Approval of cement tax exemption for Panama Canal expansion

Approval of cement tax exemption for Panama Canal expansion
Published: 25 March 2011

Panama’s congress has approved a law exempting cement from the import, transfer of goods and services (ITBMS) sales tax for Panama Canal Authority (ACP) contractors and subcontractors working on the third set of locks for the waterway.

The economy and finance ministry (MEF) submitted the legislation to reduce the cost of the Panama Canal expansion project, congress reported on its website.

The law also includes the raw materials imported by ACP contractors and subcontractors to produce cement for the project.

Consortium GUPC, formed by Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso, Italy’s Impregilo, Belgium’s Jan de Nul and Panama’s Constructora Urbana (Cusa), is building the third set of locks. Cemex signed a contract with the group last July to supply 500,000t of cement for the project.

The new locks are part of the Panama Canal’s US$5.25bn expansion program, which aims to expand and deepen the waterway to allow larger and wider vessels to pass through it.