Home » Breaking News, Maritime » 50% hike in PH pilotage fees loom

Harbor pilots in the Philippines are seeking a 50% increase in pilotage fee covering all international-going vessels and those plying the coastwise trade.

The United Harbor Pilots Association of the Philippines (UHPAP) said the proposed hike was triggered by higher inflation and operational expenses such as fuel, power and manpower.

Officials of UHPAP and the Philippine Ship Agents Association (PSAA) have already met with the Philippine Ports Authority to discuss the possible rate increase.

PSAA is opposing the hike due to unresolved complaints on overcharging. The ship agents also resent advancing pilotage fees for their principals which in the end are either paid late or, worse, not refunded.

Coastwise or local vessel operators for their part have been known to drop calls in ports with high pilotage fees.

If imposed, the new rate per gross ton for international vessels would grow to $45 from the current $30 per GT for vessels less than 500GT.

Currently, pilotages fee for international-going vessels are as follows: $43.33 for 500 GT to 2,500 GT vessels; $71.33, 2,500 GT to 5,000 GT; $133.67, 5,000 GT to 10,000 GT; $181.67, 10,000 GT to 15,000 GT; $247, 15,000 GT to 20,000 GT; $300.00, 20,000 GT to 30,000 GT; $416.67, 30,000 GT to 40,000 GT;  $483.33, 40,000 GT to 60,000 GT; $550.00, 60,000 GT to 80,000 GT; $616.67, 80,000 GT to 100,000 GT; $666.67, 100,000 GT to 120,000 GT; $716.67, 120,000 GT to 130,000 GT; and $766.67, 130,000 GT to 140,000 GT.

For vessels over 140,000 GT, the fee is $0.05 or its peso equivalent every excess tonnage.

For coastwise vessels, existing rates are P41.70 for vessels 100 and under 500 GT; P55.60, 500 and under 600 GT; P69.60, 600 and under 1,000 GT; P139.20, 1,000 and under 3,000 GT; and P300.00, 3,000 and under 5,000 GT.

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