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Press release from CNW Group

Government of Canada Approves Duty Removal for Ships

Friday, October 01, 2010

Government of Canada Approves Duty Removal for Ships15:44 EDT Friday, October 01, 2010Shipping industry poised to renew the Canadian fleetOTTAWA, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada's decision today to end the long standing 25 per cent import duty on certain types of vessel signals a new era in the development of the Canadian marine transportation industry."The Canadian shipping fleet is aging, and as we approached the need for vessel replacement, it was clear that the 25% duty had become a huge impediment to fleet renewal" said Bruce Bowie, President and CEO of the Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA). "With the elimination of this duty, the industry will be in a better position to renew the fleet, to increase efficiency and bring more environmental benefits to the transportation sector faster. New vessels will improve the Canadian industry's environmental performance and reduce the environmental footprint of what is already the most ecologically-sound transportation mode."The removal of duty on ships imported into Canada for use in Canada's coasting trade is an important measure to help maintain the competitiveness of Canadian industry, particularly in Canada's industrial heartland along the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence marine highway. Duty removal will encourage new marine transportation initiatives in Canada to take advantage of the underutilized marine highway and relieve congestion currently experienced on ground-based modes of transport.New vessels will provide important gains in efficiency thus ensuring that those Canadian manufacturers and resource producers that rely on marine transportation are competitive both within Canada and around the world. New vessels will also ensure the continued employment of thousands of Canadians who work onboard vessels and onshore to support the Canadian domestic fleet."The Canadian Shipowners Association had long advocated the need to eliminate duty in order to remove the disincentive to invest in fleet renewal," said Wayne Smith, Chairman of the CSA's Board. "We whole-heartedly supported the Government's October 2009 proposal to waive the payment of customs duties on future imports of new vessels required by its members. We congratulate the Government on making this vision a reality. We are confident that this will pave the way for much needed fleet renewal to take advantage of the tremendous shipping opportunities presented by Canada's marine infrastructure."About the Canadian Shipowners AssociationThe Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) represents the interests of the Canadian companies that own and operate Canadian-flagged commercial marine vessels. Member companies include: Algoma Central Corporation; Canada Steamship Lines; Groupe Desgagnés Inc.; Seaway Marine Transport; Upper Lakes Group Inc.; and McAsphalt Marine Transportation Ltd. The Association promotes an economic, competitive and environmentally sustainable marine transportation industry.For further information: Bruce Bowie, President, Canadian Shipowners Association, Tel.: 613 232-3539