Keywords: maritime law, shipping, transportation, agents, towage

To provide guidelines on the provisions of the Maritime Law, the government issued Decree No. 30/2014/ND-CP regarding the Conditions for Shipping Transportation and Supporting Businesses (Decree 30) on 14 April 2014.

With effect from 1 July 2014, Decree 30 applies to both local and foreign organisations and individuals engaging in shipping transportation and shipping agents and towage businesses. Once effective, Decree 30 will replace Decree No. 115/2007/ND-CP dated 5 July 2007 on the same subject. Pursuant to Decree 30, shipping transportation and shipping agents and towage businesses are required, therefore, to engage in these businesses under the conditions specified by Decree 30.

Conditions for engaging in shipping transportation

Under Decree 30, engaging in shipping transportation requires the setting up of a shipping transportation business and the securing of a shipping transportation licence. Decree 30 sets a number of conditions for obtaining a shipping transportation licence. These include, among others, the requirements to have at least VND 20 billion for international shipping transportation, or VND 5 billion for domestic shipping transportation.

The procedures for issuance of the shipping transportation licence, re-issuance and withdrawal of the licence are also specified by Decree 30.

Conditions for engaging in shipping agent and towage businesses

Specific conditions for shipping agent and towage businesses are provided for.

In respect of shipping agent towage businesses, only joint venture companies between foreign and local parties are permitted in which the ratio of equity owned by the foreign party or parties must not exceed 49 percent of the joint venture charter capital.

Transitional provisions

Businesses which have been licensed to carry out shipping transportation, agent and towage businesses can continue with their business but must satisfy all the conditions provided for by Decree 30 within five years from the effective date of Decree 30.

Originally published 24 April 2014

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