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Port Fees Supervision Rules in the Pipeline

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Transport (MOT) are planning for management rules of port fees supervision in a bid to regulate port service fees.

According to MOT’s figures released recently, cargo throughput of ports above designated scale increased 1.7% to 2.76 billion tons in the first quarter, with growth rate picking up 2.4 percentage points over the fourth quarter of 2015. However, performance of port enterprises saw polarisation with some reporting excellent results. Shenzhen Chiwan’s first quarter revenue was Rmb441 million, an increase of 8.2% year on year. Port of Nanjing’s first quarter revenue was Rmb40.56 million, up 9.79% year on year.

Revenue of most major ports slipped. Port of Shanghai’s first quarter revenue was Rmb7.105 billion, down 4.29% year on year. Port of Ningbo reported net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies in the first quarter at Rmb658 million, down 13.96% year on year. Port of Tianjin’s first quarter revenue was Rmb2.812 billion, down 35.92% year on year. Port of Xiamen’s first quarter revenue was Rmb1.816 billion, up 9.92% year on year; net profit was Rmb34.15 million, down 14.06% year on year. The ports of Zhuhai and Beibuwan also saw decreasing revenue compared to same period last year.

Facing business slowdown, port enterprises began to engage in vicious competition and arbitrary collection of fees from last year. In 2015, seven ministries including MOT jointly carried out work to regulate and clean up import and export fees, focusing on irregular collection of fees on foreign trade vessels, cargo and transport vehicles by ports along the coasts, rivers and borders as well as port harbours. The China Ports and Harbours Association formed self-regulatory professional committee on port fees to call on enhancing fee self-regulations.

Currently, NDRC is joining hands with MOT to study the formulation of Administrative Measures for the Supervision of Port Fees, urging port enterprises to strengthen self-scrutiny in accord with existing port fees policy to regulate the operation of port service fees.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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