Frequently Asked Questions

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The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in its ongoing commitment to protect the environment has implemented the Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program to help the shipping industry mitigate the environmental impact of their operations. This initiative recognizes customers who demonstrate excellent environmental stewardship, and encourages others to also implement technologies and standards to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by distinguishing vessels that comply with the highest environmental performance standards. The program consists of: The Green Connection Award and the Environmental Premium Ranking.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has established a program to recognize the environmental performance of those users and vessels that exceed the environmental parameters established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This recognition program called “Green Connection Award” uses as reference the efficiency and design of ships, fuel efficiency measures and emissions reduced by the use of the Panama Canal Route.

The Green Connection Award recognizes transiting vessels with a good environmental performance that comply with the following:


Every vessel that voluntary enters into ESI program, have their program certification and validity period. However, the costumer could send the vessel IMO number or the ESI certification and we can verify at ESI database: The recognition consist on the delivery of an acknowledgment plaque to the ship.

Yes, it is correct and the Panama Canal has been included as an ESI incentive provider. We can highlight the following ESI aspects:

  • Is a voluntary system designed to improve the environmental performance of sea going vessels;
  • It gives a numerical representation of the environmental performance of ships regarding air pollutants and CO2;
  • Scores NOX and SOX emissions directly and proportionally and gives a fixed bonus for documentation and management of energy efficiency;
  • Only includes ships that perform over and above current international legislation (IMO);
  • Enables ports and other interested parties to stimulate ships to improve their environmental performance;
  • Is automatically calculated and maintained;
  • Is free of charge for ship owners.

The details of which, including formulas for calculating the ESI Score, can be found on the following website:

The Environmental Premium Ranking awards customers with percentage points in the “number of transits” portion of the Customer Ranking system to vessels that meet or exceed the specified environmental requirement. These additional points will allow customers to potentially improve or strengthen their position in the Customer Ranking system when applying for booking slots. Vessels that fall within Level 1 will receive a 10 percent bonus for each transit when tallying a particular customer’s number of transits for purposes of determining its ranking. Similarly, vessels that fall within Level 2 will receive a 20 percent bonus for each transit.

In order for customers to receive this benefit, their vessels must meet at least one of the following requirements:


Partaking in the recognition program is optional. All interested vessels must request participation and deliver documentation which supports the environmental efficiency rating to the following email:  at least 96 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival at Canal waters.

The ACP may request additional information in order to verify compliance with the requirements established for each level. Participating vessels shall have available a copy of the required documentation in case it is requested during the inspection process.

The EEDI reference line is defined on Regulation 21 of MARPOL Annex VI, taking into account Resolution MEPC. 203(62), Resolution MEPC.215 (63) Resolution MEPC.245 (66) and Resolution MEPC.254 (67).

The reference line depends on the vessel and not all vessel will have EEDI, for that reason our Green Connection program have different environmental indicators in which a vessel can comply.

The control of diesel engine NOx emissions is achieved through the survey and certification requirements leading to the issue of an Engine International Air Pollution Prevention (EIAPP) Certificate and the subsequent demonstration of service compliance in accordance with the requirements of the mandatory, regulations 13.8 and 5.3.2 respectively, NOx Technical Code 2008 (resolution MEPC.177 (58) as amended by resolution MEPC.251 (66)).

At this moment, only vessels with LNG engines with receive the bonus not dual. However, during the implementation of the program we will make the statistics for those Dual Fuel Engine and if those vessels during the Panama canal Transits use LNG as fuel.
The application of the bonus percentage will become effective for transits beginning January 1, 2017.

At this moment there are no port rebates or additional bonus.

For example, if total transits in last 12 months is 100, it will be 110 due to 10% bonus. Remember that our customers updated every month, so it will depend also in your monthly statement. As most Environmental transits the customers do, more bonus you will receive.

Yes, the customers ranking are the way to have the booking slots.

The bonus will be applied to the customer responsible for the vessel’s transit. Vessels that transit the Canal are required to provide a “Customer Code” for the transit portion of the visit to Panama Canal waters.  The customer that appears in the transit “itinerary” would be the one getting the bonus, be it the owner or the operator.

You only need to send the information once. However, in case it have validity periods we will encouraged to update it.

We hope to receive all the information to complete our evaluation. However, you will get bonus when the vessel transit the Panama Canal.

A lower ranked customer may be benefited by this initiative when competing for booking slots against another lower ranked customer.