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NMa sets 2011 pilotage tariffs: increase of 6.6 per cent

Pilotage tariffs in the Netherlands are allowed to increase by 6.6 per cent, according to the tariff decision that the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) published today. For 2011, the NMa has set higher pilotage tariffs than the Dutch Pilots' Corporation (NLc) proposed in July 2010, which put forward an increase of 4.3 per cent. In early December, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) ruled on the pilotage tariffs of 2009 and 2010. According to the CBb, the NMa did not correctly apply the method for indexing the work compensation, which has resulted in the pilots receiving EUR 5 million less in previous years than they would have if the method had been correctly applied.

Member of the Board Jaap de Keijzer, responsible for the Office of Transport Regulation, reacts: 'Because the CBb rulings on the 2010 pilotage tariffs and the setting of the 2011 tariffs followed each other so quickly, the NMa was left with few choices but to go along with NLc's tariff proposal. There was simply not enough time for further investigation.'

Calculation of the tariff increase
For determining the tariff adjustment for 2011, the NMa used NLc's proposal of 4.3 per cent, and added an additional 2.3 per cent. The total increase is thus 6.6 per cent. The additional 2.3 per cent is composed out of the following components: correction of work compensation 2009 (1.6 per cent) + correction of work compensation 2010 (2.0 per cent) – reduced number of projected pilotage trips in 2011 (-/- 1.4 per cent) + 0.1 per cent rounding up. This means that the total correction for the too low tariffs over 2009 and 2010 has been 3.6 per cent (1.6 per cent for 2009 + 2.0 per cent for 2010).

CBb rulings of December 6, 2010
The CBb reversed the 2010 tariff decision. This means that the NMa must issue a new decision for 2010, which it is expected to do in the first half of 2011. The CBb agrees with the NMa that the item of 'availability hours' cannot be considered a fixed residual item. However, in the revised decision, the NMa and the pilots need to jointly explain what amount the number of availability hours should be in order to be able to continue to provide the desired level of quality. Finally, the NMa should further analyze the item 'overhead.'

The powers of the NMa
The NMa annually sets the pilotage tariffs, in accordance with the 2008 Registered Pilots Oversight Act. NLc submits a tariff proposal halfway through the year, which the NMa then assesses. The NMa can deviate from the proposal if it believes that NLc's proposal would insufficiently help in achieving the most efficient production process, productivity levels, and pilotage service quality levels.

Objections and appeals can be filed against the NMa's tariff decision.