New Tolls Structure at Panama Canal

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Friday, August 01, 2014
Panama Canal

The Panama Canal Authority has advised that a new tolls structure will be introduced when the expanded Canal opens.

The proposal the Authority plans to present in the coming months provides a structure that is competitive, attractive and customised to reflect advantages to clients by ship type, vessel size, utilisation level (referring to actual cargo aboard during transit), laden/ballast transits, completely or partially full transits, among other factors.

The Panama Canal Authority is currently reviewing the tolls proposal, which would include the new locks. Details are not yet available, but the Canal's pricing policy states:
- Tolls will be established to reflect the value provided by the Canal to users;
- Tolls will be set so that their relative value is maintained over time and will be periodically adjusted to consider inflation;
- Tolls will be established at appropriate levels to maintain the competitiveness of the Panama Canal route at all times.

Once a firm position has been approved, any questions submitted should include the above information so that the matter could be properly addressed.

If a change in tolls is proposed, there will be an announcement and the formal proposal will be in writing. Post announcement there is a legally mandated consultation process. Consultation extends for a minimum of 30 days and includes the reception of written comments and a public hearing. In this process, customers are given a period of time to review the proposal and present their comments. Customers' comments and suggestions are carefully considered, and, where appropriate and possible, the comments and suggestions can result in some form of adjustments.

The expected date for completion of the Canal expansion project is December 2015, with the opening of the new locks during the first quarter of 2016.

For more detials contact GAC-Wilford & McKay at

Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
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