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Latino Daily News

Thursday June 9, 2011

President Chavez Raises Tariffs at Venezuela Ports

President Chavez Raises Tariffs at Venezuela Ports

Photo: Puerto Cabello in Venezuela where tariffs are rising as much as 250 percent

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

According to an official statement form the government, on June 24, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will increase the country’s port tariffs. Tariffs at certain ports will rise as much as 250 percent.

A recent statement from the Puerto Cabello Chamber of Commerce warned that that the increase will “continue the inflationary spiral” in the country, which will only make worse the devaluation of Venezuela’s currency.

According to Bloomberg, the chamber estimated that port charges at Puerto Cabello will rise by an average of 250%.

In 2009, Venezuela nationalized its ports with facilities now administered by a government-run agency. Bloomberg added that that the government announcement stated that services would now be administered at a single rate.

The fee rise is taking place during a period when importers remain constrained by a lack of access to dollars. The Chavez administration has limited the ability of importers to exchange bolivars for dollars, restricting their ability to pay for inbound cargoes.

It is estimated that Venezuela imports roughly 70% of its goods, with oil being its dominant export, requiring box carriers to manage high levels of empties.

Bloomberg wrote:

The cost for a ship to land and dock for 12 hours with a cargo weighing up to 6,300 tons rose 365 percent, to $1,485, according to the chamber’s calculations, based on prices published in the Gazette. The cost of storing a 40-foot empty container in a dock rose 333 percent, to $20 from $6, according to the chamber’s calculations.