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The Global Shippers Forum’s position

Shippers voice carbon tax concerns

by Port News Editorial Staff

The carbon tax? Its introduction could have dramatic adverse effects on freight rates and shipping  costs

The warning comes from the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), the association that brings shippers from all over the world together.

Just as the issue is on the agenda at the 78th meeting of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, the GSF is challenging the appropriateness of a measure designed to incentivize a shift to green fuels.

The tax under review would have the undesirable effect of doubling the price of traditional fuels and becoming an additional cost for cargo owners, who would be charged higher freight rates.

According to  the GSF’s director, James Hookham, the shipping industry has a very efficient mechanism for passing on higher fuel costs in the form of BAFs, a surcharge to cover changes in fuel prices.

He maintains that if the shipping  industry takes market-based mechanisms seriously as a route to decarbonization, then it has to  protect its customers from any inflationary effects. If this is not the case, Mr Hookham believes that emissions will be reduced by suppressing demand for world trade rather than by incentivizing changes in fuels.

Translation by Giles Foster

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