Concessions to help shipping industry for a year
Straits Times 13 Feb 09;
THE Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is introducing two measures to help the shipping industry in this current downturn.
From April 1, there will be a 10 per cent cut in port dues for all ocean-going vessels with a port stay of not more than 10 days.
This will benefit bulk carriers and tankers, among others.
There is also a 20 per cent concession in port dues for harbour craft engaged in commercial activities within Singapore port waters.
This will help lower the business costs of bunker suppliers, ship chandlers, tug boat operators and domestic ferry operators.
Both concessions will last for a one-year period. They will benefit operators whose vessels call and operate in Singapore's port.
Last year, the number of ocean-going vessels and harbour craft operating in the port came to 130,000.
There are about 1,000 ships in the port at any one time, according to the MPA.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Transport) Teo Ser Luck announced the concessionary measures in Parliament yesterday, as part of a slew of initiatives needed to help the industry ride out the downturn.
20% port dues concession and $45m for maritime fund
Business Times 13 Feb 09;
THE government is focusing on reducing business costs as well as encouraging new business development in the maritime community to help it cope with the downturn.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Teo Ser Luck yesterday announced a 20 per cent port dues concession for harbour craft engaged in commercial activities within Singapore port waters, which will take effect from April 1 and last for one year.
Mr Teo also announced that the government would be injecting $45 million more into the Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) to support new business developments. This new component of the MCF will enable new maritime businesses planning to set up in Singapore, or existing maritime businesses planning to expand into new lines of businesses to tap the fund to defray start-up costs.
The port dues concession aims to lower the business costs of port and marine services providers, such as bunker suppliers, shipchandlers, tug boat operators and domestic ferry operators, many of whom are small and medium-size enterprises.
In addition, there will also be a 10 per cent port dues concession for all ocean-going vessels with a port stay of not more than 10 days for the same time period.
This will be over and above existing port dues concessions already enjoyed by the industry, such as the 20 per cent concession for container ships and 20 per cent rebate scheme for vehicle carrier operators and will broaden the spectrum of vessels benefiting from the financial relief.
In 2008, ocean-going vessels and harbour craft that operated in the port totalled some 130,000.
The shipping community was happy with the business-friendly moves. 'The SSA is grateful that MPA has expediently adopted the industry's feedback and suggestions through our regular dialogue sessions,' said Singapore Shipping Association president SS Teo.
'We will continue to work closely with the MPA to explore how we can further reduce costs and enhance the competitiveness of Singapore's maritime industry to ride out the current economic downturn. I also take this opportunity to urge all private and public sectors to take heed of MPA's example on how they can help reduce business costs for the shipping industry to survive this economic crisis.'