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July 23, 2002

Possible U.S. port security fees
Freedom isn't free, and neither is security. Shipowners are already grumbling about security fees that the Panama Canal Authority proposes imposing. They can likely brace for more of the same when a House-Senate conference gets through forging a unified U.S. maritime and port security bill.

What sort of cost are we looking at? Under a scheme floated by Senator Fritz Hollings (D.-S.C.) fees imposed to fund various security initiatives would be:
$15 per regular TEU
$20 per TEU containing Hazmat
$4 per vehicle
$4 per passenger
$.30 per metric ton of crude oil
$.45 per metric ton of petroleum product
$.50 per metric ton of chemical product
$.60 per metric ton of liquid gases (LNG/LPG)
$.02 per metric ton of dry bulk cargo
$1 per metric ton of other cargo.

Based on year 2000 volume, this would raise around $692 million each year. The Customs Service would collect the fees and put them into a new Port Security Trust Fund.

Half the funds collected would be allocated to ports for security enhancements. The remaining funds would be split equally, with half being set aside for discretionary grants for protection of miscellaneous maritime assets and for shipper security programs and the other half being available for programs at the Maritime Administration, TSA, Customs, and the Coast Guard that would cover credentialing, Sea Marshals, AIS implementation, R&D on seaport security technology, and cargo screening equipment.

There will be extensive coverage on congressional action on maritime and port security--and its likely cost to the shipowner--at our September 17 & 18 conference MARITIME LEGISLATION, REGULATION & POLICY in Washington, DC

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