PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) _ Tolls for ships crossing the Panama Canal will not change after the waterway is transferred from U.S. to Panamanian control at the end of the year, canal administrators said Monday.

Jorge Ritter, Panama's minister for canal affairs, said the canal commission decided ``not to alter the tolls.''

The weight-based tolls have been set to cover operation costs, not make a profit.

An average of 33 to 35 ships cross the canal each day. Toll revenue amounted $546 million in fiscal year 1998.

The United States, acting under a 1979 treaty, will hand over control of the canal on Dec. 31.

As part of the treaty, the United States handed Panama control of Galeta Island on Monday. The island has been used since 1925 to track commercial and military ship traffic.