Philexport Opposes PSB's Move To Raise Bill Of Lading Fees The Phillippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) has opposed the recent hike in bill of lading fees imposed by international shipping lines on cargoes they bring in or out of the Phillippines without due process.T he opposition was expressed by PHILEXPORT president Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis,Jr. in a position letter sent to the Phillippine Shipper Bureau(PSB) following a recent public hearing on the hike of shipping fees. Several international shipping lines were earlier reported to have slapped a $30 increase in bill of lading fees for cargoes as early as March 1 while others began imposing the fees on April 1."We strongly opposed this increase which comes in addition to the other issues and challenges that exporters are facing now,"Ortiz-Luis told the PSB. Ortiz-Luis explained that the bill of lading is simply a proof of receipt of cargo by shipping line."This means that the cost involved is merely paper and the labor input is already a fixed cost.The proposed additional fee of US$30 is therefore much more than what a two-page document such as a bill of lading cost." For importers,this will be double jeopardy if the bill of lading is already changed at the suppliers port and then will be billed again to the account of the importer,he added.Citing the reasons advanced by COSCO,that the added cost was to fund additional servers that process the document due to increasing volume of goods it handles in China,Ortiz-Luis pointed out that this is not fair as Filipino traders are made to subsidize costs incurred by shipping line in China. As indicated in many studies and reports,shipping costs from the Phillippines are already very expensive.Thus any additional fee will further erode our competitiveness,not to mention if these fees are arbitarily imposed on us,Ortiz-Luis stressed.He appealed to the PSB to either suspend or reduce the fees sought by the international shipping lines.