Port charges to go up
The cost of services at the Bridgetown Port could soon go up.
Minister of International Transport Richard Sealy revealed in the House of Assembly today that Government was moving to reform the fee structure for a range of services and certain licenses.
Under the proposal, barrels imported with personal effects would attract a $25 charge.
“It is only reasonable that the port should get something,” the minister said, explaining that this measure was projected to raise some $1.2 million, $500,000 short of what it was costing to subsidize.
In addition, the cost of licences for master stevedores and ships agents would jump from $1,000 to $1,500, while tour operators and ship handlers would also pay $750, an increase of $250.
Tonnage dues are in line for a $30 hike from the $120 charged. Additionally, the rate for a ten-foot dry container would move from $13.20 to $15; the 20-foot from $26.40 to $30; and the 40-foot container from $52.80 to $60.
The proposed fee for the 20-foot refrigerated container is $30, up from $18; the 40-foot from $36.40 to $60; and the 45-foot container from $40.50 to $60.70.
Minister Sealy outlined the proposals as he tabled the Barbados Port Inc. Transfer of Management and Vesting of Assets Bill.
“Many of these fees have remained where they are since 1996 in some cases, and 1987. We are talking about fees that have remained unchanged for close to 30 years . . . so I don’t think that the request necessarily is an unreasonable one,” Sealy told the sitting.
At the same time, authorities are eliminating the previous $45 fee charged on locally manufactured goods exported in containers, as well as the export sugar levy charged at $8 per tonne.
While the port would lose out on $500,000 by the removal of those fees, it is projected to raise $15 million from the other measures.
The Minister said other fee increases had already been implemented over the past year, including for equipment hire, water usage by ships, garbage fees and storage of empty containers at the port.