Sea transport companies battle red tape for crew

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015 08:07

Loading goods at the Quang Ninh Port. Maritime transport enterprises complain of complicated procedures related to legal papers for crew members on cargo ships. — Photo qtv

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Participants at a maritime transport conference held on Monday complained of burdensome and complicated procedures required to obtain legal papers and professional certificates for crew members on cargo ships.

At the conference, transport businesses met to review developments in two new waterways, the sea routes of Quang Ninh- Quang Binh and Quang Binh-Kien Giang. The attendees credited them with a reduction in road traffic, and spoke of the routes effect transport of coal, iron, steel and cement cargo.

However, many transport enterprises complained of unreasonable fees. Some participants from Hai Phong City claimed local navigation companies charged them for services even though navigators were never provided to guide their vessels.

Trang Thi Kim Mai, owner of Phuc Vinh company in Vinh Long Province, said her vessels had to pay capacity fees several times to move around different ports in the province despite regulations that stipulate a one-time fee.

"We had to spend up to VND18 million (US$810) in capacity fees for five vessels to move around local ports each month," she said.

In reply to Mai's complaint, Vice Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat said that the collection of multiple capacity fees was wrong and that the ministry would set up an inspection team to look into the matter.

Some business representatives suggested that the ministry eliminate requiring certain maritime transport certificates such as various vessel-specific driving licensces required of captains that already have several licences.

Vice minister Nhat agreed, saying that it was unnecessary for a captain to get a certificate to drive low-capacity vessels if the captain already has one to drive large-capacity vessels.

Nhat told the ministry's consultancy unit to quickly eliminate redundancies and unnecessary hardships to attract more investment in waterway transport.

At the conference, a ministry report on the two new waterways was in circulation. The report listed more than six million tonnes of cargo transported in the first nine months of the year, nearly 600 vessels licensed to operate the new routes and 488 of them already equipped with containers. — VNS

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