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Ecuador: Yilport Holding imposes a tariff of $0.28 per box of exportable banana
One month after its operations began, Turkish concessionaire, Yilport Holding, imposed a 28 cents fee on each box of exportable fruit in the port of Bolivar for the direct transfer of bananas from the trucks to the vessels. Since then, the exporting firms, guilds, and banana producers have expressed their disagreement to the increase.
According to a publication of El Universo, Rafael Sapiña, manager of the concessionaire Yilport Holding, said that "before (the concession) there were no tariffs, in fact, they aren't published or approved. The State absorbed the costs through the Port Authority. In the concession model, this is no longer a cost for Ecuadorians."
Sapiña also said that the project contemplated the revenues from these rates as a vital part for an efficient and fluid fulfillment of the obligations in the Delegated Management Contract and that they had the obligation to comply with everything stipulated in said contract.
Therefore, the company gave a deadline (which has already passed) so that all those who owed money to Yilport paid what they owed, "otherwise, the company will not attend to any future shipments for these companies," said Sapiña through a statement.
The general manager of the Port Authority of Puerto Bolívar, Vicente Guzman, said that the exporting companies that ship bananas from Puerto Bolivar filed complaints challenging the bills issued by Yilport from March 1 to date.
In addition, as a response to Yilport's warning, the Port Authority of Puerto Bolivar said that "it was against the Principle of Continuity established in Article 314 of the current Constitution. Until Yilport doesn't answer the complaints filed by the exporters, shipments will continue, without any type of action preventing them," they stated.
On April 4, the Assembly of El Oro, which brings together the sectors involved in banana exports, was formed to reverse the decision taken by Yilport and to request a review of the Port Authority concession. The Assembly is led by Mayor Carlos Falquez Aguilar, who said they were working on an action to freeze the tariffs.
Falquez also said that "if the incoming Government is not aware of what is happening in this province we're going to strike. All of us that are part of the banana activity would strike."
Eduardo Ledesma, the president of the Association of Banana Exporters (AEBE), expressed another concern: "In the year 2020, the Port of Bolivar will be used to transport contaminating minerals, at that time international buyers won't buy our bananas."
In this regard, the Assembly of El Oro, said that once the port is used to load minerals, the contamination will affect employees and the fruit.
Rafael Sapiña, however, said that mining was not part of their project, and that they had never spoke about a mining port. However, he added, "if the mining sector comes looking for us, we'll look for ways to work with them to export their products through this area."
Publication date: 4/19/2017
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