Türkiye Hikes Transit Fees in Its Straits for Int’l Ships

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Türkiye has increased the transit fee it charges commercial ships to use the Istanbul and Çanakkale Straits, in accordance with the rights granted to it by the Montreux Convention, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloğlu said.

He announced that the net unit per ton used in determining the strait tolls has been increased to $4.42.

“As of July 1, we are introducing a new update that will increase the foreign currency inflow to the country through the straits,” he said.

Uraloğlu stated that the rules determined by the Montreux Convention were applied in the strait tolls, adding: “From 1983 to Oct. 7, 2022, $0.8063 was charged per net ton for international ships passing through the straits. After 39 years, on Oct. 7, 2022, with the presidential decision, we updated these fees and increased the net ton fee for ships to $4.08.”

“We are updating this fee as $4.42 as of July 1, 2023.”

According to the Montreux Convention signed in 1936, Türkiye retains the right to demand lighthouse, rescue and medical fees from ships passing through the Istanbul Strait and entering and leaving the Çanakkale Strait.

At that time, the calculation was made over the common currency Germinal franc, which was accepted by the United Nations as the gold franc.

In 1936, one franc was equivalent to 0.29 grams (0.01023 ounces) of fine gold. When the Germinal franc was no longer in circulation, the payments started to be made in U.S. dollars based on the Turkish lira exchange rate but the value of 1 franc was still kept as 0.29 grams of fine gold, regardless of the current exchange rates.

In 1983, Türkiye waived about 75% of its toll rights of that day and fixed 1 gold franc to $0.8063 with a discounted value.

Until very recently, the tolls have been applied by multiplying the current exchange buying rate by the discounted gold franc value of $0.8063.

However, over time, the amount has eroded in the face of increasing inflation and gold value, causing Türkiye to undercharge transits.

The Montreux Convention was adopted in 1936. It preserves the freedom of passage through the straits for merchant ships both in peacetime and in wartime, but the regimes are different for everyone.

Sharing an example of the latest price update, Uraloğlu said: “When we consider a ship with a net tonnage of 10,000, this ship was paying a total of $3,240 for lighthouse, rescue and health services before Oct. 7, 2022. It increased to $16,393 on Oct. 7, 2022. With the new tariff to be passed on July 1, a ship with a net tonnage of 10,000 tons will have to pay $17,760. With this increase, we are taking a historic step to increase the country’s foreign currency inflow.”

Source : Dailysabah