A Tuvalu government ship will operate Fiji's Suva-Rotuma route after local ship-owners failed to show interest in providing the service.
But the Fiji Ship Owners Association has demanded that the maritime authorities state whether the foreign vessel will be subjected to income tax or not.
The Association's president, Leo Smith, said local shipping laws demanded that ships on domestic routes be registered first in Fiji, and asked whether the Tuvalu government had met the requirements.
The interim Minister for Transport, Manu Korovulavula, defended the decision to allow the Tuvalu operator in, saying the interim Government intended to improve the level of service to the people.
Mr Smith said the interim Government should increase freight rates, saying the current low rates contributed to the high cost of servicing routes around the country.