Government announces no change to light dues levels

There will be no increase this year in light dues paid by merchant ships and fishing vessels, Shipping Minister Jim Fitzpatrick announced today. The tonnage threshold of 35,000 tons will also remain the same

Light dues are a system of user charges levied on all commercial shipping vessels which call at UK and Republic of Ireland ports. In the UK, the provision and maintenance of aids to navigation - such as lighthouses, buoys and beacons - fall to the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs), namely Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Their costs are funded solely from the collection of light dues.

Commenting on the charges, the Shipping Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"I am pleased that light dues rates and the tonnage threshold will remain the same for 2008/09. In 2006, rates were cut by 10%, and were held down at that level in 2007 and will be held again at 2006 levels in 2008.

We shall continue to work closely with the General Lighthouse Authorities to streamline and improve services further to reduce costs where we can, while maintaining prudent funding to meet their liabilities and high standards of safety".

He added

"I also welcome the publication of the Irish Lights Evidence Study today. The Study sets out evidence on the funding of the provision of aids to navigation in the Republic of Ireland. It will provide the basis for negotiations between the UK and Irish Governments to find a long term funding solution for the Commissioners of Irish Lights".