Cabinet ready to bear the additional cost. Cabinet ready to bear the additional cost - Lebanon

Cabinet ready to bear the additional cost
Cabinet ready to bear
the additional cost
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The Ministry of Finance (MoF) will request an additional allocation of funds from the Cabinet to support the increased sea transport cost for local exporters.

Land exports of agricultural and industrial products to Arab countries have stopped due to the closure of the Jordan-Syria Nasib cross border.

The Association of Industrialists (ALI) and farmers have previously called for alternatives to land transport. They proposed creating a new shipping route to the targeted countries in roll-on-roll-off (RO-RO) ferries. These would be able to carry up to 100 trucks to the ports of Saudi Arabia, to Mersin-Turkey, Port Saeed or Damietta in Egypt, from which point they would be able to continue to other Arab countries.

According to Hussein Daher, General Manager, International Transit and Clearance of Gezairi Transport, the average price of shipping by RO-RO is estimated at around $5,000 (LL7.5 million) per shipment. This price includes the cost of the truck, which is between $1,500 (LL2.2 million) and $2,000 (LL3 million) and the rental cost, which is between $3,000 (LL4.5 million) and $3,500 (LL5.2 million).

The cost of shipping refrigerated trucks by land to Saudi Arabia is $3,500 (LL5.2 million), but regular containers cost between $2,800 (LL4.2 million) and $3,200 (LL4.8 million). Exporters have asked the Government to support them by bearing the additional shipping expenses. MoF said that the Cabinet has agreed.

MoF will prepare a file including the number of trucks, the value of the products that would be exported and the cost of transportation. It will refer it to the Cabinet for study. It will also consider the possibility of reducing the costs at the Port of Beirut.

Abdel Hafeez Kayssi, Director General of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, said that the ministry is negotiating with the Egyptian parties to ease the burdens of transportation products through Egypt ports.

The fees at Port Saeed and Damietta reach $1,300 (LL1.9 million).

Daher said that the solution for export is to operate three trips a week to the Dhuba Port. The Jeddah Port is not feasible, due to overcrowding and long waits for Customs clearance.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: May 11, 2015