Panama Maritime Authority approves remote performance of annual VDR tests

The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) has confirmed that it will accept remotely conducted Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) testing as an alternative for the onboard Annual Performance Test (APT) for Panamanian flagged vessels registered with ClassNK.

Approval has been granted by AMP for use of the HermAce system developed by Furuno for the performance of remote VDR APTs. This is the first time an approval of this type has been granted by the Authority.

“The Panama ship registry is very happy to work together with NK and Furuno in the modernisation and inclusion of new technology to perform inspections in a more efficient and effective manner. The inclusion of new technologies allows the industry not only to save costs but also to reduce emissions,” said Samuel I. Guevara G., Chief of Segumar–Tokyo, General Directorate of Merchant Marine, Panama Maritime Authority

SOLAS requires a VDR to have an APT with a qualified engineer visiting the vessel annually to check the unit’s operation, record voyage information and conduct other tests. HermAce offers remote monitoring of the operational status of Furuno’s navigation equipment, including a VDR. Using the remote functionality, engineers can conduct performance tests equivalent to those done during conventional APTs using real-time and historical data.

ClassNK issued an Innovation Endorsement for Products & Solutions to HermAce in February of this year. Similar approval for remote testing to replace VDR APTs was granted by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in March 2023.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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