The Ministry of Transport in June last year enacted Document 5063/BGTVT-VT to temporarily restrict the local movements of some ships carrying foreign flags in a bid to tackle capacity redundancy in the domestic shipping industry.
The temporary restriction was supposed to take effect from January 1 this year, when the granting of licenses valid for three or six months to ships under foreign flags that transported containers on local routes would be suspended.
These foreign ships, which number around 20, currently ferry about 3,000 standard containers on local slings each week.
The transport ministry’s decision was initially seen to boost the local shipping fleet and allow it to regain domestic market share. The Vietnamese box ships would take over national routes that included those from Cai Lan port in the north to Saigon ports and Cai Mep-Thi Vai ports in the Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.
But the government has pushed the ruling back a few months to avoid affecting the transport and prices of goods during the Lunar New Year holiday.
“We will restrict licensing from April 1. Six months later, if stable goods transport did not greatly affect production and export-import, we would further tighten the licensing procedures,” Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong told local media.