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Ecuador: Ministry of Transport Suspends the Collection of Tariffs for Exporters

24.8.2018

The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Boris Palacios, this Tuesday, August 21st 2018 suspended by resolution the collection of the fee charged by the owners of empty container yards to exporters, in Guayaquil.

In addition, a technical table was established that will review the costs, projects and investment that these companies must make to improve the efficiency and times of reception and dispatch of empty containers.

"We do not seek or want competitiveness to be affected," Palacios said. This after meeting with the mayor of the Municipality of Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot, and representatives of the productive, exporter, industrial, shipping and transport companies of the country, in the building of the Zonal Government, in the north of the Main Port.

The commission will be composed of the public sector, represented by the Ministry of Public Works, Foreign Trade and the Internal Revenue Service; and by the private sector, with the exporting, industrial and transporting guilds. It will take between 60 and 90 days to issue a resolution, which will include if there is a value to charge, how much and who would be responsible. The collection of the tariff started in June and arose as a result of the approval of a municipal ordinance that established that the container yards should provide 24/7 service; the owners transferred the value to the exporters to finance their operating costs.

Nebot wanted to make clear that the Municipal Ordinance "neither sets nor imposes tariffs". He pointed out that if empty container yards "show and prove" that the night works generate an additional cost, the export sector is willing to pay the fee. "What nobody agrees and neither do I, is that this pretext is used to charge more than the cost to make a profit and worse an abusive profit, "he said.

Eduardo Ledesma, president of the Banana Exporters Association of Ecuador, supports the decision of the mayor not to eliminate the municipal ordinance, "but on the contrary, maintain and reaffirm it." He assured that the effect between June and December of the entire export sector with the collection of the fee would be US$ 15 million.

José Antonio Camposano, president of the National Chamber of Aquaculture said he was satisfied with the resolution. "One thing is to look for efficiency and another is under the excuse of that efficiency to make a business profitable," he added. In his opinion, the owners of the container yards did not justify the reasons for charging the fee, which, he said, has varied in its amount: "Today is charged US$ 42 (per container), two weeks ago it was us$35 and the amount of US$ 50 was mentioned for a time. "

The transport sector, for its part, has asked for good service to be established in the reception and delivery of the containers in the yards. This was stated by the President of the Federation of Transporters of Ecuador, Luis Felipe Vizcaíno. "It is necessary that there be greater efficiency, greater productivity", he added that in 2017 around 2 million containers passed through Guayaquil. He said that among the proposals discussed is the possibility that the TPG port terminal, which is located south of Guayaquil, includes in its computer system of administration and time efficiency, the organization of containers and shifts of transporters.

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