2011 Nov 05

HKLSA Seeks Subsidies in Order to comply Emission Standards

 If subsidies are offered to public transport to comply with expensive emission standards, then they should also apply to shipping, said the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association (HKLSA) in a press statement.

HKLSA Secretary, Mr Roberto Giannetta, said that the voluntary Fair Winds Charter, that costs the local container shipping industry $2-3 million a year to comply with the pledge to use low-sulphur fuel when berthed, was unlikely to survive in the long run.

“In the absence of significant government sponsorship and legislation prompting other industry segments to adopt the same standard, I will be surprised if this charter will see light beyond December 31, 2012,” said Mr Giannetta, referring to last day of voluntary commitment.

Members of the HKLSA and the Hong Kong Shipowners’ Association (HKSOA) have signed a Fair Winds Charter committing to voluntarily adopting this programme from January 1 until December 31, 2012 at their own expense.

“If economic incentives are being proposed for (other) industries, why not for shipping—particularly since shipping lines have already taken the first step and are already incurring related costs?,” said OOCL Hong Kong Branch Manager, Mr Teddy Fung.

Container shipping wants government subsidies too, and not to impose price increases or surcharges that are passed on to shippers.

There are no government subsidies or any other form of cost-sharing involved in the shipping voluntary scheme. When the Fair Winds Charter was signed, initial estimates were that added cost to shipping lines for switching to the more expensive low-sulphur grade fuel would be $1-2 million a year. Since the Fair Winds Charter went into effect, fuel prices worldwide have soared from $160 per tonne to more than $300 per tonne.


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