Local Assessments


The below summary of assessments are a reference for ship operators and their agents of official assessment charges that can be expected. For additional details and applicability of rates, please contact the ship agent or the organization responsible via the corresponding link.


Vessel Reporting & Communications Support Fees (Merchants Exchange Fees):

The MEX 24-hour vessel communication center serves as an information link for the entire Lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers Marine Transportation Systems (Lower MTS). MEX assists in the coordination of local authorities, vendors, subcontractors, etc., for vessel movements and compliance issues. Vessel reporting and Communications Support is required by local regulatory authorities for compliance with arrival and departure requirements.

Services and Fees  


Definition of a Trip:

Defines trip fees for each local assessments. Learn more about the Definition of Trip.


DEQ Oil Spill Prevention Fee:

State of Oregon fee levied on all commercial vessels and is used to ensure oil spill prevention and preparedness, by way of contingency plans, in the event of a spill. This is a state mandated fee by local authorities for local compliance with oil spill regulations.



DEQ Ballast Water Fee:

State of Oregon fee levied on all commercial vessels and is designed to prevent the introduction of invasive species to Oregon waterways. This is a state mandated fee by local authorities for local compliance with invasive species regulations.



Columbia River Steamship Operators Vessel and VTIS Assessments:

The CRSOA vessel assessment fees cover promotion of maritime commerce and improvement to quality of services provided to commercial ships and barges calling through the Columbia River and Oregon Coast region. It pays for legal counsel and efforts to control and minimize costs related to pilotage, federal/state pollution prevention, and ballast water and aquatic nuisance species programs. It also contributes to the USCG AIS supported navigation system and ongoing maintenance of towers/ transceivers and representation of maritime interests on Federal/State committees and public/private working groups.



River Level Service Fee:

Port of Portland fee levied on all commercial vessels and used to support the operations and maintenance of the PORTS real time river-level gauges along the Columbia River that provide accurate data to pilots, vessel and terminal operators on river levels and tidal changes. The data is also used by Northwest River Forecast Center to develop short and long term forecasts of water levels. The forecast is distributed to mariners by the Port of Portland under the name of LOADMAX forecast.




MFSA First Arrival at Member Dock Fee – Fire:

This is a vessel assessment made by the Columbia River public or private port facilities participating in the MFSA program.  This is a per port or facility tariff for maintaining navigation safety and maritime commerce and focuses on shipboard fire preparedness, including training, planning and response equipment for local land-based firefighters.



MFSA Oil Spill Contingency Fee – Oil:

This assessment is required in order to enroll for coverage in the MFSA Vessel Response Plan, a local umbrella oil spill response contingency plan for vessels transiting the Lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers.  All commercial vessels over 300 gross tons and tank vessels of any size must have a state approved contingency plan prior to entering Washington and Oregon State waters.  This coverage is mandated by state authorities for compliance with oil spill regulations.