Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The HCM City Inland Waterway Port Authority has asked the municipal Transport Department to issue temporary permits for the city’s river ports, many of which will see their permits expire due to a Transport Ministry circular.
Under Circular 50, which took effect in 2015, operators of riverway ports won’t be issued a new license unless they have technical design documents and an investment plan as part of a plan for inland waterway port development.
Most enterprises operating riverway ports in the city have not met such requirements for the last 10 years.
Currently, HCM City has 370 riverway ports, all of which will become illegal as the Transport Department will stop issuing licenses for them unless they meet the new requirements under the circular.
Phạm Văn Dũng, director of Tuấn Sang Company, the operator of a riverway port in Bình Chánh District’s Tân Nhật Commune, said the port, which has been operating for 12 years, has become an illegal port as the license has expired.
Last month, his company was fined VNĐ7 million (US$310) for illegally operating the port though he had requested to apply for a temporary license but was rejected.
Nguyễn Thanh Dũng, director of Thanh Vân Company, the operator of another waterway port in Bình Chánh District, said the port’s license will expire today.
“I have no choice but continue to operate the port. Otherwise, it will affect many workers working at the port,” he said.
Meanwhile, Phạm Ngọc Thành, director of Thạnh Ánh Company, the operator of a port in District 12, said the port must stop operation when the license expires as he is afraid of being fined.
Around 112 riverway ports in 13 districts will see their license expire by the end of this month. The number will increase to more than 200 by 2018.
Ngô Đình Quang, director of the HCM City Inland Waterway Port Authority, said some 30 million tonnes of goods are transported a year to the Eastern provinces and Mekong Delta provinces via the riverway ports in the city.
Dũng, director of Tuấn Sang Company, said, “Concerned agencies must develop a roadmap for developing the riverway ports so businesses can prepare to improve the ports to meet the requirements.”
Representatives of other enterprises disagreed with the circular, which requires the riverway ports to meet new requirements under the plan for riverway ports while the city has yet to develop such a plan.
Trần Quang Lâm, deputy director of the transport department, said the department has asked concerned agencies to develop a plan for developing the riverway ports in the city and be finished by next year.
The transport department will ask the city people’ committee for permission to issue temporary licenses for the ports while waiting for the plan to be completed, Lâm said.
“Most operators of riverway ports are reluctant to invest in improving their ports until the plan is completed,” he said. — VNS