HCMC Reduces and exempts infrastructure fees: Associations in roles of giving feedback to policies

Nguyen Tuong - Ngo Khac Le|15/08/2022 14:04

From August 1, 2022, there will be a 50% reduction in seaport infrastructure fees for goods transported by waterway and a reduction in the fee for goods with declarations made in other localities.

On the a ernoon of July 7, 2022, HCMC passed the Resolution to adjust the fee for using seaport infrastructure. Accordingly, from August 1, 2022, there will be a 50% reduction in seaport infrastructure fees for goods transported by waterway and a reduction in the fee for goods with declarations made in other localities. is decision has shown progressive attitude; and is also the result of the process of persistently giving feedback and suggestions of associations, including those from Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA).



From April 1, 2022, a er many postponements, HCMC o cially collected seaport infrastructure fees for goods imported and exported through the city's seaports according to the Resolution no. 10/2020/NQ-HDND dated December 9, 2020 of the City People's Council. Ho Chi Minh City, with the lowest fee of VND 15,000 /ton for goods not packed in containers (import and export goods with declarations made in HCMC); the highest fee is VND 4.4 million/40-foot container (temporary import for re-export, bonded warehouse, border-gate transfer).

HCMC’s Department of Transport said after two months of implementation, the fee collected was over VND 500bn, and by 2025, the fee collected will be VND 16,00bn as expected. This is a huge amount of money for investing in infrastructures connecting to seaports in the future. However, in the time enterprises having to deal with diffculties in their recovery a er the pandemic, paying an extra fee for infrastructure is indeed a no small burden.

It is known that at this time, the Government has also applied many solutions to remove diffculties and support enterprises’ recovery, including the policy of reducing and delaying collection of taxes for enterprises. In many localities such as Ha Tinh and Thanh Hoa, there are also policies to support shipping lines to open container shipping routes and subjects with goods transported by container through Vung Ang port, Ha Tinh, and Nghi Son port, Thanh Hoa with the support of VND 200m/ shipment (Decision no. 276/2021-HDND dated April 28, 2021 of the People's Council of Ha Tinh Province; Decree no. 166/2019/NQ-HDND dated April 4, 2019 of the People's Council of Thanh Hoa Province).


VLA said in the period of production and economic recovery, HCMC’s collection of sea port infrastructure fee would give more di culties for production enterprises, import-exporters and logistics providers..., thereby affecting the city’s economic development. Thus, right before the tax collection was offcially implemented, VLA and other relavant service associations had collected ideas from their members and had had documents to the City propose cancellation or postponement of tax collection until a later appropriate time.


Previously, on December 10, 2021, the Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration hosted a webinar with the participation of relevant associations and a number of water transport enterprises to discuss the issue of improper tax collection on goods transported by inland water way through areas of Hai Phong Port and areas of HCMC ports. After the event, when HCMC o cially started tax collection, following previous proposals, VLA together with 5 other associations- Vietnam Ship Agents and Brokers Association (VISABA), Vietnam’s Shippers’ Council (VSC), Vietnam Ship owners Association (VSA), Vietnam Seaports Association (VPA) and Vietnam Inland Water Way Transport Administration- sent a number of proposals related to the fact HCMC collected seaport infrastructure fee to the People’s Committee, the People’s Council of HCMC and State’s executive and legislatives management agencies, among which was Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh and the National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue. The associations’ proposal had agreements from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport, Assembly’s Committee of Finance and Budget, Assembly Delegate Le Thanh Van (Standing member of the Committee), the Private Economic Development Research Board (Board IV) of the Government Offce, and it was also notified to the mass media and public opinion for public agreement.

As a result, on May 30, 2022, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai chaired a conference with participation from relevant sides and made the conclusion that HCMC would consider the matter of infrastructure free collection. On the basis of the Deputy Prime Minister's conclusion, on June 8, 2022, the Government Office issued Official Letter no.169/ TB-VPCP announcing the conclusion "suggesting the City People's Committee of HCMC will soon submit to the HCMC’s City Council to consider adjustment in July 2022”.

By the end of June 2022, there were 30 relevant documents from the Finance and Budget Committee of the National Assembly (2 documents), the Office of the Government, National Assembly, delegate Le Thanh Van, the Ministry of Finance (5 documents). Ministry of Transport (3 documents), Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration (5 documents) and Associations (10 documents) sent to HCMC’s People's Committee. The documents have been analyzed rationally on the basis of current laws, thereby recommending HCMC adjusts the fee level in accordance with the actual situation.

With the perseverance and continuous efforts for the business community’s benefits, the initial recommendations of the associations were successful. At the request of the People's Committee, and the City Council, HCMC approved the Decision dated 7/7/2022 amending and supplementing Clauses 1 and 2, Article 1 of Resolution no.10/2020/NQ- HDND dated December 9, 2022 of the City People's Council on the issuance of fees for using works, infrastructure, service works, public utilities in border gate and seaport areas in HCMC. Accordingly, the new fee will take effect from August 1, 2022, notably in HCMC. And the city agreed to reduce 50% of seaport infrastructure fees for goods transported by water and reduce the fee for goods with declarations made in other localities.


According to calculation of the Department of Transport of HCMC, this reduction will reduce the city's revenue of VND891 billion pa, but it is necessary to create consensus among enterprises, to contribute to reducing logistics costs, and to promote waterway transport development.

Decision on exemption and reduction of seaport infrastructure fees of HCMC has received a great consensus from the business community, thereby showing understanding and progressive attitude, and especially affirming the role of associations in giving feedback to policies, acting as a bridge to help management agencies promptly grasp difficulties and inadequacies of policies, thereby making reasonable adjustments


From the results of the process of reviewing and recommending issues related to seaport infrastructure fees this time, VLA would like to share experiences for the next activities of the associations as follows:

  • »  1. When a complicated incident occurred and involved many parties, the associations had timely decisions to reflect opinions of their members and protect the legitimate interests of them; the issue should be pursued persistently and proceeded with the motto "take it one step at a me", skillfully solve each problem.
  • »  2. The associations need to actively gather strength. There is an association plays a leader role and should be responsible. Each associa on should have abilities to carry out work and cooperate.
  • »  3. Associa on leaders should be determined and able to have quick reply when it is necessary.
  • »  4. When coordinating with many related parties based in different parts of the country, it is advisable to have maximum use of electronic means to send electronic documents and send the original to courier later to meet the requirements on timely settlement me combined with consensus and signatures from many parties.
  • »  5.Contents requested to be explained must be according to provisions of law, not stated in general but with specific evidences. Documents sent to the agencies, with the prescribed procedures, should be sent to the judicial agency, in addition to the executive and legislative agencies, to consider whether the documents are issued in accordance with the law or not. .
  • »  6. Closely monitor the settlement results after the document is sent for mely response.
  • »  7. Closely combining legal knowledge and professional knowledge of relevant experts and regulatory agencies. Proposals should be reasonably wri en in accordance with the situa on, respec ul and polite.
  • »  8. Taking advantage of supporting communication channels, thereby having a practical impact on the proposed agency and making public opinion understand and support it.
  • »  9.After the case is over,it is necessary to write a letter to thank the agencies and units for their coopera on and assistance; especially to the agencies that associa ons have proposed, appreciate their progressive attitude and sent to media agencies for wide dissemination.
  • »  10. In case there are still issues that have not been met or resolved unsatisfactorily, recommendations should be calmly considered and they should be put out next in the right me.
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HCMC Reduces and exempts infrastructure fees: Associations in roles of giving feedback to policies