The Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) slapped the Limassol port’s container terminal operator, Eurogate, with a €40,000 fine over the prolonged delays earlier in the year that had caused massive problems to import companies and professionals using the port’s services, it was announced on Tuesday.
Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC radio, director general of the CPA Anthi Cleridou said the authority can impose up to €40,000 in administrative fines in cases it finds that there has been a violation of the legislation, or rules. The CPA can impose a €40,000 fine per violation, she said.
She added that the decision to impose a fine on Eurogate came after she did not receive satisfying answers from the company as to the measures it was planning on taking to tackle the delays in the delivery and pick up of containers.
“I had sent a letter to Eurogate on February 16 and I had told them that normalcy had to be immediately restored at the port and had asked them to give specific measures they were aiming at taking,” Cleridou said.
She added that she had also asked for a detailed report on the company’s daily operations from January 29 when it took over the container terminal until that day.
“The company put forth a number of claims that I found as non-satisfactory,” Cleridou sad. She added that the numerous complaints the CPA received from port users and the serious problems caused by the delays contributed to the decision to impose the fine.
Cleridou said even though she had detected more than one violation, she only imposed €40,000 because the company had since picked up the pace.
Eurogate, she said, may appeal the decision to the CPA board within 30 days.
Last month President Nicos Anastasiades intervened to help resolve a two-week crisis that brought the container terminal to a standstill after lorry drivers refused to pick up or deliver any containers at the port citing the delays.
Operations at the port have since returned to normal.