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Vietnam announces criteria for classification of seaports

SP-SSA International Terminal in Ba Ria-Vung Tau welcoming the Hapag-Lloyd

The Vietnamese government on July 28 issued Decree No.76/2021/ND-CP outlining the criteria for the classification of seaports, with influence and operation scale the main factors.

The influence of a seaport will be assessed by the master planning on seaport development approved by state authorities, with the criteria of serving national, regional, inter-regional, or local socio-economic development; as well as a port’s role in international transshipping or as an international gateway.

Operation scale will be assessed by the volume of goods passing through seaports and the size of vessels they can accommodate.

The decree also outlines a scoring system for seaports with the highest score being 100 points. Based on this score, seaports will be classified into four categories: Special seaports (above 90 points), Group 1 seaports (70-90 points), Group II seaports (50-70 points), and Group III seaports (below 50 points).

The Vietnam Maritime Administration will compile a list of seaports and classify them in the first January of every five-year period and then submit it to the Ministry of Transport (MoT).

The MoT will then gather feedback from ministries, relevant agencies, People’s Committees of cities and provinces directly under the central government and then submit a finalised list to the government for approval and announcement.

Eight terminals have been added to the list of seaports in Vietnam, raising the total to 286. Each year, seaports nationwide serve about 120,000 vessel arrivals and record growth of nearly 16 per cent in cargo throughput. They handled 692 million tonnes of goods in 2020.