Gas decree leads to confusion

Thursday, Aug 02, 2018 08:09

Gas traders must apply for testing from fire prevention and fighting authorities as well as having water supply and transport systems serving for the works. — Photo

Both authorities and gas traders are facing difficulties in implementing Decree 87/2018 on gas trading, which took effect on July 31, heard at a conference held in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

Nguyen Van Long, a representative from Hai Phong’s Department of Industry and Trade said according to the decree, gas businesses have to provide documents proving they meet requirements for fire prevention and fighting.

However, based on the Fire Prevention and Fighting Law, the document that fully satisfies the requirements stipulates many conditions such as signs, regulations on responsibilities for fire prevention and fighting, electric systems, lightning protection, electric appliances, fire and heat sources to ensure fire safety.

In addition, the law also stipulates that gas traders must apply for fire prevention tests as well as have a water supply and transport systems for the work.

“According to the regulations, the Departments of Industry and Trade do not know which fire prevention regulations to follow, and this also makes it difficult for enterprises,” Long said.

He proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) give specific guidance. Departments of Industry and Trade and businesses should not have to search for different regulations themselves.

“Do not let the companies ‘grope’ with the rules that we give,” he said.

He added that the ministry which drafted the decree should have specific guidance on licencing of gas stations.

A representative from Ha Noi’s Department of Industry and Trade wondered who will take responsibility for fires after licensing as the department is not required to visit businesses for evaluation.

Answering the questions, Nguyen Huu Dung, Head of Industrial Safety Office under the ministry’s Department of Safety Technical and Industrial Environment said gas traders are required to implement fire prevention and fighting conditions themselves.

Departments of Industry and Trade take responsibility for supervision and after-checkups.

Nguyen Anh Son, director of MoIT’s Legal Department said gas businesses would not be granted licences if they do not meet conditions in reality despite having enough documents.

“Decree 87 aims to simplify administrative procedures, removing business conditions and changing from before-check to after-check. Businesses will get fined or have their licenses revoked if violations are found,” Son said.

A gas trader at the event also wondered if the decree requires gas production, distribution and retail businesses to record type of gas storage tank, serial number, customer name, address and delivery day.

He said the work could take time and cost a lot of money as the number of gas storage tanks circulating was up to several millions.

Gas firms would need big resources to manage information on gas storage tanks.

“Gas traders are mainly household businesses and small-and-medium sized enterprises which do not have enough people to implement the regulation. Currently, the country has about 15,000 gas shops with only one to two labourers each. They would need an additional one or two people to do that, causing waste to businesses,” he added. — VNS

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