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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Seven industry associations propose delaying seaport fee collection

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Seven industry associations have proposed postponing the collection of fees for using infrastructure facilities and public services at seaport terminals in the city to December 31 instead of April 1.

The seven associations comprise food transparency; textile and garment; leather, footwear and handbags; dairy; plastics; seafood exporters and producers; and handicraft and wood industry, the local media reported.

According to the associations, in the first half of 2021, the pandemic forced large numbers of enterprises to suspend their operations while still paying employees’ salaries, servicing loans and covering storage costs.

In October last year, the city reopened its economy, but businesses faced dire shortages of employees and materials and supply chain disruptions.

Since early this year, the maritime transport costs and fuel and material prices surged.

If the city collects the seaport fee from April 1, it could deliver a blow to enterprises. Therefore, the city should delay the fee collection to back the business community.

The city has been piloting the collection of the seaport fees from February 16 to March 15 before officially beginning the collection from April 1.

Besides proposing the fee collection delay, the seven associations pointed out many issues in the seaport fee collection. Specifically, the fee levels are unreasonable, placing a heavy burden on administrative procedures.

According to the associations, the fee for goods that are declared outside HCMC is twice as much as the level for goods declared within HCMC. This leads to enterprises making goods declarations in HCMC, thus making the customs clearance process overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, if enterprises transport their cargo to the Cai Mep International Terminal in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, the cost will rise by an additional VND3-3.5 million per container.

In addition, the use of the revenue from the seaport fee collection has yet to be made transparent, resulting in the overlapping of fees.

According to enterprises, together with the seaport fee, they have to pay two fees for exports using imported materials.

The seaport fee collection has been delayed twice, from July 2021 to October 2021 and then to April 1 this year.

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