The Australian Government has announced that it will reduce the rate of the Protection of the Sea Levy effective as from 1 July 2014 in a move that will save ships visiting Australian ports around AUD 9 million a year.
The Government increased the levy from AUD 0.1125 to AUD 0.1425 per NT in April 2009 to meet part of the cost of cleaning up the oil spill from the Pacific Adventurer, which occurred off the south east coast of Queensland in March 2009.
Since those costs have been more than met and in an effort to help to tackle the competitive challenges the shipping industry faces, the Government has decided to reverse that increase and reduce the levy back to AUD 0.1125 per NT.
The government reported that the funds generated by the higher levy have been used to establish a $10 million pollution response reserve.
the Protection of the Sea Levy applies to ships visiting or operating in Australian ports that are 24 metres or more in length and have on board more than 10 tonnes of oil in bulk, as fuel or cargo, at any time during a quarter when the vessel was in an Australian port.
The levy funds the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's (AMSA) management of the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and other Noxious and Hazardous Substances and the Australian Government’s National Maritime Emergency Response Arrangements (NMERA).
The Australian Government agreed to the funding of the NMERA on the basis of full cost recovery from the shipping industry ("potential polluter pays" principle) through the Protection of the Sea Levy.
For further information, please contact us at Operations@shipagency.com.au