Opponents of a fee charged by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on cargo moving through the port are halfway toward their goal of having it eliminated.
On Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law (S2747/A4170) that would eliminate the Port of New York & New Jersey cargo facility fee. The legislation received unanimous support in both houses of the New Jersey legislature.
But the New Jersey law will not go into effect unless New York
State enacts similar legislation. New York State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer introduced a similar bill,
S6156, on Jan. 8. The bill resides with the Senate
The Port Authority fee, implemented in 2011, charges a cargo facility charge on all containers, including empties. The fee charged is $4.95 for 20-foot containers, $9.90 for 40-containers, and $1.11 per unit for vehicle cargo.
When the port authority created the fee
it said it would help pay for port improvements such as its on-dock ExpressRail facility, improvements to port roadways, and security operations.
The fee has been opposed by carriers such as Maersk Line, which says it costs it $3.5 million on an annual basis.
"This legislation goes a long way in ensuring that the Port of New York & New Jersey remains competitive with ports across the country," said Doug Morgante, Maersk Line’s director of state government relations. "We are grateful that Gov. Christie recognized how critical removing this onerous fee is to the vitality of the maritime industry."
Richard M. Larrabee, director of the Port Commerce department, said last year that the fee generates about $30 million per year