NOVA MEDIA PUBLISHING INC.

Costa Rica: APM Terminals Rates Experience the First Increase

23.8.2019

As established in the concession contract, the fees charged by the APM Terminals Company for the operation of the Moín Container Terminal (TCM) increased from Saturday, August 17th. The Dutch company (which has been operating the terminal since the beginning of this year) explained by email that the rates are adjusted regularly once a year - each August 17th according to the provisions of one of the clauses of the contract. To determine the amount, inflation over the period is applied, which is measured by the so-called Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) of the United States. The increase that came into effect on Saturday, approved by the National Concessions Council (CNC) was 1.62%.

On June 12th, the National Banana Corporation (Corbana) requested that the CNC, attached to the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), intercede for a reduction in the fees charged by the TCM.

On the same line, 6 days later (June 18th) 6 business chambers sent a letter to the National Port Council to indicate 15 alleged inefficiencies committed by the private terminal since it began operations at the end of February 2019. In which, they highlighted problems making appointments, removing empty containers and delays due to operational failures. Almost 1 month later and with the current claims, the MOPT leadership, as the national port authority, broke away from the discrepancies pointed out by the exporters and denied that they can intercede administratively, as it is a signed contract.

“If there were complaints regarding the impact of the rate, that has been known since the contract was negotiated because that's how it was negotiated 7 or 8 years ago. It is a situation similar to that of Japdeva. They knew, at the time, the consequences they were going to have (with the entrance of the TCM),” said Rodolfo Méndez Mata, head of the ministry, in mid-July.

The claims are varied. For example, Corbana said that "APM said that a discount or a reduction in rates requires renegotiating the concession contract, while the shipping companies argue that they transfer the costs of the terminal to the cargo owners." According to the banana producers in their complaint raised weeks ago, “previously export cost was around US $ 0.21 / box, while with the new port they have increased by US $ 0.23 / box (reaching US $ 0.44 / box)”. 

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