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Vatnajökull National Park's new tariff - area-fees to be collected at Jökulsárlón

At its meeting on November 28, 2022, the board of Vatnajökull National Park adopted proposals for fees and tariffs in 2023.

3. March 2023

At its meeting on November 28, 2022, the board of Vatnajökull National Park adopted proposals for fees and tariffs in 2023. The Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate has now issued a regulation based on these proposals.

The regulation revises fees in line with general price changes from the last tariff that took effect in mid-2021. The system of fees at the national park's campsites is also changed from being based on the number of overnight guests to a fee for camping units (tents, camper-vans et c.) where up to six people can stay. The amounts of these camping fees are stated in the regulations.

Article 7 in the regulation deals with area-fees, which are collected in designated areas within Vatnajökull National Park. These are fees "for services provided and access to the area to cover the costs of services and supervision of visitors to the resort" as stated in Article 21 of Act no. 60/2007, on Vatnajökull National Park. In legal terms these are actual service fees of the public sector collected under the basic principles that apply to the situation where a public body requests a payment from individuals.

The reason for charging of fees is that those who use the services in the national park are by law expected to participate, to a certain degree, in the costs associated with nature conservation and the operation of a service area.

Since the fall of 2017, area-fees have been collected in Skaftafell. Services that visitors get access to by paying the area-fee include parking sites, a visitor's center, toilets, education and guidance from rangers, access to hiking trails and participation in interpretation hikes guided by rangers when they are on the agenda. The cost items behind the regional fee therefore include the following elements: Regional management, cleaning of toilets and the environment, disposal of waste, disposal of septic tanks and related costs, maintenance of toilet facilities, rental of toilet facilities, improvements to facilities and accessibility in the local environment, maintenance of paths, signs etc., markings and maintenance of parking lots, changes to roadways and access routes and administrative costs.

The area-fee is imposed when a vehicle arrives at the gate of a parking lot and the amount depends on the size of the vehicle. Is it done on the basis that there is a correlation between the possible number of passengers and the size of the vehicle concerned, which reflects a share in the service on which the charge is based. The regional fee is valid for a maximum of 24 hours (from 00:00 - 24:00).

The new regulation states that the collection of the area-fee will begin on June 1 2023at the entrance to the service area at Jökulsárlón in Breiðamerkursandur.

Service area in Skaftafell - In the year 2023, the area fee will continue to be collected as it has been, but the amount of the fee will increase from what was decided for the year 2021, i.e. from ISK 750 for 1,000 ISK (for a passenger car of five persons or less). The increase in Skaftafell takes effect on March 30, 2023.

Service area at Jökulsárlón in Breiðamerkursandur - Surcharge 1,000 ISK. area-fee. (for a passenger car of five people and less) will start at Breiðamerkursandur on June 1, 2023.

See the text of the regulation (in Icelandic) for more detail in terms of amounts and classification of vehicles. The regulation is available here.

Special attention is drawn to the regulation's provision that a 50% discount is given on the area fee if another fee-based service area of Vatnajökull National Park has previously been visited within 24 hours and the full fee has been paid there. Camping fees are not included in the regional fee.

Please contact [email protected] for further information about the arrangement of regional fees and the changes contained in the new regulation.