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Big Turnaround In Times Noted At Our Ports

Government has revealed the successful implementation of the public private partnership of Fiji Ports Terminal Limited has improved vessel productivity by 70 per cent. In addition, vessel turnaround time has
04 Feb 2016 10:07
Big Turnaround In Times Noted At Our Ports
From left: Fiji Commerce Commission chief executive, Bobby Maharaj, Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali and Commerce Commission chairperson, Joann Young, at the Workshop on “Know your Export and Import Charges” yesterday. Photo: STELLA MORESIO

Government has revealed the successful implementation of the public private partnership of Fiji Ports Terminal Limited has improved vessel productivity by 70 per cent.

In addition, vessel turnaround time has been reduced from 36 hours to 22 hours, vessel berthing time has been reduced from six hours to one hour or less.

At the same time, the time taken for customers to deliver or pick up containers has been reduced to 15 minutes.

Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali, said these efficiency gains have also resulted in the removal of port congestion fees, which was levied a couple of years ago.

Mr Ali made these comments as he opened the Commerce Commission-organised workshop for traders themed: “Know your Export and Import Charges”.

Tying the statistics with the workshop, Mr Ali said trade is increasingly becoming global, and Fiji continues to increase the number of trading partners.

“We need to ensure that our ports and border agencies are efficient and work in a coherent manner to facilitate quick clearance of cargo.

“This ultimately leads to the reduction of cost of trade, which benefits all Fijians.”

 

The workshop

The workshop examined issues relating to import and export charges which constitutes ports charges, biosecurity fees, customs fees and other border administration costs.

Mr Ali stressed the need for stakeholders to better understand how the fees and charges are invoiced.

“Fiji in relation to global trade is a price taker. Being a small island developing state, we are unable to influence the global prices of commodities,” he said.

“Nonetheless, the Government takes measures to stabilise prices, where possible, or takes action to reduce the impact of prices on consumers.  Many times this is done through reduction of tariffs or taxes or regulating industries.  It goes without saying, to achieve the desired outcome of a well-functioning and thriving economy, it is important that policies are effectively implemented with the cooperation of all stakeholders.”

 

Fees Changes Impact

Mr Ali reiterated that the ports fees and charges increased the past year constitutes only one per cent of total import cost for goods.

He said according to the impact study undertaken by the Fiji Commerce Commission, the new ports charges and fees constitute only 1 percent of total import cost for goods.

“Therefore, the revised charges will not have a significant impact on the Fijian consumer, whilst the extra income will enable further investment towards the improvement of services at the ports,” he said.

In order to continue the improvements in ports service and infrastructure, the Fiji Commerce Commission revised the fees and charges for Fiji Ports Corporation and Fiji Ports Terminal Limited after a lapse of six years.

 

EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  aatika.patel@fijisun.com.fj

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