classification system that will include a new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fee. Financial penalties for shipowners will increase based on the volume of emissions. The fee is intended to help make the canal’s operations carbon-neutral.
Under the new system, all ships over 38.1 m length overall (LOA) will be classified in levels depending on their energy efficiency. Three factors – the ship’s EEDI (Energy Efficient Design Index) score, its use of efficient operational measures such as bow thrusters, and its use of zero-carbon biofuels or carbon-neutral fuels – will determine a ship’s classification level.
Fee amounts and a timeline for implementation have not yet been announced.