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Port imposes insurance levy

04 Oct 2017

Increasing charges at Napier Port have Hawke's Bay industries up in arms. A new insurance levy has reportedly tipped local port users - across the horticultural sector, exporters, and transport companies - over the edge.

The most recent new fee is a new insurance charge that will be borne by all port users from October 1, as earthquake damage to ports in Wellington and Christchurch means all New Zealand ports are considered high risk.

Port CEO Garth Cowie said this meant insurance premiums had more than doubled "with less than seven days' notice".

"The increase alone was more than $2 million. Our deductible has been doubled from $12.5m to $25m. We have been absorbing these costs since July 1 in a bid to give our customers as much notice as possible."

Mr Cowie said they understood the impact price changes might have on their customers, and had worked with them to "find some middle ground."

There has been a call for the insurance costs to be passed onto the port's main customers - the international shipping lines - as it would have less impact than for a local business.

Mr Cowie said they would be reassessing this levy after 18 months.

By this time the port would have renegotiated insurance contracts and could take any reduction into account. Global shipping forecasts showed it could be better to charge the levy via shipping lines at that time.

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