Vietnamese companies want clear transport fees.(Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Enterprises appreciated the Ministry of Transport’s work to build a decree to regulate charges of marine transport and port services, said an official from an export association.

Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), expressed the support as he talked to Hai quan, an online newspaper of Vietnam Customs.

Hoe said the decree is necessary to boost transparency in seaway transport. It will make it easier for importers and exporters to select shipping companies with quality services, and better control their production and business activities.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong told a meeting at the ministry’s headquarters last month that charges and surcharges related to marine transport and port services were a “hot” issue, which interested many enterprises.

Importers and exporters said that shipping firms were accelerating the imposition of surcharges to compensate their costs, as transporters had to cut freights to stay competitive in the face of harsh competition.

Shipping companies were setting different levels of surcharges at their discretion without proper notifications to good owners, and this caused complaints from importers and exporters.

Pham Kieu Oanh, Deputy General Director of HCM City-based garment firm Nha Be, told Hai quan that container elevation fees have risen by three to five percent at many ports since January 1, 2016. None of the ports gave clear explanations about the increase, she said.

Hoe of VASEP said Vietnamese enterprises usually ink import contracts with the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) condition, and export contracts with the FOB (free on board) condition. Foreign partners are mainly responsible for shipping phases.

Although CIF and FOB are international shipping routines, Vietnamese firms don’t have clear knowledge of shipping surcharges nor can they negotiate the surcharges.

Deputy Minister Cong said as these issues impact on production and business activities of domestic enterprises, and that this matter has been mentioned in the revised Maritime Code 2015, the decree should be issued soon.

According to Hai quan, a draft decree is already available and stipulates the responsibility and contents for marine transport and port companies to publicise their charges and surcharges on their websites, as well as the Vietnam Maritime Administration’s.

Hoe suggested that the decree should also stipulate sanctions for violators of the regulations.-VNA