Gas traders bemoan business conditions

The Saigon Times | Fri, Jun 17, 2016 02:49:40 PM Share this on

Many gas trading firms in the northern region of Vietnam have complained that they have been hit by a slew of complicated administrative procedures and business conditions.

Representatives of companies based in the northeastern and northwestern parts of the country claimed that the Government’s Decree 19 on gas trading and the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Circular 03 detailing certain articles in the decree have pushed many firms active in the field to the verge of bankruptcy.

Ha Thanh Tung from Ha Giang Province-based Dong Tung Production, Trading and Service Co Ltd is one of the representatives. Tung said companies would find it hard to obtain a license if they closely observe Circular 03.

In particular, under Article 9 of the circular, the application dossier for a license to bottle liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) must include copies of certificates of eligibility for LPG imports and exports, or certificates of eligibility for LPG distribution.

However, as stipulated in Article 8, with the application for certificates of eligibility for LPG distribution, LPG distributors have to provide additional documents specified in Clause 4, Article 7. Those additional documents are in fact copies of certificates of eligibility for LPG bottling or contracts for LPG bottling.

“We are aware that with such requirements, companies like us cannot get a license,” Tung said.

Besides, Article 43 of Decree 19 says the certificate of eligibility will be granted to the applicant within 30 working days from the date of all required documents being submitted. If so, agents must wait for up to 135 days to get licenses for gas distribution, bottling and a general agent if they meet all requirements. Meanwhile, a previous decree required only seven days for the licensing duration.

In addition to conflicting regulations, Tung also complained about the conditions, which he said are unrealistic for storage tanks and total capacities of LPG bottles for gas distributors. He said such requirements are not suitable for mountainous areas where consumption demand is lower than in other parts of the country.

Source: The Saigon Times