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Panama Canal: Toll increase approved

by Noonsite 16 Sep 10:18 UTC
Panama Canal: Toll increase approved © Ocean Cruising Club

After seven years of no increase and a public consultation period that ended on July 15th, Panama's Cabinet Council have approved the modified Panama Canal tolls, which will see rates double for small craft from 1st of January 2020.

Rates for small vessels have risen taking into consideration the resources required for transit.

Current tolls:

Less than 15.24m (50ft): $800
15.24m-24.384m (50-80ft): $1,300
24.384m-30.480m (80-100ft): $2,000
More than 30.480m (100ft): $3,200

New tolls effective January 1, 2020:

Less than 19.812m (65ft): $1,600
19.812m-24.384m (65-80ft): $2,400
24.384m-30.480m (80-100ft): $3,500
More than 30.480m (100ft): $4,100

For specific information about the newly approved tolls structure, please visit the Panama Canal's website:

Many skippers planning a transit of the Panama Canal this coming season will want to catch the current tariff and are already contacting Panama agents to enquire about possible loopholes.

Erick Galvez of agency Centenario & Co. told Noonsite;

"Several sailors have asked if they get admeasured and pay in December, but transit in January/February (since the inspection is valid for two months), will the old toll still apply.

"My answer has been that neither the Canal Admeasurement Office, Canal Billing Department nor Panama Maritime Chamber has announced this as an option. Once sailors transit as of 1st of January 2020, they will apply the new toll raise. Therefore, if a skipper pays in December but transits the following year, the extra toll charge will be taken out of the buffer fee."

Should an announcement be made by the Canal Authorities about pre-payment in 2019 for early 2020 transits, it will be reported on Noonsite.

Erick and many other clearance agents are now making themselves available throughout December 24/7 in anticipation of a busy start to the season.

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