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VietNamNews

Freight surcharges worry enterprises

Update: August, 21/2014 - 09:49
At least 10 kinds of surcharges were being applied to imports and exports, such as the terminal handling charge, container imbalance surcharge and port congestion surcharge.— Photo tuoitre.vn

HA NOI  (VNS) — Enterprises are seeking the cooperation of freight forwarders and the intervention of State management to bring down current freight surcharge rates, which they find to be too high.

Based on estimates of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, Viet Nam Textile and Garment Association and Viet Nam Leather-Footwear-Handbag Association, additional freight fees on Vietnamese imports and exports were equivalent to 1 per cent of the country's total's export turnover, or around US$110 million to $150 million each year.

At least 10 kinds of surcharges were being applied to imports and exports, such as the terminal handling charge, container imbalance surcharge and port congestion surcharge.

These additional freight fees have soared by around 20 to 30 per cent over those charged last year and were imposed without warning, the associations' officials said. The fees have placed a heavy burden on import and export enterprises, the associations' officials added.

Shipping companies say the surcharges are being imposed in line with international practice, but enterprises find this explanation unacceptable.

At a meeting with the Viet Nam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade last week, the associations' officials said some surcharges were unreasonable and were increased without warning. Enterprises had no other choice but to pay the surcharges to ensure the delivery of their goods.

At a meeting with logistics companies two weeks ago, a representative of the Viet Nam Port Association said the State management of maritime transport remained weak. As a result, the market is mostly controlled by foreign shipping companies.

The Vietnam Economic Times quoted the Viet Nam Maritime Administration (VMA) as saying that currently, there was a lack of mechanisms for the State management of freight surcharges, though the problem had been previously reported to the Government.

The VMA urged concerned authorities, including the Ministries of Finance, Industry and Trade, and Transport, to jointly supervise the collection of freight surcharges to ensure compliance with Viet Nam's regulations and international practice.

The associations called on the State management to help maintain a healthy and competitive business enviroment by ensuring the imposition of transparent and reasonable ocean freight fees, which were essential to boosting the competitiveness of Vietnamese products. — VNS

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