The PAL was to have come into effect in January but its implementation has been held back, they said.
Ralph Anandappa, chairman of the Ceylon Association of Ships’ Agents, said the levy on bunkering services could make them uncompetitive.
"We like to see PAL being withdrawn totally on bunker supplies to foreign ships," he told a forum organised by the KPMG tax firm and the Chartered Management Institute, a body for management professionals.
"Bunkering brings about 800 million rupees a year to the country of which 750 million rupees goes to the government and the rest to other stakeholders."
Anandappa warned that the imposition of PAL on bunkers would force suppliers to increase prices as margins were thin, making them uncompetitive.
"It also has additional effects on the industry. Ships' agents will be affected. All other services in Colombo port will be affected if ships do not call for bunkers."Devika Weerasinghe, chief financial officer – transportation sector of the John Keells group, which has a subsidiary that supplies ship fuel, warned of a "huge foreign exchange loss to the country."
"Export revenue from bunker supplies is quite significant. So if ships stop bunkering, we'll lose foreign exchange," she told the forum. "If the five percent PAL is imposed it will totally take away the margins."