[HCMC, 8 June] EuroCham, in collaboration with the Vietnam Maritime Administration (Vinamarine) - Ministry of Transport organized a conference on publishing of Freights and Surcharges of Ocean Container Shipping and Seaport Charges. The conference attracted more than 150 participants from relevant businesses and shipping lines in HCMC and the South- Eastern region.
At the conference, representatives of Vinamarine introduced the contents of Decree 146/2016/ND-CP stipulating the publishing of Freights and Surcharges of Ocean Container Shipping and Seaport Charges (Decree 146); Decision No.3863/QD-BGTVT and Decision No.3946/QD-BGTVT on the pricing framework at Vietnamese seaports.
Decree 146/2016/ND-CP dated 2nd November, 2016 is effective from 1st July, 2017; Seaport enterprises, shipping companies or authorized enterprises shall publish their service charges in accordance with provisions stipulated in Decree 146 and inform the website address where freights, service charges and surcharges are published to the Vietnam Maritime Administration; and promptly submit all relevant figures and documents upon written request by the State competent authority. This was aimed to ensure the transparency of all freight rates and to avoid unreasonable charges to import-export business collected by the shipping companies, following several cases reported by enterprises. Although less than a month until implementation, many concerns of Decree still remain.
Mr. Emanuel Avermaete, Representative of EuroCham Transportation Sector Committee stated that in the future, Vietnam could become an important place in the global supply chain and Decree 146 would play a very important role. Common questions have been raised by EuroCham in shipping lines and freight forwarding business include which charges, how many times the forwarders have to list prices and how they are listed; standard forms which should be used; confidentiality in contractual agreements with clients
Emanuel Avermaete, Representative of EuroCham Transportation Sector Committee
Questions/Concerns were discussed during the conference:
- 1. Question from Representatives of the Maritime Brokerage Association: "many businesses have signed transport contracts until the end of 2017 or the end of 2018, if the contract price is lower or higher than the list price quoted from 1st July, it is considered as violation of the Decree and fine could be applied"
Answer from Mr. Trinh The Cuong, Director of Department of Shipping and Service of the Vinamarine explained for business that have contracts signed before 1st July, only need to comply with the prices that signed contracts. Businesses that sign contracts after 1st July are require to list the prices according to Decree 146.
- 2. Question: “Vietnam now has thousands of forwarders and shipping agents, whether management agencies have enough time and manpower to manage and oversee the declaration of prices and surcharges of maritime transport”
Answer: Mr. Trinh The Cuong, Director of Department of Shipping and Service of the Vinamarine
“Vinamarine has a department specializing in information technology to handle and monitor the listing of prices and surcharges of enterprises. When there are more companies listing and reporting, Vinamarine will split into port groups for each region, so businesses can easily access and track.”
- 3. Question: Compliance and consequences in case the companies do not list their charges.
Answer: Mr. Bui Thien Thu, Deputy Director General of Vinamarine
“The violating enterprises will be sanctioned in accordance with the Price Law No. 11/2012/QH13 and other regulations. When the breach is detected, the information can be sent to Vinamarine and willed be transferred to functional agencies for inspection and sanctioning.
Mr. Bang from Vinamarine reinfored that Vinamarine is ready to answer questions from businesses. Any issue beyond the authority of Vinamarine will be reported to higher level authorities for consideration and resolution.
Representatives of the EuroCham Transport and Logistics Sector Committee expressed their willingness to cooperate with authorities to ensure the smooth transition of the Decree 146 implementation. Particularly, EuroCham is looking forward to the decision guiding implementation of Decree 146 which will be issued shortly as informed by Vinamarine at the Conference.