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VCCI: Charging fees in Hai Phong will create dangerous precedent

12:41 | 11/02/2017

VCN – Dealing with the annoyance of businesses on the collection of "Charges for using infrastructure, service buildings, public utilities in the border gate area" at Hai Phong seaport, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam (VCCI) has issued a petition to present to the Prime Minister.

vcci charging fees in hai phong will create dangerous precedent
Charging fees in Hai Phong port is causing annoyance for enterprises. Photo: H.Dịu

According to the proposal of VCCI, the policy of increasing fees and new additional charges in Resolution 148/2016/NQ- about regulating the amount, mode of collection, management and use of tolls, construction, infrastructure, service buildings, and public utilities in Hai Phong seaport is causing much concern.

Accordingly, the charge rate for temporary import and re-export goods, transshipment goods, goods stored in bonded warehouses are higher than the cost in 2016 (an increase of nearly 70%, even there is fees increase doubled). Moreover, the regulations add new charges on imported goods and exported goods. This is against the spirit of Resolution 35 of the Government on reviewing to reduce the cost of doing business.

In particular, the proposal also indicated that the process of collecting to develop Resolution 148 was unsuitable, too close to the date of signing hence enterprises do not have enough time to participate in the reviews. Moreover, the period from the sign up day till the validation day is too short (17 days), it’s not enough for businesses to prepare, while this policy is causing huge impact on the rights and interests of enterprises.

"The explanation from the authorities of the drafting is not compelling enough, at least, the points of issuing the fee rate, assess the impact of policies on subjects directly affected as well as indirect ", the proposal stated.

From the above obstacles, VCCI is concerned that the issuance of Resolution 148 in Hai Phong will create dangerous precedents to the local airport and seaport in setting out fees in the future, detrimental to export activities of enterprises.

Therefore, VCCI suggest to Prime Minister to consider the effects of the policy and direct the competent authority of Haiphong to give an explanation about the reason of the fees charged in Resolution fees 148, including impact assessments in a comprehensive way that could impact on the subjects.

If there is no reasonable explanation, VCCI will proposal to retain the fees before the valid day of Resolution 148. In case of giving reasonable explanation on the issuance of Resolution 148, VCCI will propose a transition time to apply new regulations. The minimum time will be at least in 6 months thus enterprises could have sufficient time to prepare and avoid the adverse effects to the business activities of enterprises.

Earlier, as a reflection of the Vietnam Cotton & Spinning Association and many enterprises of VCCI members asserted that the increasing cost policies and new additional charges in Resolution 148, a number of enterprises large and medium in Thai Binh and Ha Nam, having export quantity from 150-400 containers (40ft) per month for each enterprise. It means that each enterprise will have to spend more from 900 million VND to 2.4 billion VND/year. Enterprises have import and export activities in this sector and other sectors, it is foreseeable to spend more annual expenditure for cargo clearance up to millions of VND.

Moreover, in order to pass clearance at Hai Phong port, the import and export enterprises have to implement a new additional fee declaration and payment procedures for infrastructure. Businesses have to implement administrative procedures, such as point of charges, receiving the declaration, declaration and payment, according to information from businesses, the time to perform this procedure is from 30 minutes to 1 hour (not including the preparation and the problems arising).

By Hương Dịu/Thanh Thuy