MARINA extends 30% discount on 2021 tonnage fee

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  • The Maritime Industry Authority is extending a 30% discount on the annual tonnage fee for 2021
  • The discount is being provided in view of the “debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recognizing its extreme impact on the shipping and maritime industry”
  • The discount is applicable from January 1 to December 2021 for collection in 2022

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is extending a 30% discount on the annual tonnage fee (ATF) for 2021 as assistance to the domestic shipping sector hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under MARINA Advisory (MA) No. 2021-59 published on November 3, the discount will be applied to the assessed amount for 2021, the discounted fee to be collected in 2022. The discount is applicable from January 1 to December 2021, unless extended or earlier revoked.

MA 2021-59 said the MARINA Board decided on the move in view of the “debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recognizing its extreme impact on the shipping and maritime industry.”

ATF is a fee collected by MARINA pursuant to the revised implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 9295, or the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004.

Under MARINA Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 07-08, which provides revised rules on the collection of ATF, all owners/charterers of Philippine-registered ships operating in the domestic trade are required to pay tonnage fee of P25 per gross tonnage (GT) if payment is made within the first quarter; P30 per GT if payment is made within the second quarter; and P35 per GT if payment is made after the second quarter.

Assessment of the ATF is based on the total GT as of 31stday of December of the year immediately preceding the calendar year.

Domestic carrier organization Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) last year requested assistance from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Department of Finance, noting their operations had been significantly impacted by lower cargo volumes, the result of restrictions imposed since mid-March 2020 to mitigate effects of the pandemic.

Philippine Inter-Island Shipping Association, of which PLSA is a member, also wrote to DOTr asking government to waive port charges for ships and suspend the two-day storage period for domestic cargoes as their operations were being undermined by restrictions brought on by the community quarantines.

The Cebu Port Authority waived the collection of berthing/anchorage fees from domestic shipping vessels calling Cebu ports from October 31 to December 19, 2020.

READ: Domestic ships calling Cebu exempt from berthing/anchorage fees until Dec 19

The Philippine Ports Authority also waived the collection of dockage and lay-up fees from domestic ships using its ports in December 2020, and later extended the assistance until June 2021.

READ: PPA extends till end-June waiver for payment of domestic ships’ fees

Domestic shipping operators, meanwhile, were required by DOTr to support the government’s pandemic efforts by allocating at least 12% of a vessel’s cargo capacity per voyage solely to agricultural and food products and extending a discount of no less than 40% of their published shipping rates for all agricultural and food product cargoes. –Roumina Pablo