China Investigating Port Overcharging Allegations
Seven Chinese state departments are investigating four local shipping companies over allegations that they have levied arbitrary and excessive charges for port services after receiving complaints from several foreign firms.
The companies are Ningbo Dagang Pilotage, a subsidiary of Ningbo Port Group, Nantong Youbang Port Services, Taizhou Dingan Ocean Shipping Services, and Dandong Dehai Ship Services, which operate at the ports of Ningbo, Nantong, Taizhou and Dandong, respectively.
The state departments conducting investigations are the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Commerce, the General Administration of Customs, and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection.
NDRC has found that some shipping companies list too many items on document charges and unreasonable telex release charges.
Ningbo Dagang allegedly collected pilotage fees that were higher than required by national regulations. Dangdong Dehai has allegedly overcharged operators for waste dumping fees.
China Shipping Association officials said that the four companies used their monopoly positions to charge these excessive fees and they will be regulated going forward.
According to reports, some shipping firms have already adjusted and reduced charges for telex releases.