|A high-speed vessel carries passengers to Quang Ngai Province's Ly Son Island. Sea transport and port fees are expected to be published in the Ministry of Transport's proposal to avoid over-charging.— VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Long
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport has asked the Prime Minister to arrange for a list of sea transport fees and port charges to be published to stop ship owners from over-charging.
Deputy minister Nguyen Van Cong on Tuesday said shipping firms relied on a lack of printed information to fleece goods owners.
Publicity on official sea freight fees and port charges is expected to help rectify the situation.
The move would also create a base to punish violators, Cong said.
According to Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association, it spends about $110 million or one per cent of its import-export value a year on extra shipping fees. The fees sometime rise by 20 per cent a year, affecting revenue - and even survival.
Transport Ministry reports show that Viet Nam has 32 container ships that operate mostly on inland waterways and routes within Southeast Asia.
About 40 foreign sea transport firms also operate in Viet Nam, carrying up to 88 per cent of goods exported/ imported to Viet Nam.
Trinh The Cuong, head of the Maritime Transportation and Services Division under the ministry's Viet Nam Maritime Department, said that ports usually imposed container service charges (CSC) of US$35-46 for a 20-foot container and $45-68 for a 40-feed containers.
The CSC are additional costs on top of sea freight charged by shipping companies for the handling of containers at container terminals before being loaded onboard a vessel.
However, when shipping companies billed their customers, they usually charged $90-$110 in container service charges per 20-foot container and $120-$145 per 40-foot container, Cuong said.
The shipping companies said the overcharge for other container-relating fees besides loading fee that they paid to port manager.
Most shipping firms agreed that sea transport fees and port service charges needed to be more transparent.
A representative from APL, a container shipping company, said early this month in HCM City that publicising transport fee and port service charges would provide goods owners with official information to select shippers. — VNS