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Panama Canal Confirms New Toll Structure

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

28 May 2015


Proposals to modify the Panama Canal's tolls structure have been approved by Panama's Cabinet and will go into effect on April 1, 2016.

The new toll structure was approved at the end of April, after more than a year of informal consultations with representatives from various industry segments, an open call for comments, and a public hearing to solicit industry feedback on these changes.

"After working in close cooperation with our partners in the maritime industry, I am pleased we will be able to provide a more bespoke pricing solution for our customers; one that recognizes their various needs and requests, while still appreciating the value and reliability provided by the route," said Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L Quijano.

Most segments will now be priced based upon different units of measurement. For instance, dry bulkers will be based on deadweight tonnage capacity and metric tons of cargo, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels will be based on cubic meters, and tankers will be measured and priced on Panama Canal Universal measurement system (PC/UMS) tons and metric tons of cargo. Container ships will continue to be measured and priced based on twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) and passenger vessels will continue to be based on berths or PC/UMS. In addition, a new Intra Maritime Cluster segment has been created which includes local tourism vessels, marine bunkering, and container transshipment vessels that do not compete with international trade.

The tolls restructuring will also be implemented alongside a customer-loyalty program for the container segment, a first for the ACP. Frequent container customers will now receive premium prices, once a particular TEU volume is reached.

"The ACP deeply values the relationships we share with our customers," Quijano continued. "As we prepare for the completion of the Canal's Expansion Program, we look forward to continuing to provide the same superior reliability, service, and value to our customers, as well as now accommodate longer, wider ships and the new LNG segment."

In late April, the Panama Canal Authority announced a key milestone in its Expansion Program, with the installation of the sixteenth and final gate for the new locks on the Pacific side of the Canal. It was said the expansion project is now close to 90 percent complete.

TAGS: marine | trade | Panama

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