Seventy-one Vietnamese ships have been arrested by port authorities in foreign countries in the first nine months, ten more than in the same period last year, a Saigon Tiep Thi report cited the Ministry of Transport as saying Monday.
Do Duc Tien, deputy chief of the ministry's Vietnam Maritime Administration, was quoted as saying the ships were arrested for different reaons.
Many vessels were detained because their owners failed to pay off their debts or repair costs, the official told Saigon Tiep Thi, adding that this was happening more often because ship owners were facing many difficulties in the current economic situation.
In some cases, foreign port authorities kept Vietnamese ships for technical checks and repairs, Tien said. He also attributed this to the economic slump, with owners struggling to pay for the ships' maintenance.
As Vietnam has been named among the countries with a large number ships detained over the past few years, the reputation of the nation's fleets is affected, Tien said.
He said his agency has proposed to the Ministry of Transport that the Maritime Law is revised to have strictier requirements for a ship to be registered in Vietnam.
The department has also asked agencies which monitor ships' quality to cooperate with Vietnam Register to analyze the detainment of Vietnamese ships abroad and identify specific measures to avoid it.
"However, the most important thing is the responsibility of ship owners and crewmen," Tien said.
Among the latest arrests of Vietnamese ships abroad were of Hoa Sen in South Korea and Vinalines Global in China. The ships, both belonging to the state-owned Vietnam Shipping Lines (Vinalines), were detained because of commercial disputes.