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Monday 21.08.2017 | Name days: Linda, Janīna
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Latvia’s largest ports to transfer some of their revenue to state budget

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURiga Freeport Board, Ventspils Freeport Board and the management of Liepaja Special Economic Zone will be required to transfer fees for the use of state strategic infrastructure, as stated in today’s government-approved amendments to the Law on Ports.

With that, ports will now transfer the same amount they transfer to the municipal special budget – 10% of tonnage, canal, small vessels, anchor and load fees.

Economy Ministry reports that Latvia has three large ports – Ventspils, Riga and Liepaja – whose proportion in total freight of 2012 was 98.12%. These ports use strategic infrastructure. Ports collect fees from their clients for the use of this infrastructure. The ports themselves, however, do not pay the state for the revenue generated from the use of said infrastructure and other port activities.

“Based on their operating model, ports can be categorized as state and municipal companies, whose goal is effective state and municipal asset management and increase of returns in the form of dividends. Therefore, Boards of the largest ports of Latvia are to transfer money to the state budget starting 2014,” – Economy Ministry reports.

In order to ensure the state budget makes money off the largest ports of Latvia and use that money on maintenance of road infrastructure, it is necessary to state clearly that ports are to transfer no less than they do for municipal special budgets.

EM emphasizes that amendments will not impact port companies activities and payment sizes to the ports, because the largest ports will be obligated to perform payments with their own budgets.

It is expected that amendments will come into force on January 1, 2014.

Transport Minister Anrijs Matīss opposes these amendments, saying that such money transfer is basically a new form of tax. He believes the introduction of this fee will increase port service prices.

There are other opponents – manager of Ventspils Freeport Imants Sarmulis explains that the enormous volumes of money of Latvian ports that do not get transferred are equal to nearly LVL 59 million per year. On top of that, ports perform different infrastructure development projects. This also requires taking loans from banks. According to him, there is already deficit of funds.

It should be noted that the EM had previously especially noted that amendments are not to create additional costs for companies working at the ports, but have the Boards of the ports pay fees instead.

As it is known the State Control and specialists of the World Bank had found a number of problems within the management structure of Latvian ports and their use of gained profits.

Ref: 103.109.109.9200


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