Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has ordered government agencies to stop foreign shipping lines from collecting "unreasonable surcharges" on imported goods.
News website VnExpress reported Sunday that the Ministry of Transport has been asked to lead a task force that will inspect shipping lines which imposed irrational fees, causing difficulties for local enterprises.
The order came after the Ministry of Finance submitted a report to the governmnet early this month, saying that some shipping lines were asking Vietnamese importers for "congestion" and "container imbalance" charges.
Shipping companies said the fees are meant to offset the cost of transporting empty containers out of Vietnam in case exports from the country are unable to match the inflow of goods.
The Finance Ministry said the surcharges have not been approved by Vietnam's government, which means collecting them is only a way to hike transportation costs. As many shipping lines have raised their fees at the same time, they could be violating antitrust regulations, the ministry said.