The Government has allocated more than €2 million for a scheme intended to help the maritime industry recover from the economic effects which it has suffered because of the pandemic. The refund scheme for port fees is intended to reduce the burden on importers and protect consumers from price increases.
Port operators and companies which carry merchandise will be entitled to a refund on expenses which were generated at the height of the pandemic. For this scheme, which will be administered by Transport Malta, the Government has allocated €2 million.
Captain David Bugeja from Transport Malta explained that the ships which entered Maltese ports between December of last year and May of this year will be entitled to a refund of 35% including payment for port and berthing services. The scheme applies to companies which import and export merchandise, with every trailer being eligible for a refund of €40 while every container is eligible for a refund of €20.
“We need to recognise that this supply chain needs to be sustained because Malta is an island both from the domestic aspect for consumers and for industry, and without a regular service we are sure to have difficulties in the way things in the country are run,” he added.
During the launch of this scheme, Ministers Ian Borg and Silvio Schembri said the Government wants to help maritime industry get back on its feet following the blow it has suffered during the pandemic.. They said that the scheme protects consumers from a spike in prices of essential products such as food and medicine.