Suez Canal navigation normal after applying 5-percent surcharge on vessels
A ship is crossing Suez canal - YOUM7 (Archive)
By SAMAR SAMIR

CAIRO: Following the increase of transit dues by five percent, The navigation in Suez Canal continued normally and securely.

Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced on Feb. 1 that the transit dues for the year 2014 would be increased by five percent on oil and natural gas and bulk vessels, while the surcharge on other vessels will be imposed according to the weight of the cargo. The SCA added that the law would be enforced starting May 1.

However, some international shipping organizations expressed reservations over SCA’s decision, saying that the authority should have inform them about this decision six months prior, rather than only three months, according to Abdel-Tawab Hagag, the head economic advisor for SCA in remarks to The Cairo Post on Friday.

He nonetheless stated that three months is enough notice for the organization, which represents shipping companies such as International Chamber of Shipping, noting that the period came in accordance with the authority’s regulations.

Due to the expected growth of the international trade navigation, the Suez Canal revenues will be increased too, he continued.

59 vessels with 3.1 million tons crossed the canal on Friday and the navigation is normal, Tareq Hassanin, the spokesperson of the SCA told MENA.

Suez Canal revenues edged higher 2.2 percent during the first quarter of 2014, totaling U.S. $1.21 billion, compared to U.S. $1.18 billion in the corresponding period last year, Al-Mal newspaper reported On April 18.

According to a SCA report issued April 10, canal revenues jumped to U.S. $441.9 million in March, marking an 8.5 percent increase, compared to U.S. $407.4 million in the same month last year.

Suez Canal revenues jumped 8.5 percent to $442.4 million as of the end of November, according to the latest report issued by the Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDCS.)

The canal is one of Egypt’s key sources of income, with ships moving through the canal providing about 10 percent of Egypt’s hard currency. Total revenues in May 2013 reached $438.1 million, and revenue from January to June 2013 reached $3.4 billion.

Additional reporting by Yasmine Samra.

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