Panama City, 31 August 2001. – Increases in inflation and other operating expenses accumulated over the past four years, specifically for fuel, salaries, depreciation, maintenance, and contracts and materials, among others, have prompted the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to announce today tariff rate changes for tugboat and line- handling services. The new tariff rates, which will become effective on October 1, 2001, also reflect the increasing demand on the allocation of these resources required by the growing number of transits by Panamax vessels. The new tariffs were presented to a special committee of the Panama Chamber of Shipping.

The increase is related to tugboat services during transits, at the locks and in Gaillard Cut, as well as to commercial services, and its variation depends on the size of the vessel receiving the service. Similar criteria apply to the tariffs for line-handling services. Prior to 1996 and 1997, when these rates were last increased, all tariffs were revised on a yearly basis.

The new rates were approved by the ACP Board of Directors and, more recently by the Government of Panama’s Cabinet Council, as the final step in the approval process.