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Panama Canal Authority Tolls will remain unchanged in 2010

Date: 29-APR-2010

PANAMA CITY, Panama, April 27, 2010 - The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announces it will not adjust tolls in 2010. On April 26, 2010, the ACP Board of Directors approved a proposal to modify the Panama Canal pricing structure. The adjustments are scheduled for January 2011.

"The ACP thoroughly analyzed various alternatives and held conversations with the maritime industry for several months, to ensure that the suggested price structure safeguards the competitiveness of the waterway and facilitates the Canal´s goal of providing a valuable service to world commerce," said ACP Administrator/ CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.

This proposal modifies the pricing structure for all Canal segments: container, dry bulk, liquid bulk, vehicle carriers, reefers, passenger, general cargo and others. Please refer to the ACP´s website for details: http://www.pancanal.com/eng/anuncios/tolls/index.html

For the container segment, the ACP proposes a change in the way tolls are calculated, with a slight price adjustment to the capacity charge, and an additional new charge that would only apply to the number of loaded containers aboard the vessel at the time of transit. 

In June 2009, the ACP provided temporary measures to help users mitigate the effects of the economic crisis. Once these measures reached their term, they were extended until April 30, 2010 at the industry's request.

In view of the current world economic situation, the ACP has decided not to proceed with a tolls adjustment in 2010 and set January 2011 as the new date for implementing the tolls presented in this proposal.

The multi-million dollar modernization and improvement program has reduced Canal Waters Time from 31.6 hours in 2008 to 23.1 hours in 2009, and currently the average time is 20 hours. These improvements have resulted in faster service and, in some cases have reduced the need for transit reservations providing Canal users substantial savings. 

The Panama Canal expansion project, approved through a national referendum, continues to move forward - on time and within budget - with the construction of a third set of locks at a cost of $5.25 billion.

Expansion will double the waterway's capacity by 2014. This project spurs the continuous growth of international trade through the waterway allowing for the transit of larger, wider and deeper draft vessels.  In this way, the industry will benefit from economies of scale that will result in lower transportation costs for world commerce.

The ACP will receive formal written comments and opinions from interested parties until May 27. The public hearing will be held in Panama City, Panama, on June 1, 2010.

About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the Panama Canal Authority's Web site: http://www.pancanal.com/

The Authority's responsibility to the Panamanian people is paramount. The Canal belongs to the people and benefits from the Canal should accrue to as many Panamanians as possible. The Authority will plan its future so that it will continually contribute to the economic development and welfare of the citizens of Panama.

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This material is distributed by DJE, Inc. on behalf of the Panama Canal Authority.  Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.


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