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The Ministry of Finance (MoF) in December issued Circular 195/2010/TT-BTC on handling inventories in bonded warehouses, effective from January 20, 2011.
“This document prescribes clear procedures and guidelines to handle abandoned goods in warehouses,” said Saigon Port One-Member Ltd. Company’s deputy general director Nguyen Thanh Hung.
The circular’s most highlighted point is that unclaimed goods in bonded warehouses worth at least $2,500 will be auctioned, while those worth less than $2,500 will be sold and unclaimed perishable goods will be sold directly. Warehouses’ owners are required to notify shippers five days before the expiry time of a storage contract.
The new regulations would help shipping lines quickly withdraw containers, said a Vietnam Ocean Shipping Company (Vosco) spokesman.
Under the MoF’s existing regulations, all unclaimed goods regardless of pricing levels are auctioned after their initial prices are determined.
Meanwhile, abandoned cargoes at ports without settling customs procedures are currently a big problem for many shipping lines in Vietnam.
According to Vietnam International Container Terminal Company (VICT), as of July, 2010, some 65 containers owned by many local and foreign shipping lines in Vietnam remained at the VICT port without implementation of customs procedures. These containers were owned by such global shipping lines as GE Seaco SRL Company, Cronos Equipment Ltd Company, SITC Container Lines Co Ltd., Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd., and Tal International Company.
Meanwhile, Saigon Newport reported that up to August, 2010, some 235 containers had the same fate at Ho Chi Minh City’s New Port without being validated, though they were asked to be liquidated in early October, last year.
Haiphong Port One-Member Ltd. Company said that as of last August, there were 6,651 abandoned containers at Haiphong port.
“Retarded liquidation of goods has caused huge losses to us as we have to pay high leasing costs for these containers. We have to pay storage charge of $1.6 per day for a 20 foot container and $2.4 per day for a 40 foot container. We also have to pay of $1-$3 per day for each container,” said Smidt-Nielsen, Maersk Vietnam’s general director.