The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has landed an upward tariff revision on 1 January, increasing cost for exporters and importers allegedly without notifying the trade or the new Minister.
Industry sources said the Port’s wharfage tariff for export containers and import containers and handling of their LCL (Less than Container Load) cargo has been exorbitantly increased by more than double, which is a dollar-based calculation. Additionally, demurrage free times have been reduced, too.
The 20ft rate has been increased to $35 from $16, and 40ft price to $70 from $32. In addition, the LCL charges have been abolished and a box rate has been introduced, which is an increase with a new mechanism making small exporters’ and importers’ costs indirectly vulnerable for a greater increase than published.
Exporters and importers said that they have already informed the relevant authorities and questioned why the hike was effected at a time when the SLPA was increasing its revenue through massive transshipment growth and record profits with debt burden over Hambantota Port relieved by the Government. In 2017, SLPA recorded its highest profit of Rs. 13.1 billion whilst the figure for last year is pending.
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