Ottawa, CAN (NNCNOW.com) - Fee hikes being proposed by the U.S. government for inspections of Canadian ships coming from the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence are prompting the Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC), a bi-national marine industry association, opposing a proposed federal rule that will significantly increase fees for agricultural quarantine and inspection services.
The rule change would increase the fee from $496 to $825 per inspection and eliminate the annual fee cap of charging a maximum of 15 times per vessel.
For Canadian Great Lakes - St. Lawrence shipping, the change could increase their annual inspection costs by as much as 238%.
In its submission, the CMC argues that Canadian Great Lakes - St. Lawrence ships should be exempted from these fee increases as they never leave the bi-national waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence navigation system, do not cross oceans, and pose very little risk of introducing pests or infestations to the U.S.
Additionally, they say these vessels predominantly carry inert material such as steel, iron ore, limestone and other bulk cargoes that are non-agricultural, inorganic and with no containers or packing materials.