The Union government has revised the marine aids to navigation dues levied on ships arriving at or departing from an Indian port, resulting in an effective 9% increase in rates despite the application of an 18% goods and services tax (GST).
As per the announcement of 28 July gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways, the dues will be collected on foreign going ships of twenty-foot, equivalent unit at Rs 85 and foreign going ships other than a container vessel will be Rs. 7.50 per net registered tonnage. At these rates, 18% GST will be collected and the new tariff will be effective from Aug 28, 2022.
GST has not been collected on the lighthouse fees since its implementation in 2017, even though it is taken as a service to the marine industry and GST should have been applied. It is understood that the Central Advisory Committee which advises revision in marine aids to navigation dues felt that adding 18%GST would be a burden on the shipping sector, hence the Union Govt. decided to reduce the existing rates and add the 18% GST. This will reduce the net impact of the tax component. With this decision, the Union Govt. bears half and the other half of the GST is added to the fee.
Erstwhile known as the light housed dues, this is the first revision on the marine aids to navigation dues. At present, the light-house dues on foreign destined vessels is Rs 92 per twenty-foot equivalent unit container vessel and Rs. 8 per tonne on ships other than container vessels.
The parliament of India has repealed the Lighthouse Act in the wake of technological and other changes in the shipping industry. Now the same law is known as Marine aids to navigation dues. The new law was passed to apply rules and procedures for collecting GST.
Now this new terminology Marine aids to Navigation dues will cover many services such as satellite-based communication services, automatic identification services, differential global navigation satellite services and much more