Stena Line has revealed that it received a $2.7m rates bill for its HSS fast-ferry berth at Harwich International Port.
Stena Line has revealed that it received a £1.8m ($2.7m) rates bill for its HSS fast-ferry berth at Harwich International Port, 21 months after the loss-making Harwich-Hook HSS service was closed.
Stena company secretary Les Stracey said: ?We received the bill for the HSS linkspan in October this year, but the HSS ceased to operate in January 2007.?
The bill has since been reduced to take into account the service"s closure, but Stena is still facing a charge of £700,000 for the backdated element, for the period between April 2005 and January 2007.
?Of course, there is no way to recover the costs of this bill from our customers and it was a loss-making service anyway,? said Mr Stracey.
Stena has not received a rates bill for the Harwich berths used by its ro-pax ferries Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica because these are considered common user facilities. ?But the Valuation Office Agency did not use a consistent approach,? said Mr Stracey. ?We believe the only way the VOA gathered its information about the HSS was because it saw a photograph.?
Meanwhile, Stena has been hit with rates increases and backdated bills for its port operations at Fishguard, Fleetwood and Holyhead, he said. ?Our increase in rates liability as a port authority has been 200%.?