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Port tariff increases to have no impact on price of goods

October 22, 2015 9:57 pm

Recent increases to ports tariffs will have little or no impact on the price of goods, says Attorney General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He says claims by the Fiji Ship Owners Association (FSOA) on the impact of the tariff increases were misrepresented and failed to acknowledge the Government’s efforts to involve FSOA in the decision-making process.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Fiji Commerce Commission (FCC) – before recommending new fees and charges – wrote to FSOA inviting their comments and also met face-to-face to discuss the proposed increases.

Per an assessment conducted by the FCC, ports charges and fees constitute only one per cent of total import costs for goods and the recent increases will have an insignificant impact on Fijian consumers.

Sayed-Khaiyum says there have been zero increases in ports fees and charges over the past six years despite increases in operating costs for Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL).

He says this has left FPCL with limited resources to improve port facilities and meet the increasing needs of importers and exporters.

Additionally – he says they have undertaken a detailed assessment that has determined these increases are an accurate reflection of economic and market conditions and will have a negligible impact on the prices of goods.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the price determination by the FCC will allow them to work with FPCL to further improve their ports services and enhance Fiji’s position as an attractive trading partner.