Grain farmers and other stakeholders are being asked for their opinions on a proposed reduction in fees.
Announced late April, the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) released a proposal to lower the fees charged for official services such as grain inspection and weighing and now it is hoping to get comments on the issue.
The proposal, if approved, would take effect this August and see inspection fees for ships drop by 35 cents per tonne to $1.35 and the fee for rail cars, trucks and other containers reduced to $121.12 per container, which is about $32 less. The fee for weighing ships will fall to seven cents from 16, while for containers the fee would be cut nearly by half to $8.11, down from $14.78.
As well, the CGC is looking at elimination of two supplementary fees that involve overtime on grain inspections.
The fee reductions amount to a 15 per cent decrease — slightly less than $10 million — in the revenue collected through user fees during the 2017-18 fiscal year. The CGC stated the reduction will better control any surplus in the revolving fund while better aligning revenue with the cost to operate the official inspection and weighing services.
“Any monies that might contribute to the surplus under the status quo would appropriately remain with the grain sector. The CGC does not anticipate any additional costs or a consequential effect on its operating budget as a result of this regulatory proposal,” explained Patti Miller, CGC chief commissioner in a release.
The release went on to further state that while grain handling companies — which are the biggest users of the CGC services — will benefit the most from the cost reductions, farmers should also stand to gain with high net delivery prices due to passing along of cost savings by the grain handlers.
The CGC believes the balance in the revolving fund is more than adequate in order to adjust for any future grain volume and services demand fluctuations with no risk to its fiscal operating framework.
The new fee schedule, if approved, is still subject to the CGC’s five-year user fee review cycle that comes due in 2018-19. However, the fees as amended would continue to apply unless they are changed as part of that review.
All stakeholders have until May 22 to provide their comment on the proposed fee structure. For more information on the proposal or to provide comment, head to www.grainscanada.gc.ca and follow the links.