Polluting ships hit with higher port fees

In a move to tackle increasing air pollution, ships entering the Port of Vancouver will now be charged fees according to how much they pollute.

Launched on April 1, the Port of Vancouver’s harbor dues programme reward ships that take steps to cut pollution by charging them lower tolls for running on more ‘eco-friendly’, lower-sulphur fuel, versus higher rates for ships with higher emission levels.

“The world is moving toward reducing emissions, and the VPA takes its role in leading the sustainability of port operations seriously,” said Darrell Desjardin, the port authority’s director of environmental programs.

“Our new harbour dues programme is designed to promote attainable emissions reduction goals for all vessels.”

The Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold rating system provide a wide variety of technology and fuel options to vessel.

Ships that meet a gold standard of emission controls will pay $0.057 per gross registered tonne (GRT) while the basic harbour due rate is $0.097 per GRT. Ships with no discount will see fees rising to $0.097 per GRT. Ships attaining a silver or bronze ranking will respectively be charged $0.067 and $0.077 per GRT.

The gold air emission standard is at a level that will be attained by leading-edge vessels, while the bronze standard is designed to be achievable by many vessels that currently call in the Port of Vancouver, the VPA explains.

With the new harbour dues programme in place, the VPA hopes to mirror the goals of the recent announcement by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line), stimulating a higher level of environmental practice for all container vessels in its Pacific Northwest service, including those calling at Vancouver, to use low sulphur fuel in auxiliary machinery while vessels are docked.

The details for the differentiated harbour dues programme can be found here.

Dana Gornitzki

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