CHARITY bosses at Liverpool Seafarers Centre, based in Crosby, want to boost their income by introducing a tariff on vessels entering Liverpool's ports.
At the moment, ships coming to the UK can pay a port levy to support services such as Liverpool Seafarers Centre, but it's voluntary.
Liverpool Seafarers Centre CEO John Wilson wants ships to be legally bound to pay a tariff that would be given to his charity and others.
He said: “The Port of Liverpool, as too are other ports, supportive of a voluntary levy - but leave them to seafarers centres to administer. If a levy was mandatory, they would collect the money on our behalf - this makes perfect sense as ports have the technology and systems in place and are invoicing the vessels already.
“The absolute maximum charge is £50, based on a vessel which costs upwards of £100,000 to bring into port. At a rough calculation, such a tariff - a single line added on to the charges paid by a vessel’s owner - would raise about £100,000 per annum, which would be a massive boost to the frontline services we can provide.
“With additional staff members funded as a direct result of the levy, we can spend more time with seafarers on board vessels, enhance our facility in Crosby and the one at Eastham on Wirral. The idea is to have a facility in every port - even if it's just a container with a comfortable seating area and Wi-Fi.
“Passing tariffs into law would support seafarers centres in Liverpool, Belfast, Tees area, Southampton – every port around the UK - in a uniform manner, rather than the ad-hoc situation we currently find ourselves in.”