January 23, 2021

Panama threatens sanctions, fines for deceptive shipping practices

Move could hit North Korea's international fleet, 7.7% of which flies under the Central American nation's flag

Panama’s Maritime Authority late last week re-issued warnings against the misuse of ship-tracking transponders and operations on ships carrying the country's flag, threatening registry deletion, de-flagging, and fines as possible penalties.

The move by the largest flag registry may make it more difficult for North Korea to use ships under the country's flag in its sanctions-evading operations: at least 32 Panamanian-flagged vessels are tied to the DPRK fleet, roughly 7.7% of the country's known fleet.