Vietnam could not afford to maintain and equip its cargo ships, causing a large number of them to be detained in foreign ports on safety grounds, an official said, blaming it on the economic crisis.
Do Duc Tien, deputy head of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, said in a statement to the Ministry of Transport that 434 Vietnamese vessels were stopped abroad for checking during the first half of this year and 30 were detained, according to a report Tuesday by news website VietNamNet.
"Vietnamese vessels are a major target for checking, especially in Chinese and Indonesian ports," Tien told the website.
The vessels have since been released but the department is yet to get a chance to check 457 errors the foreign authorities have listed since they have yet to return home, he said.
The "drawn-out" economic crisis has affected shipping firms' capability to provide enough equipment or meet technical requirements.
"That is the main reason [for the problem]," Tien said.
But he also blamed the companies for not paying their crews properly, making them unwilling to go the extra mile.
There have been complaints from ship owners that some port officials in India, China, and Indonesia, expecting bribes, deliberately caused them trouble, he said.
In the statement, he also noted that there were 20 accidents in Vietnam waters in which six vessels sank during the first six months, and blamed the low competence and irresponsibility of crew members, especially navigators, for them.
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