Mr. Gad Schaefer, Israel Shippers' Council (ISC) chairman said last week that the government proposal for reform in port tariffs could not go through unless the government provide full and comprehensive comparison with the existing tariff.
In a press release published two weeks after the proposal was published Schaefer noted that as the proposal does not include a clear comparison with the current tariff scale, it does not meet the basic standards for transparency.
In addition to statements issued by the ISC, the proposal for reform in port tariffs faces increasing opposition from the organizations that use Israel's ports such as the Federation of Israeli Chambers Of Commerce as well as industrialists who fear increase in port fees.
The reform which is slated to begin in January 2008, is designed to simplify the current fees structure, in which the wharfage fees are calculated as a percentage of the CIF ( Cost Insurance & Freight ) value of the imported cargo ( 1.02% with a maximum of US$250 per metric ton ) and FOB ( Free On Board ) value of the exported cargo (0.2% with a maximum of US$250 per metric ton )
The reform proposes basing port fees on the cost of providing the services and the cancellation of cross subsidies between export and import cargos.
Under the new price structure, the fee for imports and exports will be equalized, and amount to a fixed 0.2% of the cargo value. An exception will be for the import of cars, for which the wharfage fee will stay unchanged.
It was made known that the Ministries of Finance and Transport decided that the reform in the ports’ fees will be spread out over ten years, instead of the five originally planned.