Cebu business groups oppose shipping lines’ extra charges
CEBU CITY–Three business groups here are asking the government to look into the extra charges allegedly being collected by international shipping lines even if the Cebu International Port is not congested. The appeal was contained in a manifesto issued recently by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association, Inc. (Pisfa) Cebu, and the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) Cebu. The business groups asked President Duterte to designate the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to oversee, review and regulate these shipping firms’ operations.
According to the three business groups, the container imbalance charge (CIC) and the port congestion charge (PCC) imposed by international shipping firms were based only on perception and “without consideration of the impact to consumers who would bear the increase in prices of commodities passed on to them by businessmen.”
The CIC is meant to offset shipping lines’ cost of transferring empty containers from one place to another. It is only applicable during certain seasons when there is a large gap between import and export activities. The PCC, on the other hand, is applied by shipping lines to cover losses caused by congestion and idle time for vessels serving a certain port.
Shipping lines, however, have the right to impose this surcharge on the freight to recover revenue losses.
CCCI, Pisfa and CCBI said the Cebu International Port plays an important role in the movement of goods and economic improvement of the Visayas and Mindanao.
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