Leisure Boat mooring fee increase for 2024 – A Summary

Guernsey Ports has confirmed to us that they will be definitely proceeding with their 2024 mooring charges proposals and seeking approval from the States meetings either this month on 22nd. Nov or next month on 13th.Dec.

They have also stated at our recent AGM that they have yet to complete collecting their cost data and do not know the total running costs of the Ports so any future rises in fees for 2025 and 2026 have not been formalised. However, due to the decision by the States Trading & Supervisory Board ((STSB) at the end of October that the increases over and above RPI (7.3%) of 12%-20% will be coming into force from the 1st.April, 2024.

The new charges are included in their overall budget forecasts for 2024 to cover all their trading depts., including Guernsey Ports.

This is despite our all our protests and responses to the 2 surveys and so-called consultation letter two months ago.

STSB say they will review any effects of these increases during 2024 but sadly for any boat owner who has been forced to give up their mooring during this period due to these increases, this will come too late and their main pastime will have been destroyed and possibly their sense of well-being too.

Those who are struggling with meeting these extreme price rises will undoubtedly cut back on their maintenance of their vessels and potentially be an increased risk to the emergency services whilst at sea.

The knock-on effect on the Marine Trade and the subsequent loss of income for the dozens of marine traders involved will also be devastating. This includes the fuel suppliers and other ancilliary marine suppliers.

A perfectly healthy local industry which is currently booming will contract instead of expanding.

And this action by STSB will result in lost revenue to fund any repairs at the harbours and to fund the Airport losses.

So, as a last resort to halt their proposals after receiving informed legal advice, it is our intention to submit an appeal to the Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority ( GCRA) seeking their investigation into our submission that Guernsey Ports would be conducting an abuse of its dominant market position if it were to increase  its mooring charges in accordance with its proposals. Such an excessively large increase should be a breach of Guernsey Competition Law and be prohibited.

At our Annual General Meeting of the Guernsey Boat Owners Association last night, it was unanimously agreed by all of the GBA members present that we should proceed with our appeal to the GCRA immediately.

Nick Guillemette.  ( President of the Guernsey Boat Owners Association).