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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Finance Ministry asks HCMC to reconsider seaport fee collection

By Lan Nhi

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HANOI – The Ministry of Finance has asked the HCMC government to amend a resolution on collecting fees from users of infrastructure facilities and public services at seaport terminals in the city to help enterprises and the economy recover.

Deputy Minister of Finance Vu Thi Mai said the ministry had received documents from the Dong Nai government, the Binh Duong Department of Customs and the Private Economic Development Research Board, complaining about the negative impact of HCMC’s seaport fee collection on the operation of enterprises.

In March and June last year, the ministry also wrote to the HCMC government, stating that the different fees for goods declared outside and within HCMC would cause inequality.

The ministry asked the city to respond to the proposal of enterprises, report the rationale of the seaport fee collection to the prime minister and refer to the Vietnam-Cambodia Waterway Transportation Agreement to amend its resolution on the seaport fee collection.

The HCMC government should quickly propose that the municipal People’s Council amend the resolution to create favorable conditions for enterprises and the economy to recover according to the Law on Fees and Charges.

HCMC officially began collecting fees from infrastructure facilities and public service users at seaport terminals in the city from April 1 after repeatedly delaying the fee collection. Since then, the city has collected over VND6 billion daily in fees.

The HCMC Department of Transport estimated the fee revenue in the 2021-2025 period at some VND16 trillion, which will be used to invest in traffic projects connecting to seaports.

However, fee collection has sparked multiple controversies among enterprises. According to enterprises, they have been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and are facing multiple difficulties due to supply chain disruptions and a surge in material prices.

The Private Economic Development Research Board has proposed the prime minister direct the HCMC government to suspend the fee collection. Moreover, industry associations and enterprises complained about the high fees and the unreasonable time to begin the fee collection, increasing the pressure on enterprises and reducing their competitiveness and ability to recover after the pandemic.

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