The Ministry of Transport has just issued a new circular on license issuance for foreign shipping companies running on local routes in a bid to keep them from illegally dominating the market at home.
According to the new circular, the transport ministry will only give licenses for tapping local routes to those foreign carriers transporting super heavy or super long commodities beyond the capability of local firms.
Meanwhile, local transport certificates for foreign ships carrying passengers and luggage from and to the mainland will be granted by directors of port authorities. However, the licenses will be issued to foreign ships only when local counterparts are unable to undertake the job.
After receiving and appraising documents applying for licenses, Vietnam Maritime Bureau will submit reports to the ministry for consideration. The circular also specifies the validity for no more than one year and six months for specialized vessels and other ships on local routes respectively.
The Transport Minister and directors of local port authorities are entitled to withdraw licenses of those ships not operating in line with their business scope on local routes or no longer meeting transport conditions as required.
Many local sea transport enterprises complained the overwhelming presence of foreign rivals on the domestic market had adversely affected their development. Do Xuan Quynh, general secretary of the Vietnamese Ship Owners' Association (VSA), said the new rule would restrict foreign shipping companies from dodging domestic laws and help local businesses win back their ground as a result.