CONCESSIONARY rates for marine charges and terminal tariff for operators of the proposed ASEAN roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) service are key points of a draft memorandum of understanding the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has drafted to promote a sustainable RoRo shipping industry in the region.
The MOU also stipulated that transport prices must be best determined by market forces to ensure that RoRo ferry operators refrain from any measure or practice that tends to distort free and fair competition.
The draft MOU also states that the operators must take all measures to ensure RoRo shipping services provided are regular and compliant with the operational, technical, safety and security standards put in place by the participating parties.
“The operator must plan for the appropriate level of service in terms of service frequency and sailing schedules to encourage movement of goods and persons and will notify the relevant authorities in the participating parties before the start of the service,” the draft MOU read.
“Should there be changes to the sailing schedule, the RoRo ferry operator will notify the authorities of such changes at least one week in advance,” the draft MOU read.
The MOU obliges the operators to jointly undertake measures to meet the International Maritime Organization safety, security and environmental protection standards and relevant regional agreements.
The documents call for upgrades of port facilities and services from time to time, especially passenger, vehicle and cargo handling capability in the designated ports as well as other ancillary port services.
To allow freer movement of road vehicles, access roads will be designated as part of ASEAN transit transport routes, the draft said.
It stipulates that safety and security of travelers, goods and vehicles must be implemented through coordination among authorities. All the necessary assistance must be rendered in the event of accident, casualties or deaths.
Commercial tourist buses and commercial freight vehicles travelling to the territory of the other participating parties will be required to secure a vehicle permit from the government.
The MOU provides that in the ASEAN sprit of solidarity and cooperation, the parties will consult each other to ensure the document’s full implementation.
The Philippines has designated nine ports in the ASEAN-wide port network. These are Manila, Subic, Batangas, Cebu, Davao, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and General Santos.
In Indonesia, the designated ports are Tanjung Priok, Tanjung Perak, Belawan, Makassar, Tanjung Emas, Bitung, Balikpapan, Dumai, Pontianak, Panjang, Palembang, Banjarmasin, Sorong and Jayapura.
Cambodia has two — the Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh; Malaysia has designated 10 – the Port Klang, Johor, Penang, Kuantan, Kemaman,Kuching, Bintulu, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tanjung Pelapas.
Myanmar ports are Yangon, Tilawa, Kyaukphyu; Singapore has only one, the Singapore port; Thailand has three – Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Songkhla; Vietnam has four – Saigon, Haiphong, Cailan and Danang.