The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors approved a proposal to modify the Panama Canal pricing structure to align Canal toll charges with the value the route provides.

New Segments: The proposal increases the number of segments from eight to eleven by Panama Canal vessel type. It also breaks down the tanker segment into three distinct segments, establishes a new segment for container/breakbulk, and incorporates the roll-on/roll-off vessels into the vehicle carrier segment.  Once approved, the Panama Canal market segmentation scheme will include the following segments: full container, reefer, dry bulk, passenger, vehicle carrier and ro-ro, tanker, chemical tanker, LPG, general cargo and others.

Price Proposal:  Effective July 1, 2012, the ACP proposes to increase the tolls for the following segments:  general cargo, container/break bulk (new segment), dry bulk, tanker (redefined segment), chemical tanker (new segment), LPG (new segment), vehicle carrier and ro-ro (merged segment), and the segment known as others. The remaining segments will not be adjusted at this time. Additionally, there will be changes to tolls applicable to small vessels based on vessel length, to incorporate adjustments not previously considered.

Consultation period and public hearing: As part of the tolls adjustment process, the ACP has established a consultation period from April 20 - May 21, 2012, during which the ACP will receive formal written comments, opinions and written requests from interested parties to participate in the public hearing. The public hearing will be held in Panama City, Panama, in the ACP’s “Ascanio Arosemena” auditorium on May 23, 2012.