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Panama Canal toll hike as new vessel segments introduced

April 25 - Operators of heavy lift and multi purpose ships face increased costs for transits of the Panama Canal.

The Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority has approved a proposal to increase tolls in July 2012 and in July 2013 and increase the number of vessel segments from eight to 11 by Panama Canal vessel type, in a move it says will align canal toll charges with the value the route provides.

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 ro-ro 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.

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.

"This proposal continues to align the Panama Canal tolls to the value, benefit and quality the route provides, and maintains the competitiveness of the Panama Canal", stated Alberto Alemán Zubieta, ACP administrator/CEO.

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.

"The ACP will continue its dialogue with the industry to develop a pricing structure that meets the needs of our customers - one that benefits them and Panama", added Alemán Zubieta.

www.pancanal.com/peajes

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