Proposing not to collect infrastructure fees at seaports during tough times20/06/2021
The private sector development research board (IV Board) reported to the Prime Minister the recommendations of businesses on inadequacies in collecting fees for the use of infrastructure and public utility services at border gates and seaports in HCM City (expected to apply from July 1, 2021) and Hai Phong City.Enterprises proposed to review and clarify the urgency of fee collection and fee rate. Photo: Internet
Review and clarify the urgency of fee collection
Recommendations related to this issue were reported by the IV Board to the Prime Minister in December 2020, and the Government leaders requested relevant agencies to consider and handle them.
Recently, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai asked Hai Phong City People’s Committee to coordinate with relevant agencies to consider and handle proposals on collecting seaport infrastructure fees based on the authority in accordance with the law on fees, helping to facilitate enterprises.
The Ministry of Finance also requested HCM City and Hai Phong to review the fee collection in accordance with the provisions of the Law on fees. Up to now, Hai Phong City People’s Committee has responded in writing, but still in the direction of explaining the reasonableness of the fees collected, while HCM City has not yet responded to this proposal.
As the expected deadline for application of the regulations on fee collection in HCM City is approaching (July 1, 2021), the business community, especially import-export enterprises and associations in HCM City and neighboring provinces, urgently request the Prime Minister to consider and direct the HCM City People’s Committee to review and clarify the urgency of the fee collection compared to the business support policies. Simultaneously, it is necessary to be transparent about the plan to build the fee rate and time compared to the total investment in related infrastructure to avoid overlapping fees.
According to enterprises, the basis and rate of fee collection in the resolution of the People’s Council of HCM City is unclear in accordance with the law on fees.
According to enterprises, Resolution No. 10/2020/NQ-HDND dated December 9, 2020 of the People’s Council of HCM City on the fees for using public utility facilities in sea border-gate areas in HCM City has inappropriate points, causing inequality for fee payers, when there is a difference (double) in the fee payment rate between enterprises opening customs declarations inside and outside HCM City.
At the same time, the resolution and its related fee collection scheme have not provided clear information on the basis for charges, such as: the list of infrastructure that the city has invested to include this fee in the calculation (to clarify whether there are overlaps with traffic infrastructure that collect fees and tolls), total investment of infrastructure (to clarify whether the rate is in accordance with the Law on fees, which is to offset a part of the costs spent on investment), and the estimated time of fee collection.
The application time is unsuitable
Enterprises said the application time was unsuitable with the actual situation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses are facing many difficulties in finance and operating supply chains.
This fee collection, hence, goes against the Government’s policy of supporting enterprises, and affects the motivation to restore production and business of the business community.
Therefore, businesses suggest that the Government consider and direct the People’s Committees of HCM City and Hai Phong not to charge seaport infrastructure fees during this period, at least until the end of 2021; to clarify the reasonableness of the collection rate and time compared to the total investment in related infrastructure (excluding infrastructure for which other fees have been collected). Simultaneously, review and remove regulations that violate the spirit of the Law on fees.
Postponing the deadline for installing cameras
Along with the above recommendations, the report of the IV Board also reflected the recommendations of the Vietnam Automobile Transport Association, the Vietnam Logistics Association and a number of local Automobile Transport Associations about delaying the deadline for installing cameras on transport-business cars.
Although this issue has been proposed before, the Ministry of Transport still requires businesses to implement this regulation from July 1, 2021 and will severely punish those that have not yet installed cameras.
Therefore, enterprises continuously propose to the Government to direct the Ministry of Transport to consider the necessity and urgency of the regulations on installing cameras from July 1, 2021 compared with the goal of supporting transport enterprises in the context of the pandemic to make proper decisions.
According to businesses, the requirement to install cameras during the pandemic is inadequate. Although agreeing with the Government’s policy on strengthening management and ensuring safety through installing cameras on transport-business cars, the installation cost (about VND6 million for a cargo truck, and VND9 million for a passenger car) is not a small amount, especially as transport businesses have run out of money to maintain business operations amid the pandemic.
“This requirement is going against the Government’s policy of supporting businesses affected by Covid-19, causing businesses to bear an additional burden while their capital is almost exhausted,” stated the report of the IV Board.
Source: Customs News