Tens of kinds of transport fees burdening enterprises

Published: 13/04/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – The appearance of a lot of new kinds of unreasonable fees has made enterprises miserable because the fees have pushed costs high up.

A lot of import-export companies got struck dumb when shipping agents announced some additional charges, including the Emergency Bunker Surcharge (EBS) applied to the routes in Asia. Explaining the surcharge collection, the shipping agents have said that the world’s oil price is increasing due to the fight situation in Libya.

Companies have reasons to be surprised about EBS because they already have to pay Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF), a kind of surcharge on fuel. BAF was imposed in 2008 when the world’s oil price sharply increased sharply, hitting a record high of $140 per barrel. BAF has been adjusted by shipping firms in accordance with the world’s oil price.

Besides, another kind of fee, Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF), has also been imposed in order to insure payment risks of shipping firms when the values of the currencies fluctuate.

According to Ngo Hai Hang, Director of Bee Logistics, the payment of these kinds of fees is always associated with the payment of charges, which, in principle, need to be paid by foreign partners, because they choose freighters and shipping firms themselves.

“Now Vietnamese goods owners do not have to pay charges, but have to pay fees. It is quite unreasonable,” Hang said.

She added that the receipts of carriers always include BAF, but the representative offices of shipping firms in Vietnam always impose EBS additionally, forcing Vietnamese enterprises to pay before ships leave ports.

She cited a case, where, though different charges were paid in foreign countries already, the enterprise in Vietnam still had to pay EBS.

“If the enterprise had refused to pay EBS, it would not have been able to get goods,” she said.

A wooden furniture exporter in Binh Duong province said that with the imposition of EBS, in all cases, no matter if enterprises export goods under the mode of FOB (free on board) or CIF (cost, insurance, freight), they all have to pay EBS.

Many other strange fees have also been charged on Vietnamese enterprises, including the so called container imbalance charge (CIC) or container risk surcharge.

Also according to Hang, a container of export goods has to bear many different kinds of fees, including the freight bill 440,000 dong, Terminal Handling Charge THC at 100 dollars per 40 feet container and EBS at 600,000 dong per 40 feet container. Besides the fees charged by shipping firms, enterprises also have to pay other different kinds of fees, like the fee for deadlocks at ports, the container elevating and taking-down fees applied at the ports in HCM City and Hai Phong.

“Enterprises bear no less than 10 kinds of fee on the way from factories to ports,” she concluded.

According to Tran Ngo Khanh Thanh, Director of Tre Lang Fine Arts Export Company, due to the continued petroleum price increases, the fee for dragging a container from the workshop in Cu Chi district to Cat Lai port has increased by 50 percent in comparison with the same period of 2010.

“The higher fees have forced us to raise the sale prices. However, we dare not to raise the prices too sharply, because Vietnamese products have to compete with the products from many other regional countries,” Thanh said. “Clients will not accept the sharp price increases just within a short time”.

Four years ago, foreign shipping firms once unilaterally announced the collection of THC at 65 dollars per 20 feet container and 98 dollars per 40 feet container.

At that time, a group of Vietnamese enterprises, lead by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) met Asian Shipowners’ Association to negotiate about the fee and reached an agreement on delaying the THC collection for one year.

However, after the first success, the Vietnamese group quickly dispersed, and it could not make timely intervention when shipping firms re-imposed the fees and then raised the fees later.

Source: TBKTSG

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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