Shipping bodies have urged a lengthy delay to proposed new charges to be imposed on ships using the Panama Canal.

A new toll structure to be introduced by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on 1 January 2020 should be delayed to avoid "a negative impact on shipowners and ship operators", said shipowners representatives.

The hope is to avoid the introduction of additional charges on the same day that IMO 2020 emissions legislation comes into force.

The proposal is outlined in a letter to the ACP signed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Asian Shipowners Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA).