Book Your Transit
Book your Panama Canal transit at least 96 hours in advance, so you can be entered into the Electronic Data Collection System (EDCS).
You need to provide the information as listed in the form 4405 – Necessary Information to Create a Visit for Small Craft.
Arrange an Admeasurer with form 4614 – Admeasurement Clearance and Handline Inspection
The ACP website has a page with the forms you will need:
- ACP 4352 – Procedures for Securing a Handline Transit of the Panama Canal
- ACP 4405 – Necessary Information to Create a Visit for Small Craft
- ACP 4614 – Admeasurement Clearance and Handline Inspection
- ACP 4627 – Handline Lockage Request
Email the 4405 and 4614 forms to [email protected] or go into the Admeasurer Office at Cristobal. Include a copy of the captain’s passport and your boat documentation.
- Big ships will register in the system and do it themselves
- The Admeasurer office has computer systems available
- You can email the information as below
When you call the ACP they might tell you that you have to come into the office in person, but if you request being able to provide everything via email they often oblige.
Note that use of an agent is optional.
ACP 4405 Transit Request requires the following information:
- First Visit: yes/no
- Former Owners: yes/no
- SIN (Ship Identification Number) – If you already have one from a previous transit
- Vessel Name
- Vessel Former Name
- Email Address
- Speed – see below
- Type of Small Craft
- Length Overall (in meters)
- Extreme Breadth (in meters)
- Hull Color
The Speed Question
You will be asked what speed you can comfortably make to cover the 27.7nm between Gatun and Pedro Miguel Locks. The ACP would like you to go as fast as possible but they don’t want you to break down!
The reason they ask you what speed you can make is so they can decide what time you need to get underway from Lake Gatun, and then call ahead with an ETA for arrival at the next locks.
If your engine does fail and you delay your exit from the Canal, you could lose your buffer deposit, or face other charges for a tow or other assistance.
Passengers or Crew List Information
(This does not include linehandlers).
- Last Name
- First Name
- ID Type (Passport,Seaman Licence, Other)
- ID Number
Last 10 Ports Declaration:
- Port/Country visited
- Departed date
- ISPS Security Level (1,2,3)
- *Infected? Yes/No
Reason for not declaring the last 10 ports:
First port of call after leaving Panama Canal Waters:
To get to the Colon ACP Office
The office is in the white tower at the end of the commercial quay. Go to the Cristobal commercial port – gates with a big sign reading PANAMA PORT COMPANY. Tell the guard that you want to go to the ACP for a canal transit. He will ask to see your passport and fill in the entry log.
As with most commercial ports nowadays, you are not allowed to walk around. The guard will tell you where to wait for the free bus that will take you to the ACP building.
The Canal Admeasurer’s office (+507-443-2293) is on the second floor.
You will fill out the form and they will give you any relevant instructions.
Notes About the Data Office
- Call the data office soon after sending the form to ensure it was received and the information is complete. There have been cases where the office couldn’t find the form when the call was made a day or two later.
- It has happened that the data office told a yacht Captain that the Admeasurer would gather all the required information while measuring the boat, and the ACP would input details into the EDCS system
- The Data office might tell you that you have to wait some time before you can get an Admeasurer out, but if you call the Admeasurer office they might say differently