Viet Y Steel Corporation imported 10,286 tons of scrap steel from Japan and a consignment of 200 tons of scrap from Costa Rica. It paid a deposit of VND10.5 billion for the imports and hoped to get customs clearance soon.
However, the business was told to wait more days to get customs clearance because the current law stipulates that the deposit payment must be paid 15 days before the customs clearance time.
A senior executive of Viet Y said the company has to pay $15,000 to leave the ships at the Hai Phong port. If it leaves the ships at port for 15 days, it would have to pay $225,000.
Under the current regulation, scrap importers are required to pay a deposit for scrap imports to be sure that the importers take responsibility for dealing with risks and the pollution the imports may cause.
The deposit money will be used to treat environmental problems in case the imports cannot be cleared as state management agencies conclude they may threaten the environment, or they cannot be re-exported.
A lawyer said he cannot understand why importers are told to pay deposit 15 days in advance.
“The amount of VND10.5 billion deposited by Viet Y has been handed in to state competent agencies and it will be used if necessary. In this case, the requirement on the time of paying deposit is insignificant for Viet Y,” he said.
The lawyer pointed out that the unreasonable regulation is the reason behind the congestion of import scrap containers at the Hai Phong Port.
The port’s management board has reported that 153 containers and two bulk ships with 10,000 tons of cargo have been uncleared from the port. The importers have fulfilled necessary customs procedures and paid deposit for scrap imports. However, they still cannot get customs clearance because of the requirement.
The Hai Phong Port’s Customs Agency has proposed to apply a new mechanism which allows scrap importers to get customs clearance right after they show the certificates of deposit payments.
Ngo Minh Hai, a customs officer, confirmed that in most cases, it takes ships less than 15 days to go from the departure point to the destination point. This means that importers have to pay higher fees for storing goods at ports.
However, the document submitted by MONRE to Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai on solutions to ease the procedures for scrap imports did not mention the issue.
(Source: Hai Quan)