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Tuesday 23.04.2019 | Name days: Jurģis, Juris, Georgs
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BATL: Ventspils Freeport’s decision to raise fees will not bring in more cargoes

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe decision of Ventspils Freeport authority to raise fees for port services starting with 1 January 2019 will not bring in more cargoes to Ventspils, says Baltic Association – Transit and Logistics.

The company has performed a calculation of costs at tree port companies. Provisional results alone show that clients of those companies will have to pay more than EUR 800,000 on top of what they already pay every year.

Another increase of costs will not in any way benefit Ventspils port’s competitiveness. To improve cooperation, information objectivity and efficiency of decisions, BATL plans to ask the government to change municipal governance model to ensure that aside from state and municipal representatives people representing port companies are also included in institutions governing port activities, experts say.

BATL notes that a look at last year’s cargo handling results in four port companies – AS Ventspils Commercial Port, AS Ventbunkers, AS Baltic Coal Terminal and AS Ventspils Naftas terminals – reveals that increased fees will be rather impactful for their clients. For example, clients’ increased expenses could reach EUR 800,000, which depends on the type of service and its size.

BATL board member Ivars Landmanis says although the average increase is around 5-6 cents per 1 ton, this does add up to hundreds of thousands of euros considering the total volume of cargoes handled by the port.

«This will only worsen Ventspils’ attractiveness and Latvia’s international competitiveness, especially considering the ongoing drop of cargoes at this port. We believe in this situation companies working at the freeport are hostages with not voice, because this decision was made without first consulting with them. This results in poorer business environment, more unnecessary expenses, and inefficient investments. Because of that, to improve cooperation, information objectivity and efficiency of decisions, it would be logical to change the governance model at freeports and include in their management representatives of port companies to represent their interests,» comments Landmanis.

BATL also notes that over the course of the past year several major decisions were made that have had a negative impact on port companies. This includes increase of excise tax for fuel increase infrastructure fees, freeport land rent fee, as well as the changes to the prices of services provided by LDz, which also came as a major shock to companies.

«Only some of these factors have had a positive effect on the self-cost of transporting cargoes by rail in Ventspils’ general direction,» BATL stresses.


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