Transport Ministry to crackdown on cargo weight violations at ports

Friday, Oct 31, 2014 09:00

A ship docks at the Chu Lai - Truong Hai Port in Da Nang City. The Ministry of Transport has said it will temporarily close ports and fire directors who violate its weight regulations. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Son – Huu Trung
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has said it would enforce stricter measures to stop overweight cargo shipments, such as temporarily shutting ports and firing directors who violated the MOT's weight regulations.

The MOT has been closely supervising the enforcement on tighter cargo weight control by setting up taskforces to supervise activities at the country's major seaports.

An agreement has also been signed by 206 out of the country's 222 seaports to not overload cargo.

However, representatives from the HCM-based Saigon Trading Group said despite the agreement, certain seaports still allowed cargo to be switched to different tractors or added additional cargo to tractors after they left the ports.

Such practices led to unfair competition among seaports and were difficult to monitor.

Tighter weight control regulations issued by the MOT for transporting cargo using land-based routes has made some customers switch to sea transport as a cheaper alternative.

However, the maritime transport industry has not been able to capitalise on this new development due to the industry's weaknesses and limitations.

Even Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), who single-handedly accounts to 50 per cent of the country's sea transport, is struggling with negative growth of 4 per cent.

"The Government will help the industry by issuing policies to stimulate growth, but the industry must improve marketing and management," said Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong.

Another major issue to emerge in the dialogue was the current administrative procedures that sea transport companies say are time-consuming and inefficient.

Representatives from the Diem Dien Sea Transport Co. said import and export administration must be operational 24/7 to save time and costs.

They also asked the MOT and the Government to work with Cambodia to set up a 24/7 operational administration office to boost maritime commercial activities between the two countries.

The Viet Nam Ship Agents and Brokers Association (VIBASA) said despite the industry's requests to review and revise administrative procedures for imports and exports to Cambodia, the paperwork was still complicated and time-consuming.

VIBASA said the permit for goods in transit, currently regulated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), should be simplified to encourage companies trading between Viet Nam and Cambodia to use Vietnamese ports.

At present, they prefer to use ports in Singapore where a permit is not required, and Viet Nam is losing out on the potential revenue from goods heading to Cambodia.

The MOT said it would respond to the industry's requests and recommendations this month. — VNS

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