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Tue 30 Apr 2013 07:53 PM

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Egypt to raise fees for ships passing through Suez Canal

Strategic waterway currently delivers around $5 billion a year to the Egyptian economy

Egypt to raise fees for ships passing through Suez Canal
(Picture for illustrative purposes only)

Egypt will raise the fees paid by ships passing through the Suez Canal on Wednesday in an effort to boost revenue as the economy struggles to head off a currency crisis.

The strategic waterway is one of the main sources of foreign currency, bringing around $5 billion a year at a time when the country faces political unrest and economic turmoil.

The new toll fees will start after midnight on Tuesday, an official from the Suez Canal Authority said. They will rise 5 percent on oil tankers and petrochemical products and 2 percent for container ships and car carriers.

Last year, tolls were raised by 3 percent for all ships passing through the canal.

The 192-km (120 mile) canal is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe, saving an estimated 15 days of journey time on average.