Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe T.D., today (Thursday) announced that he has agreed arrangements with his UK counterpart, Minister John Hayes MP, for light dues paid by ships coming into ports in Ireland and the United Kingdom from April 2015. Light dues fund the Aids to Navigation (lighthouses, buoys, beacons and radio aids) operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) in Ireland, and by Trinity House and the Northern Lighthouse Board in the UK.
The three lighthouse authorities, their integrated working arrangements and the single operating system for light dues represents a long standing cooperation between Ireland and the United Kingdom. A joint Irl-UK consideration of the light dues system has resulted in an agreement to maintain the single light dues operational area and to improve the collection and enforcement system for light dues. This will be of particular benefit to the Commissioners of Irish Lights, in relation to light dues payable at Irish ports.
Speaking about the agreement Minister Donohoe said: “I welcome this agreement, as I believe the single light dues area has worked well over many years, particularly for the shipping sector. It also avoids the need to pay light dues separately in Ireland and the UK, which would have imposed additional costs on shipping on Ireland-UK routes. To keep this arrangement in place it is of course important that the shipping sector plays its part in paying its liabilities for light dues promptly. The Commissioners of Irish Lights play a vital maritime role in providing aids to navigation from which the shipping sector benefits, and light dues are a key element of CIL’s funding.”
The Minister also referred to CIL’s success in implementing its strategic and operational restructuring programme and in reducing its operational costs by more than 30% over 5 years.
“CIL has shown its ability to operate as an efficient and dynamic organisation. The agreed arrangements will be in place for a trial period up to March 2018, and monitored for their cost-effectiveness and sustainability. I can confirm that the Irish light dues rate will remain at €0.60 per net registered tonne for CIL’s upcoming fiscal year from Apr 2015 to Mar 2016. As part of my commitment to CIL and to maritime safety, my Department will continue to contribute towards CIL’s costs during the trial period up to March 2018.”
Published: 16th October 2014