The Malta Independent 28 September 2020, Monday

€2.08 million fund for Port Charges refund scheme launched

Giulia Magri Wednesday, 12 August 2020, 16:42 Last update: about 3 months ago

Ship operators, importers and ship agents are being given a refund of port handling fees, which is part of a new fund to ease the burden the maritime industry faced during the COVID-19 pandemic as it continued to operate.

This was announced on Wednesday during a press conference held at the Transport Malta offices. The government has allocated €2.08 million for this scheme, which will be administered by Transport Malta. Those eligible operators import and export agents are those who were in operation between December 2019 and May 2020.

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No applications are necessary as Transport Malta has all the information and will be informing clients about their refunds and the amount which will be refunded.

In the case of importers and exporters of unitised cargo, applications need to be supported by documentation and receipts of payment during this period. Ship Agents and Freight Forwarders need to show Delivery Orders and Bills of Lading as applicable.

1,357 ship calls, 24,719 containers and 14,755 trailers will be eligible for refunds under the scheme.

Port pilotage and mooring services will be refunded at 35%, whilst freighters will be compensated at €40 per trailer and €20 per container, regardless of whether it is a 20 or a 40 foot unit.

Maritime industry played a crucial role during the pandemic

Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Minister Silvio Schembri highlighted that during peak COVID-19 pandemic the maritime industry played a crucial and important role to ensure that food, medicine and necessities continue to be brought to the Maltese Islands.

“The consumers depended heavily on the ship operators to continue a relatively normal life.”

Transport Minister Ian Borg said that the scheme is vital for this industry as a means of recognition to the hard workers and the vital role all those in the maritime industry played during the pandemic.

“This scheme not only compensates the port industry as we share some of the burden of the economic struggles during the pandemic, but we need to recognise the work being done and how much value it has for the island.”

 

He said that the industry generates around 14% of the Gross Domestic Product while creating thousands of value-added jobs. “Government appreciates and acknowledges the value of workers and industries. We will continue talking, listening and working hand in hand towards more growth and progress for the benefit of all.”

 

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