Establish independent maritime commission, Malaysian shippers tells government

KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian National Shippers’ Council (MNSC) has asked the government to intervene to resolve shippers’ woes, as well to set up a Malaysia Maritime Commission (MARCOM), an independent enforcement agency to regulate service providers, arbitrary charges and unfair practices in maritime transport sector.

MNSC chairman Datuk Dr Ir Andy Seo Chairman said MARCOM is an important step to ensuring the ability of shippers to cope and survive through this unprecedented period, failing which, there would be a detrimental impact on the country’s overall economy.

“The government has asked many sectors, including banks and land owners to waive interests rates and reduce rental rates on commercial property.

“The action of the logistics service providers, including the shipping lines and depot operators, is moving against the government initiative, therefore we hope the government can intervene and warn those that have irresponsibly increase costs during this critical period,” he said in a statement.

According to Seo, non-vessel operating common carriers have hit shippers hard by imposing landside charges and fees, instead of restraining their charges due to the unprecedented difficulties faced by shippers and other stakeholders amid disruptions to the supply chain.

The new charges include low-sulphur surcharge, add-on agency recovery fees, and very recently during the fourth MCO period, higher depot gate charges by off dock depots.

“Given the tremendous strain faced by shippers on their ability to sustain business amidst COVID-19 and the MCO, MNSC is highly disappointed with these arbitrary imposition of logistics service charges by this unregulated sector which is extremely detrimental to both exporters and importers, especially at the present time,” Seo said.