Greek shipowners protest after Turks increase Bosphorus passage fees; consumers affected

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Greek shipowners are protesting the increased passage fees for the Bosphorus Strait as of October by Turkey which would also see Greek consumers hit with increases in consumer goods in the coming months.

The Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association (EENMA) has requested the intervention of the Greek Foreign Affairs and Shipping ministries with Turkish authorities, who are raising fees at Bosphorus as of October 7.

Commenting on the unexpected announcement, shipping agents have said that changes will occur as follows, for single passage (in US dollars): for mini bulk carriers to USD 7,008 (from USD 1,358.22); for handysize ships to USD 15,863.04 (from USD 3,134.89), for supramax to USD 24,176.64 (from USD 4,844.57), and for panamax to USD 32,305.44 (from USD 6,384.28).

According to Turkish newspaper “Sabah”, the number of ships passing through the strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean totaled 38,551 vessels in 2021, including tankers. According to official data, Turkey is looking for an alternative maritime passage, as the number of ships going through the straits rose in 2021.

An increase in passage fees is also being implemented at Suez with Suez managers (SCA) claiming passage fees would increase by 15% in the start of 2023 and affect all ship types except for bulk carriers and cruise ships, where the raise will be 10%. SCA chief Osama Rabie said the raise is unavoidable and reflects a global inflation rate of over 8%, affecting operation cost for the canal’s navigation services.