The Ministry of Transport is going to lower port management service fees that are priced by or under the guidance of the government and reduce charging items, in a bid to lower expenditures and enhance efficiency for the port and shipping sector amid deepening supply-side structural reform at the water transport industry.
Yi Jiyong, deputy head of the Water Transport Bureau at the ministry, introduced the measures at a news conference on July 10, ahead of the 15th China National Maritime Day on July 11. This year, forums themed on the development of a high-quality shipping industry will be attended by over 400 guests of port and shipping organizations from countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Among that four major terms that will see cuts, cargo dues will go down by 15 percent, security fees for port facilities by 20 percent, pilotage fees by 10 percent, and tugboat fees for ships sailing domestic routes by 5 percent, Yi said, noting that the total charging items will decrease from 15 to 11 as well.
In addition, international liner companies will be encouraged to cooperate with upstream and downstream enterprises to reduce expenditures in the chain. And operation documents will be in electronic form to improve administration efficiency.
Other measures are also underlined for waterway transport at a higher level.
The ministry has streamlined administration, delegated powers, strengthened regulation and improved services. For example, restrictions, such as requiring domestic shipping agencies to be controlled by the Chinese side, have been lifted.
What’s more, smart ports, with automated container operations, will be built. And infrastructure for electricity supplies from the shore to ships anchored at ports has been increased nationwide, covering 5,200 anchorage spaces by the end of 2018. This has helped to reduce air-polluting emissions from ships.
Yi said the ministry is working on four instruction documents, which are aimed at boosting waterway transport development and building the world’s top-ranking ports in China. The core concept is to aim high, fully take advantage of sea and river transport, and make the industry inclusive and pioneering.