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Old 16-02-2008, 11:48   #1
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Passport to Transit Panama Canal ?

Is a passport required to transit the Panama Canal? I looked at their requirements and I didn't't see a passport mentioned anywhere. I'd most likely have one before I ever attempted a trip like this, but I was just wondering.
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Old 16-02-2008, 13:53   #2
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A passport is required any time you enter a country. If you have already entered the country, then you do not specifically need one to transit the PC... as long as you aren't intending to LEAVE the country - you'd need one then.
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Old 16-02-2008, 20:48   #3
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Right, but is the Canal technically part of another country? I know Panama administers it now, but I thought it was a special international zone or something. Their rules also seemed to mention that clearing customs was only necessary if you wanted to go ashore, but I could be mistaken.
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Old 17-02-2008, 04:32   #4
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You have to clear into the country of Panama (and clear out). If you want to go sailing, get a passport unless you're going to remain in your country's territorial waters. If you're on a cruise liner perhaps you can remain on the ship, but transiting the Canal you have to go ashore to arrange (amongst other things) to have your boat measured by the Canal Authorities. Something us Brits don't understand is the notion that you can travel abroad without a passport, hence my comment about sailing in your own territorial waters.
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Old 17-02-2008, 10:19   #5
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I dunno - it's just I've always found, rather than guessing or asking a guy 'off the street' to go ask the people responsible for it. ::shrug:: just my nature I guess. So when I took the 4 seconds (yeah, my computer and internet access IS slow), I found: ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from Panama must present a valid passport when entering or re-entering the United States. Sea travelers must have a valid U.S. passport (or other original proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate with a government-issued photo ID). American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on applying for a passport.

I tend to believe the State Department in these kinds of things.
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Old 17-02-2008, 14:22   #6
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gobi, I'd suggest you go right to the source: The Panama Canal commission's web site, and the Panamanian government web site.

Since transiting the Panama Canal occurs totally within the boundaries of Panama, one could suppose that there is no more need for a passport than there would be for taking a trip "crosstown" in any other country. Passports are for international travel and the Panama Canal is all "domestic" to Panama. There are many workers who make the trip back and forth, line tenders, etc., and there is no reason for them to ever leve Panama, or have passports.

Unless, of course, the canal commission simply has required a passport for anyone using the canal. There's nothing to stop them from arbitray regulations like that, so you're best off checking with the source. They have MANY regulations.
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Old 18-02-2008, 03:48   #7
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Panama Canal Transit Check List from Tina McBride Yacht Services
http://www.panamacanaltransits.com/T...sit%20Form.pdf
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:49   #8
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Canal Zone Traffic Jam

Two stories:
Yachting Monthly, 28 April 2008: Bottleneck at Panama Canal
and
Yachting Monthly, 29 April 2008:
Lock repair cause of Panama Canal hold up

"More than 150 yachts are in a marine 'traffic jam' on the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal, awaiting transit to the Pacific Ocean. Many have been told it will be 'weeks' - in one case two months - before they will be able to get through.

This delay could put them in danger of meeting the cyclone (hurricane) season in the South Pacific. One yachtsman is so concerned he is having his boat driven across the Central American isthmus on a low loader. YM Blue Water Letter writer, Rod Heikell and wife Lu, aboard Skylax are among those being held up..."

Yachting Monthly newsdesk:
Yachting Monthly: news
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:58   #9
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I hear its a go-slow strike for higher pay by the pilots.

Do we have any members in the queue?

It must be frustrating being stuck in Colon for 6 weeks.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:00   #10
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And Gord, did you read your article link?

Here is a pricelss bit of political double speak

Quote:
Increasing the number of slots for ships waiting to transit by
temporarily reducing the number of available reservation slots from 27
to 23 slots per day;

Oh yeah. LOLOLOL
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:33   #11
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
And Gord, did you read your article link?
Here is a pricelss bit of political double speak
Confusing? Yes.
Political? Maybe not.
I suspect that only Commercial ships can “reserve” passage slots.
Accordingly, reducing the number of “reserved” passages (by 3/day) should increase the number slots available for non-reserved (Yacht) passages.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:52   #12
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From a large ship perspective, there's no need for a passport. The canal agents come out to where you're anchored at Colon or Balboa, so there's no need to go ashore. I don't know if this is the case with yachts. I would imagine that unless you have a crew that is large enough for the required number of linehandlers, you'll need to "scratch the back" of a fellow cruiser, which would entail at least one trip by road from Colon to Balboa or vice versa. As was suggested, it is largely a moot point - unless you're Columbian or Costa Rican, why would you plan to cover such a distance with no ability to go ashore?

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