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Hamish Macdonald is an NK News contributor. He previously worked at The Korea Herald and for the Australia Centre for Independent Journalism in Sydney.
The Panamanian Government deregistered nine vessels from its merchant registry in order to comply with UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions, according to the country’s most recent national implementation report uploaded online this week.
The report, dated November 30, specifically pertains to UNSC Resolution 2397, which was passed unanimously by the council on December 22, 2017. Paragraph 12 of the resolution decides that member states “shall de-register any vessel it has reasonable grounds to believe was involved in activities, or the transport of items,” prohibited by existing resolutions.
The decision to deregister the nine vessels was in response “to the resolution and/or information from the Panel of Experts and/or information provided by third States that certain vessels in the registry were involved in actions that could be in violation of Security Council resolutions”, the report said.
Among the ships listed in the report were the Koti, Koya, Orient Shenyu, An Quan Zhou 66, Surplus Ocean 1, Glory Hope 6, Hai Shun 158, Billions 88 and Great Spring.
Apart from the Koti, none of the other vessels named currently appear on the UNSC or U.S. Department of the Treasury designations list.
However, the account of deregistered vessels does not seem entirely complete as there are discrepancies with two Banned Vessels Lists published by the Panamanian Maritime Authority in early February and March, indicating other actions taken since the passage of UNSC 2397.
The February version of the list showed 20 DPRK-linked ships in total that were “deleted from the Panama Ship Registry”. This included the Koti, Koya, Orient Shenyu, Surplus Ocean 1, An Quan Zhou 66 and Glory Hope 6.
However, neither the February or March lists, include multiple vessels listed in Panama’s implementation report, such as the Hai Shun 158, Billions No. 88 and Great Spring.
According to the Equasis maritime databases, the Hai Shun 158 has since been renamed twice in 2018 to the Pedan and then the Putina. Similarly, in 2018 Billions No. 88 and Great Spring were renamed to Twins Bull and Great Roc.
The website of the Panama Maritime Authority is still showing the March edition of the list as being current, which itself lists further DPRK-linked ships as deleted from the registry.
A report published by NK Pro on November 27, also indicated that Panama had deregistered another ship called the New Regent, which was confirmed to have previously been on Panama’s maritime registry. The vessel, however, is not listed in the November 30 implementation report.
While NK News calls for clarification to the Panamanian Maritime Authority went unanswered on Tuesday, the implementation report does include details of apparently increased efforts by the country to comply with existing UNSC resolutions.
The report says that Panama sought the assistance of the UN Panel of Experts (PoE) and a “third state” to help the country identify and focus enforcement efforts towards locations of increased risk as they relate to UNSC 2397 violations.
This included the ability to be “able to track the vessels involved using the long-range identification and tracking system carried by the vessels that are part of the merchant registry”.
It added that Panama has made a request for financial assistance in order to achieve the above by contracting an unnamed private company to provide the tracking services.
According to the report, authorities also communicated the deregistration details – such as the ship’s owners and operators – with a range of domestic and international partners so that others could take note of the actions taken.
This is pertinent as UNSC 2397 also prohibits member states from registering any vessel that has been deregistered by another state pursuant to Paragraph 12.
Such details were also included, the report says, to “trigger the appropriate alerts if other vessels subject to sanctions or connected with activities in violation of international mandates were in the charge of the same operator”.
The Panamanian Government deregistered nine vessels from its merchant registry in order to comply with UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions, according to the country's most recent national implementation report uploaded online this week.
The report, dated November 30, specifically pertains to UNSC Resolution 2397, which was passed unanimously by the council on December 22, 2017. Paragraph 12 of the resolution decides that member states "shall de-register any vessel it has reasonable grounds to believe was involved in activities, or the transport of items," prohibited by existing resolutions.