The British International Freight Association (Bifa) has said it is disappointed that the UK government is pushing through plans to increase light dues ĘC a tax levied on ships calling in the UK to fund aids to navigation.
It had hoped the Department for Transport (DfT) would re-think the proposed increases, after Bifa had expressed fears that such rises would force shipping lines to bypass UK ports.
The DfT has announced that light dues will rise to 39p per net registered tonne (nrt) from 1st July this year with a further increase to 43p on 1st April 2010.
The maximum number of chargeable voyages each year will also rise from seven to nine, with the upper tonnage threshold of 35,000nrt increasing to 40,000nrt in 2010-11. The increase in the voyage cap will mean that the short-sea and ferry industries will see a 43% increase in light dues.