After a fierce protest from shipping companies, the Ministry of Transportation temporarily revoked Thursday a new set of Terminal Handling Charge (THC) fees and returned to the old charges
On Nov. 1, the ministry set new THC fees -- the charges exporters or importers have to pay to shipping companies -- at US$95 for a 20-foot container and $145 for a 40-foot container, lower than the previous charges of $117 and $177, respectively.
The ministry however kept the Containter Handling Charge (CHC) -- the fee the shipping companies have to pay to port administrators which is part of the THC -- unchanged at $83 for 20-foot containers and $124.5 for 40-foot containers.
The result was that the new regulations slashed the income of the shipping firms, who objected to this as soon as the changes were introduced. There were even reports that some shipping companies had refused to carry out their activities at the Tanjung Priok port, in protest at the new tariffs.
Tanjung Priok is the largest port in the country, where more than 60 percent of exports and imports take place.
Against that backdrop, the ministry revoked the new rules.
Herry Asmari, chief of the container division in the Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA), said the revocation was made after a meeting early in the day among representatives of INSA, traders and government officials.
Herry said that the ships are now allowed to use the old charges and issues related to a more permanent fee adjustment will be discussed further.
"We are very thankful and we respect their decision," he said.
Agus Barlianto, public relations manager of the Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) which handles a part of Tanjung Priok port, said shipping companies had begun resuming their operations immediately after the revocation decision.
"After the record detailing the decision was distributed this (Thursday) afternoon, ships started to collect containers from the harbor," Agus said, adding th