Car dealers await assistance, ministries keep silent

Published: 04/07/2011 05:00



Receiving hundreds of cars which docked Vietnam’s ports after June 26, the day when the Circular No 20 took effect, car dealers have been on an knife’s edge, because they cannot get enough documents for customs clearance. Meanwhile, ministries still keep silent to their call for help.

MOIT insisting on stricter regulations

Several days after the Circular 20 took effect, car importers still complain that they cannot get the documents stipulated by the legal document, especially the letter of attorney issued by manufacturers.

Nearly one month ago, on May 27, a document was sent to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) by a group of nearly 100 car importers, which showed the unfeasible points in the Circular 20. The ministry has also received tens of documents from other independent importers who pointed out similar problems.

The car importers have proposed relevant agencies to create favorable conditions for the consignments of cars, which were imported under the contracts signed before the issuance of the circular, to get customs clearance. They have also proposed the ministry to organize an open dialogue, where the ministry’s officials explain the policy to car importers.

According to experienced car dealers, it takes car importers about 30-60 days to follow import procedures and carry cars from the export markets such as the US, Canada, Europe or the Middle East to Vietnam. In fact, Vietnamese importers cannot control the import schedules because of objective reasons. For example, in some cases, ships’ owners cannot arrange shipment, while in other cases, goods get stuck at transit ports, or ships have to shelter from storms, thus arriving later than expected.

However, it seems that MOIT does not care about that.

In fact, MOIT has promised to assist enterprises, but these remain “verbal undertakings”. To date, car importers have confirmed that they have not received any replies to their proposals.

In the latest move, MOIT has decided that enterprises must not have the letter of attorney from manufacturers, while they just need to have the letters of attorney from the distributors of the car companies in foreign countries, to be able to get customs clearance. The foreign distributors must have the right to distribute cars in Vietnam.

However, Bui Thanh Hai, Director of Dong Hai Company, commented that the MOIT’s decision will not help. In reality, if car manufacturers have official distributors in Vietnam, their sales agents in foreign countries are not allowed to sell cars to Vietnam.

2000 cars to get stuck at ports

The owner of a car company has complained that 100 South Korean cars, mostly Matiz and Kia Morning, have been late in arriving in Vietnam. The owner has got puzzled because he does not know what to do with the consignment of imports.

“We have remitted money to the partners, and we cannot ask for money back. If the partners receive enough money and turn a deaf ear to our policy risk, we will have to suffer,” he complained.

“It would be very difficult to re-export the cars. Everything depends on the partners,” he added.

Bui Thanh Hai, Director of Dong Hai Automobile Company, also feels anxious about the Hyundai cars which are believed to be docked at Hai Phong port on July 4-7. The cars are a part of the consignment of 300 cars imported by different importers.

“The L/C was opened prior to May 12. The ship should have docked at Hai Phong port prior to June 26. However, the storm in the East Sea forced the ship to dock temporarily at a Singaporean port and the ship has arrived late,” he said.

“Who will take responsibility for our losses?” questioned Hai.

The director said that if MOIT cannot settle the problems soon, many cars would get stuck at the ports. The partners from the Middle East said the 2000 cars ordered by Vietnamese partners will arrive in Vietnam in July.

If car dealers cannot get customs clearance soon, they have to pay hundreds of millions of dong, or billions of dong for the fees to keep cars at ports.

Pham Huyen

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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