New cut of port dues possible in 2019 – Infrastructure minister
Plans to further cut port dues this year, which were decreased by 20% from January 1, 2018, are absent, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan has said.
"I think there will be another wave (of cuts) from 2019," he said at a meeting with the European Business Association (EBA) in Kyiv on Thursday.
The minister said that the prospect of the decline will be more understandable after analyzing the work of the port industry in the first half of the year.
Head of the state-owned enterprise Ukrainian Sea Port Authority Raivis Veckagans said at the meeting that the preliminary results are not very bright: despite a 20% decrease in port dues, the turnover of Ukrainian ports declined by 3%.
"The state cooperated, and the turnover has fallen, what is the problem?" the head of the AMPU said in surprise.
In turn, business representatives indicated that without a decrease in port dues, the drop in freight turnover could be larger. They also again called on the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority to give credence to the recommendations of the World Bank that port dues in Ukraine are overestimated by 50%.
Omelyan said that private ports are capable of reducing rates and in some cases they are dumping. According to him, in particular, there was a collapse of rates for grain cargo.
Veckagans said that the possibilities for further reduction of port dues for the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority are small, since it is necessary to investment in infrastructure and also to maintain a number of unprofitable ports and a bloated social sphere. He added that the Ministry of Finance is also categorically opposed to reducing the size of dividends paid by the authority and payments to the national budget.