Latvian large ports will have to make payments

Latvian large ports will have to make payments into state budget for using infrastructure

Saeima approved amendments to the Law on Ports in the final reading yesterday, which stipulate that the authorities of the Freeport of Riga, Ventspils Freeport and Liepaja Special Economic Zone would have to make payments into the state master budget for using strategic state infrastructure, informs LETA.

According to the amendments, the payment will be equal to 10% of payments that ports collect in tonnage, canal, small ship and anchorage dues – which is the same amount as the port authorities already pay into the respective local governments' budgets.

The Economy Ministry previously explained that the three key ports of Latvia – Ventspils, Riga and Liepaja ports – accounted for 98.19% of Latvian ports' total cargo turnover in 2012. These ports collect payments from port clients that use port infrastructure, which is public property, but no taxes or duties apply to this port income.

The Economy Ministry said that the ports could be in essence considered state and municipal companies, therefore port authorities' payments into the state budget should be clearly defined. The Economy Ministry also said that the new port payments would have no effect on companies operating in ports' territories.


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