17 Jan 2008

Fiji ports hurt as FIRCA blocks water exports

2:11 pm on 17 January 2008

The chairman of Fiji's government-owned Ports Corporation Limited has appealed to the interim government to allow the export of container loads of Fiji Water to resume quickly.

The US-owned company exporting Fiji Water has been stopped from doing so by the Fiji Islands Customs and Revenue Authority or FIRCA for seven weeks now.

Fiji Water has been exported from Lautoka and Suva, with more shipments due next week.

Semi Koroilavesau says the flow-on effect of the standoff has an impact on the port business, too.

"It's just that we're not feeling the income that's normally generated through the export of Fiji Water - in terms of port deals, wharfage fees, the use or utililsation of our equipment to load and unload water because ships are unable to load it due to the difficulties that's between FIRCA and Fiji Water."

The chairman of Fiji Ports Corporation Limited, Semi Koroilavesau