Egypt raises Suez Canal transit tolls

Egyptian women sit under an umbrella on a beach while a shipping container moves through the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt.
Egyptian women sit under an umbrella on a beach while a shipping container moves through the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt.PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's Suez Canal Authority said on Thursday (Nov 4) it will hike transit tolls on the key waterway by 6 per cent, after netting record revenues last tax year even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The new fees will come into place from February 2022, but tourist vessels and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers will be exempted, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie said in a statement.

In July, authorities said the canal had netted record revenues of US$5.4 billion (S$7.3 billion) in the previous tax year, despite the coronavirus pandemic's impact on world trade, plus a six-day blockage by a giant cargo ship.

Straddling the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal accounts for roughly 10 percent of global maritime trade, and is a source of much-needed foreign currency for Egypt.

Nearly 17,000 boats have crossed the Suez Canal so far this year, according to the authority.