HA NOI — The Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has asked the ministries of Finance and Agriculture and Rural Development to reconsider the quarantine fee levels applied on imported seafood batches in order to help companies reduce costs and increase competitiveness.
Many seafood companies are saying that the quarantine fees stipulated in a new Ministry of Finance's circular, effective starting this month, have increased too much from the levels regulated in the ministry's previous circular, which was issued in late 2010.
Under the old circular, seafood bore a general fee of VND285,000 (US$13.7) per batch regardless of size, number of containers, or weight.
In the new document, quarantine fees are VND200,000 ($9.6) for a batch weighing below 12 tonnes and VND400,000 ($19.2) for a batch weighing 12-24 tonnes.
With this regulation, fees multiply in direct proportion to weight, said the association.
Specifically, the fee would be VND400,000 for a container weighing 24 tonnes, VND800,000 ($38.4) for two containers weighing a combined 48 tonnes, and VND1,200,000 ($57.6) for three containers weighing a total of 72 tonnes.
Compared with the previous general levels, these figures increase 40.35 per cent, 180.7 per cent and 321 per cent, respectively.
VASEP said that as materials from both domestic and foreign markets were currently scarce, many companies were having to import materials in large volumes in order to cut costs, actively produce and implement contracts, and assure jobs for workers.
Besides, it said, this year would be a very tough year for seafood enterprises as credit policy has tightened and input costs, including that of power, water, petrol and packing, had increased 10-35 per cent over last year.
"The increase in quarantine fees according to the new regulation is unreasonable and cause more costs for enterprises," the association wrote in official dispatches sent to the ministry late last week. — VNS