Effective October 1, 2023, all vessels transiting the Panama Canal with beams measuring 33.2 meters (109 feet) or more must have a fixed piloting unit with real-time kinematics (RTK) for submeter accuracy.
While portable piloting units with RTK (PPU-RTK) will be available for rental, it is strongly encouraged that vessel owners and operators procure, configure, and install the fixed RTK antenna to meet this requirement.
Compliance with the fixed RTK antenna requirement is both mandatory and advisable, given the potential transit delays and rental costs associated with not having it.
To adhere to the aforementioned requirement, the following procedure must be followed:
Notify Arqueadores@pancanal.com via email when the installation and configuration of the fixed RTK antenna is completed.
For vessels with fixed RTK antennas, include "NPU completed" in the visit remark through the Panama Maritime Single Window (VUMPA).
Maintain a minimum of three connections in the RTK antenna network for Panama Canal usage while the vessel is within Panama Canal waters.
Designate Wi-Fi channel 11 exclusively for the RTK antenna network.
Multiple suppliers offer equipment meeting the requirements, and installation/configuration typically takes less than a day.
A list of evaluated and approved equipment, specifications, installation guides, and frequently asked questions can be found at https://pancanal.com/en/maritime-services/non-portable-piloting-unit/.
Consequential charges for vessels arriving without fixed RTK from Jan 1, 2024 onwards:
Rental Charge + Disruption fee
$5,000.00 per transit or per day; for the first transit for all vessels with a beam ≥ 33.22 meters or 109 feet in the Neopanamax locks, without antenna, No disruption fee.
$5,000.00 + 100% surcharge for the second transit for all vessels with a beam ≥ 33.22 meters or 109 feet in the Neopanamax locks, without antenna. No disruption fee.
$5,000.00 + Disruption fee low impact $65,000.00 for subsequent transits beyond the third transit for all vessels with a beam ≥ 33.22 meters or 109 feet in the Neopanamax locks, without antenna