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Egypt seeks new Suez Canal payments from shipping lines

Staff Writer | October 26, 2016
Egypt is in talks with global shipping firms to change the way it charges vessels to pass through the Suez Canal.
Suez Canal
Shipping   Egypt is offering discounts for advance payments
Egypt is offering discounts for advance payments as it seeks to raise much-needed hard currency from a struggling industry.

Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, which runs the world's biggest container shipping line, said on Tuesday it was considering proposals from the Suez Canal Authority for a new toll system.

"They have proposed a new payment method and presented it to us, and we are looking at it now," a spokesman for its Maersk Line shipping arm said, confirming a newspaper report and that advance payments were under discussion.

The Suez Canal is one of the main sources of foreign currency for a country that has struggled to overcome a crippling dollar shortage since an uprising in 2011 caused an exodus of foreign investors and tourists.

Egypt aims to double its revenue from the Canal by 2023 with the construction of an extension to the waterway that was completed this year.

Canal Authority Chairman Mohab Mamish was quoted as telling the Wall Street Journal it was now looking to levy charges three or five years in advance in exchange for a 3 percent discount.