Department of Agriculture proposes $2 fee for cruise passengers

By Tom Stieghorst
Cruise passengers for the first time would pay a $2 fee to cover the costs of agricultural inspection and quarantine services under a proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The $20 million cost of providing services to arriving international cruise ship passengers is currently covered by fees assessed to commercial cargo vessels, according to a summary of the proposal.

At the same time, the proposal would cut the inspection and quarantine fee for international air passengers from $5 to $4.

The changes are being proposed because the cost of running the program is exceeding the fees collected, according to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Interested parties have until June 24 to comment on the proposal.
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