Vietnam to investigate legality of carrier surcharges

Hanoi: Vietnam’s ministries of finance, transport, and industry and trade have said this week that they will review all surcharges imposed by foreign shipping lines to see if they are in accordance with Vietnam’s competition laws.

The review will investigate whether foreign lines are imposing unreasonable surcharges on local companies, with shippers currently facing up to ten different types of surcharges. The ministries said any violators of local laws will be punished according to Vietnamese law.

Vietnam Maritime Administration’s deputy chief, Bui Thien Thu, told Saigon Times that Vietnamese companies have no choice but to use foreign shipping lines with local operators not able to handle current cargo volumes. He also said foreign lines would offer reduced transport fees to lure Vietnamese companies, but then increase surcharges to balance out the discount,.

The ministries conducting the review said they will work with lawmakers to produce a definitive list of shipping surcharges that can be applied in Vietnam.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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