LABUAN: The Labuan port operator (Labuan Liberty Wharf), Labuan Port Management Sdn Bhd (LLPM) has agreed to absorb the RM500 surcharge on each 20-footer container for sugar shipment to Labuan to help avoid sugar shortage supply in the duty-free-island here.
A customer advisory on the Labuan Emergency Congestion Surcharge (revision) was issued on Oct 8 by shipping companies to inform the revised surcharge on laden containers (20’ and 40’) of RM500 and RM1, 000 respectively for shipment to and from Labuan port.
Labuan Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) director Arun Fazhillah Hamdan said the initiative would greatly help maintain the sugar supply here for the consumer and traders.
“The decision on the absorption was made during a meeting on Friday with port users and the port operator, which is merely in interest of the island’s economic activities,” he said recently.
“In actual fact, there is no necessary for the LLPM to absorb the surcharge, but it was a commendable initiative taken by the port operator and that is for both the interest of the people and business community,” he said.
He stressed there was a possibility of sugar crisis here if the importers decide not to bring in sugar due to the estimated loss of RM0.02 per kilogramme should the surcharge on each container remain unattended.
Arun said the ministry would not worried on the shortage of other essential items such as cooking oil, as the controlled item come from mainland Sabah through roll on-roll off ferries (ro-ro), while the flour directly from Labuan-based Sabah Flour and Feed Mills factory.
He said operations to check on the indiscriminate increase in goods prices had been conducted on Friday and would continue until the surcharge is lifted.
Arun said the traders must justify with calculation on any increase in their goods within 14 days, following to the surcharge or they would pay have to pay the price.
“Any traders found to increase the price of goods indiscriminately will be charged under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act,” he reminded.
He also reminded traders including supermarkets and hypermarkets not to simply increase goods prices as not all essential items through the Labuan Liberty Wharf but from the ro-ro ferries.