The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has revised plans for raising tolls following an outcry by shipping companies over the increases.
The ACP board of directors said it will defer increases from July 1 to October 2012, with a second increase in October 2013.
"At the request of the industry, implementation of the new charges has been postponed from July 2012 to October 2012, giving the industry additional lead time before implementation of the new tolls as well as providing an additional three months before the second step of increase in 2013," the authority said.
ACP said it plans in October to raise rates for eight categories of ships: general cargo, dry bulk, tanker, chemical tanker, LPG, vehicle carrier and roll-on/roll-off, and the segment known as "others." The authority also said it was dropping a plan to create a new category for "combined container/breakbulk" ships and will continue to classify them as "others."
ACP said three other category of ships - container, refrigerated and passenger - will not be
adjusted at this time, nor will the price per TEU for containers carried
onboard a vessel.
Additionally, there will be changes to tolls
applicable to small vessels based on vessel length to incorporate
adjustments not previously considered.
ACP said Wednesday it is reopening the issue for public comment and will consider additional input, suggestions and feedback from interested parties over the next 15 days.
“The Panama Canal is the only organization in the shipping industry that consults with customers and interested parties prior to implementing any modification to its pricing structure. This open and transparent process has given the ACP an opportunity to listen to the needs of its customers and to adjust its proposal accordingly,” said ACP Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Alberto Alemán Zubieta.
The official proposal can be accessed at the ACP Website
. - Chris Dupin