A ship of the state-owned Vinashin Lines has been kept in South Korea due to a commercial dispute, Tuoi Tre quoted an official as saying Friday.
Currently they are negotiating to settle the dispute, said Nguyen Canh Viet, general director of Vietnam Shipping Lines (Vinalines), which manages Vinashin Lines.
Viet did not give more information about the case.
However, the newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying that the local port authorities confiscated the Hoa Sen (Lotus) ship because Vinashin Lines allegedly owes its Korean partner US$4 million.
The debt dated from when the company was still under the management of Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, or Vinashin, the source said.
Vinashin Lines was transferred to Vinalines last July when the group was re-structured after government inspectorate found that it was in accumulative debt of US$4.1 billion in total and on the verge of bankruptcy.
According to news website VnExpress, the Hoa Sen ship was purchased by Vinashin from Italy at over VND1.3 trillion ($63.12 million) in May, 2007.
In January 2009, it was sent to the central province of Khanh Hoa for repairs and in May 2009 it anchored at the local Cam Ranh port, the news source said.
In February this year, the ship left the port to resume operation, VnExpress said, adding the ship was still in debt hundreds of millions of dong in shipping fees locally.
Last month Vinalines had another ship held in China also related to a commercial dispute. Vinalines' Global ship, which boasts Vietnam's largest loading capacity, was released after a compensation of $800,000 was paid.