President Basescu says port charges should be cut

President Traian Basescu said during a visit to the Black Sea port of Mangalia (southeastern Romania) on Monday the Romanian authorities should cut the port charges for the shipyards at least, given the current economic crisis and the fact that in other Black Sea ports such taxes are lower than in Romania.

‘The port taxes charged by the Romanian authorities are high. They might be acceptable for the ships that load and unload goods, because the charges are distributed by each tonne of merchandise.
When one looks at the port charges, including tugging, steering and one adds them up,

one sees the Romanian authorities charge very high taxes when compared to the ports that host competing shipyards in the area. Take, for example, the ports of Scaramanga and Elefsis and we see that the port charges on the ships being repaired are just 30 percent of the taxes charged in Romania’, Basescu said.

The president stressed there are currently more than 3,000 ships that have no commitment and ‘many of them see their documents expire during the time when they are docked and are not operated’.

‘The resumption of the economic growth will mean an appeal made to the shipyards, first and foremost. The ships must be re-rated, docked and made good for carrying cargoes’, Basescu said.

He added he hoped Transport Minister Radu Berceanu together with the authorities ‘will reach solutions to the advantage of the shipyards’ in talks next week.

The Romanian leader on Monday visited the Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries (DMHI) shipyard to discuss with its managers the problems they face, as the main issue is a lack of liquidity amid a lack of orders.

On Sunday, Basescu and Berceanu visited the port of Constanta to discuss the development of the sea ports and moves to ease the effects of the economic crisis with the port authorities and the main operators carrying out activity in this biggest Romanian sea port.

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