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Asian Shipowners hit out at Suez Canal rate hikes

Singapore: The Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF) is the latest shipping organisation to hit out a planned hike in Suez Canal tolls from 1 May.

In statement the ASF said it “strongly urged” the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to withdraw the planned tool in increase had a submission to the SCA on Monday highlighting its members concerns.

The SCA previously announced that tolls on the Seuz Canal would increase by 3-5%, by ship type, beginning May 2013.

“Bearing in mind that an increase in canal tolls had just been implemented in 2012, a further increase effective from May 2013 would be excessive and would inflict a greater burden on the shipping companies that are already laden,” said Yuichi Sonoda, secretary general of ASF.

The ASF also supported a suggestion by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) that a dialogue should be established with the SCA on toll increases. “To date, toll adjustments had always been announced unilaterally by the SCA without consultation with representatives of canal users and a notice period, less than six months, is inadequately short,” Sonoda said.

The ICS hit out at the planned increases last month saying that with some of the worst shipping markets in living memory it was not the time for the SCA to be announcing toll increases.



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