The Manufacturers Association of Israel (IMA) and the Ministry of Finance concluded an agreement concerning government participation in the costs of air lifting marine cargo during the four weeks long port workers strike.
The IMA also tabled demands that the government should fully compensate importers and exporters for strike surcharges applied by the shipping companies e.g. demurrage, congestion / detention and termination of voyage charges.
According to the agreement reached, the government will subsidize 65% of the difference between the more expensive air lift and the sea freight, for cargoes that were re-routed by air beginning on 15.07.2004 until 31.08.2004.
According to Mr. Moshe Nahum, head of the IMA foreign trade department, the government budgeted US$1.5M for the subsidy whereas the true cost to the industry until the middle of August was some US$ 5 m.
Mr. Zvi Plada, chairman of the IMA transport committee, told reporters that an ad-hoc committee was set up, consisting of representatives of all market sectors, to handle the distribution of the subsidy in accordance with the rules set up by the government.