State harbor user fee going up, what does that mean for consumers?

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The state says the scheduled 3% tariff increase or “user fee” for activities such as port entry and vessel dockage goes into effect on July 1.

This was deferred for one year to support COVID economic recovery efforts.

Matson explains that the state’s annual increases are small and are passed on to shipping customers, who are primarily commercial businesses. A spokesman says the company also has had no significant delays and remain very busy and running on schedule.

KHON2 asked D. Otani Produce how this impacts the consumer.

“It will impact the consumer unfortunately as our cost go up, our operations,” said Kimo Muraki of D. Otani Produce. “It has to be passed on to the consumer. But here at Otani, we try to find ways of buying and purchasing better to eliminate and minimize the cost that is passed on to us.”

D. Otani distributes produce to many restaurants and hotels. Muraki also explains they’ve seen a fuel charge increase as well.

“That happened earlier this year and it happened again last month. So as fuel goes up as we all experience at the gas station, we consumers also feel the affect from a lot of stuff that’s either shipped back and forth neighbor island and U.S. Mainland,” said Muraki.

According to officials, state harbors are funded through these user fees. This will help to operate, maintain, and improve the infrastructure needed for shipments.

Young Brothers, LLC sent us this statement:
“We recently wrote to customers to ensure they were aware of the upcoming changes in fees we collect on behalf of the Hawai’i Department of Transportation, and our customer service team is available to answer any questions they may have.”

In regards to running on schedule, the state says there have been no delays to vessels arriving to Hawaii commercial harbors.

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