Vietnam Regulatory Brief: Cambodian Tariffs, Freight Charges, and Government Optimization in Da Nang
Authorities Introduce Specialized Decree for Da Nang
Vietnamese authorities introduced a special decree in Da Nang regulating investment, finance, budget and decentralized administration in a bid to boost the city’s economic development. Authorities in Da Nang will be able to borrow domestic investment funds, via the issuance of local government bonds, under the law and can re-borrow funds the government has borrowed for local lending. These type of loans cannot exceed 40 percent of the local budget revenue or the ratio for the state budget deficit.
The government will also prioritize using part of its budget to support public-private partnership (PPP) projects. The Da Nang City People’s Committee can approve project lists and decide to receive grants for specific projects. The government will give Da Nang 70 percent of initial government funds for cities and provinces to pay outstanding debts in capital construction, infrastructure investment projects, high-tech parks, national defense and security and social safety among others. The above developments will help the city be an industrial, commercial and service center catering to its 1 million strong population.
Vietnam and Cambodia Link Deal to Reduce Tariffs
The governments of Vietnam and Cambodia signed an agreement on October 26 to reduce import tariffs on several products an effort to boost bilateral trade. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during the 8th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV-8) in Hanoi. As per the agreement, Cambodia will allow 29 Vietnamese products to enter the country duty-free. In turn, Vietnam will allow 39 Cambodian products to enter the county, including 300,000 tons of rice annually and 3,000 tons of tobacco in 2016 and 2017.
The agreement comes after trade between Cambodia and Vietnam surpassed US$3 billion in 2015 falling short of the targeted US$5 billion. The agreement is expected to help producers and exporters in both countries, further boosting cross-border trade.
Freight Services and Related Charges to be Made Public
The Ministry of Transport issued a decree to implement the Vietnam Maritime Code of 2015, which will take effect on July 1, 2017. As per the code, shipping operators will have to publicize surcharges of freight services for containerized goods, fees and charges of shipping freight services, and charges for port services. The decree will target containerized goods, while bulk shipments that are not containerized will not be subject to the rule.
Businesses are required to publicize fees and charge as regulated in the Law on Prices, however charges of shipping freight services are currently not subject to fee publication rules. In addition, several companies have failed to publicize port service charges causing disagreements between exporters and importers. More than 40 foreign shipping companies operate in Vietnam and are involved in 88 percent of imports and exports of local enterprises. In addition, around 90 percent of Vietnam’s exports are shipped by foreign companies, which account for 100 percent of containerized goods for European and American markets. Foreign companies involved in shipping should take note of the new regulation which will be implemented next year.
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