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Turkey introduces fivefold hike in fees for passage through its straits

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The Turkish government has increased by a factor of five the transit fee it charges commercial ships to use the Bosporus and Dardanelles, in accordance with the rights granted to it by the Montreux Convention, local media reported on Monday.

The 1936 Montreux Convention, one of the founding treaties of today’s Turkish Republic that limits the access of non-littoral states’ forces to the Black Sea, allows Turkey the right to demand lighthouse, rescue and medical fees from ships passing through the Bosporus and entering and leaving the Dardanelles.

According to Turkish media reports, the fee has been set at $4.08 for each ton of net registered tonnage, five times the original charge of $0.83 and increasing the current annual revenue from $40 million to $200 million, with the new regulation expected to enter into force on Oct. 7, 2022.

In 1983 Turkey fixed 1 gold franc to $0.83 with a discounted value, waiving about 75 percent of its toll rights of that day. The tolls have been applied by multiplying the current exchange buying rate by the discounted gold franc value of $0.83 to date.

However, over time, the amount has eroded in the face of increasing inflation and the rising value of gold, causing Turkey to undercharge transits.

From now on the fees will be updated by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure each year on July 1, local media reports said.

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