In 2015, similar complaints were presented to INTERCARGO and other shipping associations. At that time, it was reported that companies with ships on innocent passage close to the Province of Zambales in the Philippines had received invoices for an environmental charge. The ships concerned had made no port call in the region. With assistance of the Filipino Shipowners’ Association, the issue was brought to the attention of Congressman Manalo. The point was made that UNCLOS Art 26.1 makes it clear that no charge can be levied on foreign ships by reason of their passage through territorial seas and that therefore the action was viewed as a contravention of international law. Congressman Manalo supported the view expressed by shipping and added the matter to the Congressional agenda where a debate took place resulting in the Philippines congress agreeing that the charges should not be applied. Shipowners were advised not to pay the invoices as the matter was being addressed.
Development since Feb 2017:
INTERCARGO members received invoices since Feb 2017 from the Province of Zambales, the Philippines, charging their vessels at USD0.0179 per GT for Provincial Coast Watch Environmental Monitoring System User fee in the province of Zambales, Philippines for their managed vessels’ passing the territorial waters.
INTERCARGO advises members to not pay the invoices.
Complaint processes in progress: