Panama’s inquiry into the loss in the South China Sea of the Gulf Livestock 1 is receiving assistance from the New
Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC).
TAIC investigators will be assisting Panama by gathering information from New Zealand organisations.
Under international protocols, investigations into accidents on the high seas fall to the vessel’s flag state – in this
TAIC’s legislation does not allow the Commission to open its own inquiry, although it can co-operate and co-ordinate
with other accident investigation organisations overseas, including taking evidence on their behalf.
Consequently, TAIC asked under International Maritime Organisation’s casualty code, to participate in Panama’s
investigation as a ‘substantially interested state’. A state is ‘substantially interested’ if, as a result of the marine
casualty, nationals of that state lose their lives, or has important information at its disposal that the marine safety
investigating state considers useful to the Investigation.