Chapter IV, Section Three

LAW No. 19
(of June 11, 1997)

Chapter IV - Vessels and Navigation

Section Three - Tolls for use of the Canal and Rates for Services

Article 75. Tolls shall be set at rates estimated to cover the costs of operation and modernization of the Canal, and will include at least:

  1. The costs of operating the Canal, including depreciation costs, support for water resources protection, working capital, and the required reserves.
  2. Payments to the National Treasury, as stipulated in the National Constitution and this Law, estimated according to the bases established in the regulation for this purpose.
  3. Capital for plant replacement, expansion, improvements, and modernization of the Canal.
  4. Interest on the assessed value of the Canal.
  5. Losses carried over from previous years.

The tolls and rates established by the Authority shall take into consideration the conditions of safe, uninterrupted, efficient, competitive, and profitable Canal service.

Article 76. Neither the Government nor the Authority may authorize exemption from the payment of tolls, fees, or tariffs for Canal services. Notwithstanding, vessels exempted by virtue of international treaties in effect, ratified by the Republic of Panama, shall not pay tolls for transiting the Canal.

Article 77. All Canal users subject to tolls, fees, and tariffs shall make the payment in cash, in the legal currency of the Republic of Panama or the currency established by the Authority before the service requested is rendered, in an amount equivalent to the cost of the service.

The above-mentioned payment may be substituted by a surety posted by a bank that meets the requirements of the Authority for such purpose.

Article 78. The Authority may require, as a previous condition for transit, that vessels clearly establish the financial responsibility and guarantees for payment of a reasonable and adequate amount, consistent with the rules of international practice, to cover any damages that may result from their transit through the Canal.

In the case of a government-owned or government-operated vessel, or for which the government of a country has accepted responsibility, it shall suffice to guarantee such financial responsibility by means of a certification by the respective country stating that it shall comply with its obligations, in accordance with International Law, to pay any damages arising from actions or omissions of such ships during their passage through the Canal.

The exception set forth in the previous paragraph will not be applicable when the vessel, property of a State or operated by the same, is engaged in maritime trade.

Article 79. The Authority shall give interested parties an opportunity to participate in the consultation processes for the purpose of revising tolls and admeasurement rules by submitting, in writing, data, opinions, or arguments, and participating in a public hearing to be held at least 30 days after the date of publication of a notice in the official publication of the Authority in which said hearing is called.

Article 80. The fees and rates established for the rendering of other services will take into consideration at least the corresponding cost of such services, as determined by the Regulations.

Chapter V Personnel Administration and Labor Relations