Unified port fees implemented across Egypt’s ports on a trial basis
The Transport Ministry began implementing unified port fees nationwide last month on a trial basis, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat announced yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Arafat and Suez Canal Economic Zone head Mohab Mamish had agreed on the unification of fees back in June and follows a series of announced exits by major shipping firms who complained about Egypt’s port fees. The two had said the new fees would come into effect in October. Arafat and Mamish had also announced in August that the government will provide shipping companies with breaks on Suez Canal port fees as high as 50%. The breaks on fees will be proportionate to the volume of cargo shipped by the lines.
Separately, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decree yesterday appointing himself as the new head of the Supreme Ports Council, Al Borsa reports. The council was previously headed by the transport minister, who will now become its deputy head. The decree also stipulated the inclusion of maritime experts, nominated by the transport minister, in the council. Other members include the heads of the Suez Canal Authority and Suez Canal Economic Zone, as well as representatives from the defense, interior, investment, and tourism ministries.
In other port news, the Suez Canal Authority is working on developing the port of Al Arish in North Sinai, Mamish told Al Ahram. He added that an unnamed French company is constructing a container terminal in East Port Said.