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Economy & Business - April 2022

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

PANAMA | New toll structure proposal for Canal. On 1 April the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) unveiled a new simplified toll structure that will cut the number of tariffs from 430 to less than 60. According to ACP, this simplified system will “minimise unnecessary complexity and facilitate transactions by eliminating toll bands and introducing tariffs based on the locks used and vessel size”. The proposed toll structure recommends, inter alia, key adjustments such as the replacement of toll bands with fixed and capacity tariffs. These changes would increase rates charged on cargo such as vehicles and fuel while passenger vessels and container ships are among the most affected segments. News agency Bloomberg calculates that a liquid petroleum gas carrier transporting 46,000 tonnes of propane through the Canal’s expanded locks, for example, would pay US$5.20 more per tonne by 2025, representing roughly 0.9% of each unit’s final market price. Along with the proposed changes to its toll structure, the ACP is planning to invest an estimated US$2bn in water projects. The ACP is due to hold a public hearing on the changes. Once approved, the new toll structure would be gradually implemented from January 2023 to 2025.

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