Carriers may go separate ways on ISPS surcharges
Container shipping lines appear increasingly likely to adopt separate security charges outside conferences and carrier agreements to recover the cost of complying with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
The Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement has reached no common position or tariff on ISPS security surcharges. In this conference, each carrier will deal with this matter on an individual basis.
In September, Maersk Sealand pulled out of the Maritime Security Discussion Agreement, a group of 100 carriers and terminal operators in the United States that is considering joint security surcharges.
At the same time, Maersk Sealand said it would invoice shippers globally its own “carrier security charge” of $6 per container, effective Oct. 2. The carrier security charge does not include the “terminal security” charges that Maersk Sealand will be pass on separately to shippers on its invoices.
The outcome of the discussions of the U.S.-based Maritime Security Discussion Agreement is uncertain, as is a potential move towards joint ISPS charges by carriers of the transpacific agreements.
“No group action is planned at this time on addressing ISPS costs, but the issue is still under review,” said a spokesman for the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement.
In the Asia/Europe trade, though, carrier members of the Far East Freight Conference announced joint security charges, including an ISPS charge of 5 euro (about $6) per container moved to or from ports in the Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Baltic and Mediterranean.
The Europe to Australia and New Zealand conference said Tuesday it has canceled its plan to impose joint security charges. It said its member lines “have concluded the conference ISPS charge should be rescinded and that each line should deal with this matter on an individual basis as they see fit.”
CMA CGM will invoice a combined carrier/terminal ISPS charge of 12 euros ($15) per container from ports in northern continental Europe and the Mediterranean or '7 ($13) per box from British ports. These charges will apply to all trade routes covered by the French carrier.
“Each carrier applies ISPS charges in a different way from ports in northern Europe and the Mediterranean,” said Roger Bottau, spokesman for CMA CGM. “It is not a conference charge.”
A member of the Maritime Security Discussion Agreement, CMA CGM has not yet decided how much it will charge for security costs in the U.S.