4 Apr 2005

New port tariff comes as a surprise to Tongan businesses

3:28 pm on 4 April 2005

Businesses on Tonga are expressing concern over a twenty-five percent increase in port tariff that comes into effect today.

Tongan consumers were faced with a new 15 percent Consumption Tax that came into effect on Friday.

But Matangi Tonga says Tongan businesses were apparently surprised by the new port rates.

They warn that the increase in shipping tariffs will absorb any savings that were to be made from the introduction of the Consumption Tax.

The President of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce, Dr Sione Ngongo Kioa, said that the unexpected increase cames on top of a 20 percent increase in Port operation charges towards the end of last year.

In a letter of complaint addressed to the new Minister of Commerce, Dr Fred Sevele, the Chamber says it was for the increases to be deferred.