Panama Canal launches e-filing

Panama Canal launches e-filing

The Panama Canal Authority announced today it would begin using an electronic filing system to send and receive data from ships planning to transit the canal.

The system will be phased in April 1, and will be fully implemented on July 1.

The Automated Data Collection System (ADCS) will eliminate paper data transmissions of data between canal authority personnel and ships. Vessels transiting the canal will be required to report all necessary data 96 hours before arrival.

The ADCS will be divided into two main components. The Electronic Data Collection System (EDCS) will receive all preliminary information required for security and operational purposes. The information required for the EDCS is similar to the paper forms used now. The Mobile Data Collection System (MDCS) will allow for wireless communication between the Enhanced Vessel Traffic Management System (EVTMS) database and handheld devices carried by canal authority personnel.

The canal authority said the MDCS will allow canal authority representatives who board vessels to remotely access the information submitted, and provide immediate response in case of discrepancies or errors.