MoF proposes options for handling backlogged scrap

VCN - There are still many containers of scrap at ports around the country. Meanwhile, shipping lines have delayed transporting these shipments out of Vietnamese territory. The Ministry of Finance has proposed options to handle these shipments.
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mof proposes options for handling backlogged scrap
Thousands of containers of scrap are backlogged for more than 90 days at some seaports. Photo: N.Linh

More than 90% of backlogged scrap has not been received or has been derelict goods.

Recently, in a document to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) raised its views in handling backlogged scrap at seaports.

According to the MoF, as of February 15, there are more than 23,000 containers of scrap stored at seaports of the provincial and municipal Customs Departments. Among these, containers which have been stored for more than 90 days from the date of arrival at the border gate and have not yet cleared number 9,825 (on November 30, 2018, there were 10,124 containers), followed by 7,048 containers stored under 30 days and 6,580 containers stored from 30 days to 90 days.

The largest amount of scrap stored (including containers stored for less than 30 days, from 30 to 90 days and over 90 days) in Ba Ria-Vung Tau was 9,468 containers, followed by Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City with 6,082 containers and 4,689 containers respectively.

The MoF issued a document to direct municipal and provincial Customs Departments to notify goods owners and classify backlogged goods. Accordingly, Customs Departments released a notice to look for goods owners for 9,444 containers, among backlogged containers, the number of containers which were received and identified was 955 containers (accounting for 9.7%). In contrast, 8,870 containers were derelict.

According to the MoF, it difficult to ask the shipping lines to transport these scrap containers out of Vietnamese territory. At Ba Ria-Vung Tau Customs Department, shipping lines have not yet re-exported these shipments.

At Binh Duong Customs Department, the shipping lines have completed procedures to re-export 19 containers and is completing procedures to re-export 2 containers. However, 21 containers are still stored at seaports and have not been re-exported.

At Da Nang Customs Department, the shipping lines have accepted responsibility for implementing 5 containers but have not yet transported the shipment out of Vietnamese territory.

The MoF said that the issuance of documents to remove problems has reduced the backlogged goods. However, there are still many containers of scrap in stock at ports.

The MoF suggested that it is necessary to take measures to promptly handle all current scrap shipments. There should be consistent and drastic measures to require shipping lines to transport backlogged goods at risk of causing environmental pollution out of Vietnamese territory.

Should the backlogged goods be auctioned?

In order to direct the handling of backlogged goods as scrap, the MoF proposes the Prime Minister to assign it to establish an interdisciplinary working group, led by the Ministry of Finance (the General Department of Customs), which will be responsible for directing and assigning tasks for members to handle backlogged goods as scrap.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (Vietnam Environment Administration), Ministry of Transport (Vietnam Maritime Bureau), Ministry of Defense (Municipal and provincial Border Guard Command), leaders of People's Committee leaders of provinces and cities where there are backlogged scrap containers are members of the Working Group.

Regarding the handling, the Ministry of Finance proposes the following steps:

First of all, it is necessary to set up a council in charge of handling backlogged goods, chaired by Directors of provincial or municipal customs departments and the members as representatives of the concerned units (customs, department of finance, port operators, shipping lines and Departments of Natural Resources and Environment). The Council’s members will list and classify goods.

After listing and classifying backlogged goods to determine the handling method. The MoF introduced 2 options. The first option is the Council will issue a decision to put the goods as scrap ineligible for national technical standards on environment up for auction.

For shipments of waste or hazardous waste and scrap ineligible for national technical standards on environment, the customs authority shall request the shipping companies transport them out of Vietnamese territory within 30 days from the date of receiving the notice.

If the shipping lines do not comply, the customs authority shall make a list of shipping companies as a basis for requesting the Ministry of Transport to study measures to enforce, handle or stop the granting of permits for entry and exit of Vietnamese seaports.

Over 30 days from the date of the Customs notice, and when the shipping lines have not yet transported these shipments out of Vietnamese territory, the Council will decide to destroy the goods.

Destruction costs are deducted from the auction of the eligible scrap.

The second option is the Council will decide to organize an auction of all backlogged goods (including waste, hazardous waste, eligible and ineligible scrap).

The bidding winners shall have to destroy the shipments of waste, hazardous waste and scrap ineligible for national technical standards on environment.

mof proposes options for handling backlogged scrap Director of HCM City Customs Department: Need to regulate strictly about granting permit for importing scraps

With this option, backlogged goods are processed quickly, and the business ground is cleared promptly. However, the MoF is worried that with the high destruction costs, enterprises will not register for the auction. Therefore, the MoF suggests selecting the first option.

By Ngoc Linh/ Huyen Trang

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