SUNBIZ

New Port Fees And Charges Worry Stakeholders

The new ports fees and charges for Fiji Ports Corporation and Fiji Ports Terminal come into effect from next Monday. And one of the major concerns of the Fiji Ship
19 Aug 2015 10:50
New Port Fees And Charges Worry Stakeholders
The Mt Bouganville has a regular service to our ports.

The new ports fees and charges for Fiji Ports Corporation and Fiji Ports Terminal come into effect from next Monday.

And one of the major concerns of the Fiji Ship Owners and Agency Association is that consumers will be the hardest hit.

Association chairperson, Jeffrey Lin, said they are concerned over what they claim is the lack of further consultations from the Fiji Commerce Commission.

Mr Lin said the increases range from 30 per cent upward to about 200 per cent.

“We had received a bid from the Fiji Commerce Commission to make a submission which we did in March,” he said.

“We were hopeful there would be further consultations before they had agreed to finalise the charges.

“Last week we received notice through the Fiji Ports Terminal and Fiji Ports Corporation stating that the revised tariffs have been signed off and to be effective from August 24.

“Our concern is there is already cargo on the water that it on its way to Fiji and that has been priced at the previous tariffs.

“Unfortunately as an Association, these increases will be passed on to consumers and it’s something that we request from the Association to have dialogue further.”

 

Infrastructure

Minister for Finance and Public Enterprises, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has highlighted such reviews were important to ensure state-owned enterprises are able to progress to the next stage of infrastructure development.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said if the ports can be modernised as a result of this and efficiencies can be brought about, then all stakeholders, including the shipping lines and agents will benefit.

 

The formula

Fiji Commerce Commission chief executive officer, Bobby Maharaj, said the fees and charges may seem to be more because of consolidations.

“There are certain charges which have been removed and a couple of other have been consolidated into one,” he said.

The last review of the ports fees and charges was conducted in 2009, which according to Government is too long a time to conduct reviews.

It is understood not all charges are applicable to all importers/exporters as they might be applicable depending on the nature of their business.

Mr Lin highlighted they agreed that there hasn’t been an increase for the past five or six years.

But, he said: “The concern really is and we accept the fact that there will be increases but gradual increases is what we expected.”

Feedback: stella.moresio@fijisun.com.fj

 

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