New maritime fees, charges and levies take effect

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 44, August 2013

Changes to maritime fees and charges took effect on 1 July.

The changes affect fixed fees, hourly rates and Marine Safety Charges and follow a Funding Review by MNZ in 2011–12, which involved extensive consultation with the maritime sector.

MNZ Deputy Director Lindsay Sturt said the changes are designed to get the right balance between MNZ’s sources of funding and the costs of the services it provides.

He said that, overall, the changes mean the Marine Safety Charge (a levy on commercial vessels) has reduced for most operators, while the costs (fixed fees and hourly charges) of services MNZ provides have increased. The new rates will ensure the costs of providing services are met by the people who use and benefit from them.

Funding from the Marine Safety Charge allows MNZ to maintain critical services that are vital to vessel safety and protecting the marine environment. These include navigation aids, the distress and safety radio network and safety education.

“The changes will not significantly affect the overall level of funding for MNZ,” Lindsay said.

He pointed out that hourly rates had not changed for 13 years.

Most of the changes will be phased in gradually over a six-year transition period to 2018, to allow the maritime sector time to adjust. However, the full fees take immediate effect for environment protection services.

Fees that will apply to MOSS, the Maritime Operator Safety System, and SeaCert, the new seafarer certification system, are being consulted on separately.

Rates for the Oil Pollution Levy (OPL) also changed on 1 July, following a separate review by MNZ.

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