DTI proposes regulation of shipping charges
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has proposed regulating shipping charges due to claims that shipping lines have been overcharging clients following the port congestion last year.
The proposal was made at a meeting on trucking rates and shipping charges between government officials and the private sector on Wednesday, April 29.
While 11 major shipping lines have lifted port congestion charges (PCC), and another was to do the same on Friday, May 1, all 12 are still charging the so-called emergency cost recovery surcharge (ECRS).
The 11 are APL, Cosco, Sinotrans, Wan Hai, Yang Ming, PCL, PIL, OOCL, SITC, Evergreen, and TS Lines; the 12th is Maersk. They account for 70% to 80% of inbound cargo.
The DTI, which sits in the board of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), will submit a proposal to study the legal basis for regulating shipping charges of the international shipping lines.
The DTI said there are also plans for the removal of the ECRS and that it would also look into the components of the shipping charges.
The Department of Justice's Office for Competition is also looking into whether or not the charges of the shipping lines, as well as those of truckers, are reasonable.
During the meeting, the Confederation of the Truckers Associations of the Philippines (CTAP) said its members have committed to bringing down the truck rates to pre-congestion levels.
The group has submitted the new guide rates effective April 15, 2015.
At the height of the congestion, truckers tripled their rates to around P30,000 ($672) from a range of P11,000 ($246.5) to P15,000 ($336) before the congestion.
At one point, the combined PCC and ECRS and other charges were resulting in an additional cost to business of $400 to $500 (P17,844 – P22,306) per shipment.
The meeting included the DTI, the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Senate Committee Chair on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LFTRB) and importers, exporters, brokers, and truckers
Earlier this month, Malacañang declared the port congestion problem to be "completely over." – Rappler.com
$1 = P 44.61