Home » Maritime » Domestic carriers to start paying tonnage dues soon

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has resurrected the imposition of tonnage dues on local vessels in a bid to increase collection.

The tonnage due will take effect soon, according to Marina administrator Emerson Lorenzo. He declined to give further details except to say that operators and owners of fishing vessels will be exempt from the order. He also hinted the new circular hews to the old version.

Under the old version, Marina collected a tonnage fee of P25 to P35 per gross tonnage or a minimum of P500 per ship. All owners, operators and charterers of Philippine-registered ships operating in the domestic trade were required to pay the fee.

The annual tonnage fee is assessed on the total gross tonnage as of December 31 of the year immediately preceding the calendar year.

Shipowners, operators or charterers who fail to pay fee on or before December 31 of each year are slapped a 50% surcharge plus 1% interest for every month of delinquency.

The collection of the tonnage fee was suspended by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) last year after a group of vessel operators threatened to go on strike if the order, along with five other directives, are not suspended.

In their DOTC petition, the group said the tonnage fee was effectively abolished with the passage of Republic Act 9295 or the Domestic Shipping Act of 2004.

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