The Panama Canal has published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure what will most likely mean increased fees for cruise ships.
The proposal covers passenger, dry bulk, containership and vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels, the intra-maritime cluster (local tourism segment) and minimum tolls (small vessels). The announcement marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15, 2019.
Commented Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano: “Our proposed modifications will increase transparency and flexibility, among other improvements, to ensure the Panama Canal remains competitive and optimal for the industry today and moving forward.”
According to a prepared statement, the proposal aims to add transparency to the tolls structure of the passenger segment by charging based on the maximum passenger capacity that can be carried by each specific passenger vessel. To that end, the Canal said it is proposing to change the unit of measurement from a “per berth” to a “per passenger” basis, “making it easier for cruise lines to transfer transit costs to their customers.”
Interested parties are invited to participate in the consultation process as well as the public hearing to be held in Panama City, Panama, on July 24, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. (local time). In accordance with established rules, the Panama Canal will consider all correspondence received by 4:15 p.m. (local time) on July 15, 2019, as well as comments and opinions presented during the public hearing.
The date for implementation of modifications to the tolls structure is planned for January 1, 2020