Listening to, sharing with enterprises
At the end of 2020, the People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City passed Resolution No. 10/NQ-HDND dated December 9, 2020 promulgating seaport infrastructure fees which would be implemented from July 1, 2021. However, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City twice approved the Resolution to postpone the fee collection deadline and officially implement it from April 1, 2022.
Before and during Ho Chi Minh City’s implementation of the seaport infrastructure fee collection, many suggestions were received from ministries, branches, associations and enterprises. In particular, most of the recommendations are related to two issues: the fee collection time is not appropriate and the fee is the difference between opening declarations inside and outside Ho Chi Minh City.
From the recommendations of National Assembly deputies, the People’s Committees of some southern provinces and enterprises related to the seaport infrastructure fee, the Ministry of Finance has made many documents to propose to the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. At the same time, at the end of May 2022, leaders of the Ministry of Finance chaired a meeting with representatives of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and requested the People’s Committee urgently report to the City Council to amend Resolution No. 10/2020/NQ-HĐND and unify a fee rate for goods with declarations opened in Ho Chi Minh City and goods with declarations in other localities, ensuring fairness, publicity, transparency, equality of rights and obligations in accordance with the Law on Fees and Charges.
In particular, the fee level needs to create conditions for enterprises and the economy to recover and develop in the new situation; research and refer to the fee rates of localities with seaport border gates (Hai Phong), adjust the toll rates for goods in transit, goods temporarily imported for re-export, goods stored in bonded warehouses, goods transported from the border to others to ensure the equivalent, appropriate, feasible levels, creating consensus when implementing.
Receiving comments from the Ministry of Finance, associations, enterprises and agencies, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has studied and advised the City Council to issue Resolution No. 07/NQ-HDND dated July 7, 2022 approved at the 6th meeting amending and supplementing a number of articles of Resolution No. 10/2020/NQ-HDND of the City Council in the direction of exemption and reduction of fees for some subjects and officially implemented from August 1, 2022.
Accordingly, Ho Chi Minh City exempts fees for all kinds of goods, including imported goods directly serving security and defense; goods ensuring social security and overcoming consequences of natural disasters and epidemics; goods stored in bonded warehouses; goods in transit; goods transported in and out of the port by means of inland waterways according to the Agreement between the Governments of Vietnam and Cambodia on water transport.
A 50% reduction of fees for goods temporarily imported for re-export, goods temporarily exported for re-import, goods stored in bonded warehouses, goods in transit, goods trans-shipped, exported goods and imported goods transported into and out of the port by means of inland waterways on water transport. In particular, the fee applied to import and export goods with declarations made in Ho Chi Minh City or other localities will also be adjusted to the same rate.
Reducing cost pressure for enterprises
Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said that seafood enterprises highly appreciated the attention of the leaders of Ho Chi Minh City. Enterprises agreed with the policy of charging fees, but the regulations should be in line with reality to share difficulties with them. With the seaport infrastructure fees adjusted to fall by half for customs declarations opened outside of Ho Chi Minh City, the fees for enterprises would be greatly reduced.
Mr. Bui Hung Luan, Head of Import-Export Department of Poh Huat Vietnam Co., Ltd (Song Than 2 Industrial Park, Di An, Binh Duong), said that currently, most enterprises were in a difficult period, especially enterprises in the wood industry when export orders were falling.
The company itself was facing difficulties when export orders decreased by 50%, it was forecast that there would be no orders by the end of August. Accordingly, it was very exciting when the company received news that Ho Chi Minh City would apply a new port infrastructure fee rate with a 50% reduction for goods transported by water and the same rate for import and export goods opened customs declarations whether in or out of the country because this policy helped them save a part of costs. Specifically, according to the previous fee, their customs declarations belonging to the declaration of the province, when unloading containers in Ho Chi Minh City, they had to pay a fee of VND1 million per container. From August 1, this fee was reduced to VND500,000. During this difficult period, it was also the driving force to help them recover production.
With the same view, Mr. Nguyen Duc Nghia, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Small and Medium Enterprise Support Center, said that after Ho Chi Minh City applied the seaport infrastructure fees from April 1, 2022, making it more difficult for them due to increasing costs, especially for shipments with declarations outside of Ho Chi Minh City. Therefore, from August 1, 2022, many seaport infrastructure fees were reduced by Ho Chi Minh City, which would have a great impact on the production recovery of the company after a difficult period because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Bui Hoa An, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport: The first goal is the life of enterprises
Ho Chi Minh City has collected seaport fees from April 1, 2022 according to Resolution 10/2020/NQ-HDND of the People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City, by now, the collected amount is more than VND800 billion. With the solution of charging infrastructure fees in the seaport area, the Ho Chi Minh City government estimates that it will collect about VN 3,000 billion each year. At the end of 5 years, Ho Chi Minh City will receive VND15,000 billion, equivalent to 16% of the total capital needed to invest in additional projects to improve, strengthen capacity, and complete the transport system around the port to reduce traffic pressure and help reduce logistics costs for enterprises.
However, the current situation is too difficult, gasoline prices are too high, the pandemic is long, and enterprises are in a recovery phase. Therefore, the People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City issued Resolution 07/2022/NQ-HDND amending and supplementing Clauses 1, 2 and 3, Article 1 of Resolution No. 10/2020/NQ-HDND dated December 9, 2020 of the People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City on promulgating the fees for using works, infrastructure, service works and public utilities in the seaport border gate area in the city. This will be a favorable condition for enterprises, which received support from organizations and individuals.
Although with the new toll rate, the revenue from the seaport infrastructure fee of Ho Chi Minh City will decrease by VND900 billion each year, equivalent to a decrease of 30%. Therefore, the investment plan will have to be adjusted, the time will be longer than originally planned. However, the first goal of Ho Chi Minh City is the life of enterprises, the health and good recovery of the economy, and meeting the needs of people, organizations and enterprises in the economic life of the city.