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Monday, December 18, 2017

INTERTANKO takes initiative against the Panama Canal auctioning of one daily transit slot

INTERTANKO has received input from members who disapprove of the practice introduced by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on 1 April 2006, for a trial period of 60 days, to auction one additional transit per day to the highest bidder. To date amounts up to USD 150,000 have been reported in the market. INTERTANKO understands, however, that tanker owners/operators have been instrumental in bidding up the price to current levels.  

INTERTANKO has also been informed that the Panama Chamber of Shipping has officially announced its new tariff for the service provided to obtain the mentioned additional slot, by assessing a 2% brokerage commission on the value of the successful bid. A service fee for unsuccessful bids of USD 150 has also been imposed. 

INTERTANKO has contacted its Round Table partners (BIMCO, ICS and INTERCARGO) in order to discuss whether the shipping industry should make a joint approach to argue that ACP is taking undue advantage of a pressed situation where unexpectedly long backlogs are creating substantial operational problems for Canal users.  

Neither INTERTANKO nor its Round Table partners find reason to criticise ACP for the way the Canal is being operated, and there is full recognition that ACP is using all available means to deal with the current backlogs. The issue is therefore whether it is appropriate to auction an extra daily transit to the highest bidder or whether, for instance, the extra transit slot should be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. 

INTERTANKO will continue to discuss the various aspects of the matter and gather further views. The aim is to determine soonest possible if and how an approach should be made, either on behalf of the industry, or as a separate INTERTANKO approach voicing the views of its members. We will follow up and advise. 

Click here to view a Press Release issued by ACP on 20 April 2006. The Press Release provides additional information on the auctioning of transit slots and on the future plans for enhancing transit capacity through the Canal. 

Contact:Gunnar A. Knudsen