Cabinet Council of Panama Approves Panama Canal Toll Increase

Thursday, April 26, 2007
Following a recommendation from the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama approved the proposal to restructure the Panama Canal's pricing system and certain regulations. On February 2, 2007, the ACP announced its desire to move toward a charge that moves closer to the commercial value of the service and route. After a more than 30-day public consultation period, in which a total of 21 written submissions were received, the ACP conducted a hearing on March 14 where a total of 14 representatives from shipping and government expressed their views.

On April 5, in response to industry requests, the proposal was slightly modified: implementation of the new charges, for certain segments, was postponed from May 2007 to July 1, 2007. These segments include: general cargo, dry bulk, tankers and vehicle carriers. Due to this modification, the issue was reopened for public comment for a 15-day period. A total of 10 written submissions, in both English and Spanish, were received by the ACP from various individuals and groups. Refrigerated cargo and passenger vessels will maintain the implementation date of October 1, 2007. Additionally, container ships will maintain the implementation date of May 1, 2008. The toll of $54 per TEU for container ships and other vessels with on-deck container carrying capacity, approved in 2005, remains on schedule to become effective May 1, 2007.

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