In a Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) review of the costs of maintaining aids to navigation, it has been suggested that charges could be levied on pleasure craft
In a Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) review of the costs of maintaining aids to navigation, it has been suggested that charges could be levied on pleasure craft.
So-called “light dues” are currently only paid by commercial shipping, fishing boats and pleasure craft of more than 20 tons, although the later tends not to be enforced in practice. It is also inferred that whilst it is commercial shipping that pays for navigation aids, including lighthouses, light vessels, buoys, beacons and racons, which costs around £73 million per annum to provide and maintain, the benefit is largely derived by the two to three million pleasure craft as, “commercial vessels are better-equipped and make no use of traditional aids.
However, it is noted that there is no compulsory registration of pleasure craft in either the UK or the Republic of Ireland to provide a basis for charging, that the number of pleasure boats is at best, vague, and that compulsory registration would not be cost-effective to enforce. ‘Unfortunately’, without compulsory registration, there is little scope for employing a system for charging pleasure craft for the use of navigation aids. And, as the review acknowledges, “any scheme that was not rigorously enforced would quickly fall into disrepute”.
One would hope that whoever dreamed-up such an unreasonable concept of charging boat-owners for the privilege of using nav-aids has realised that his bright idea doesn’t hold water.
To see the full review, visit http://www.shipping.dtlr.gov.uk/consult/light/index.htm