China has recently issued detailed implementation guidelines for international container liner companies to operate coastal shipping services to and from Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai and Yangshan deep water ports.
It allowed non-five-star international voyage ships of the liner companies to carry foreign trade containers to and from the Yangshan Port to promote the construction of the Shanghai International Shipping Center and the Lingang New Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, aiming to turn the port as an international transit hub.
The pilot project will run until 31 December 2024, according to the guidelines.
The ships carrying out the piggybacking business should be the intercontinental ocean-going trunk ships, the guidelines said. They will only carry container cargoes which are foreign trade container cargo for which the international container liner company has issued a full bill of lading.
The container liner companies in foreign countries, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Macau Special Administrative Region are eligible to join the pilot project.
Foreign international container liner companies have to comply with the principle of reciprocity, which is the location of the company’s actual controller, the actual registered place of business, the country (including landlocked countries, urban countries), and regions where the company’s ship is registered. Interested international container liner companies have been asked to submit an application to China’s Ministry of Transport to take part in the business.
After giving permission, the overseas international container liner companies would not be allowed to lease-out the business opportunity to others without authorisation from the ministry. If sub-leased, the ship will automatically lose its qualification to conduct business from the date of the effective date of the ship lease contract.
The approved vessels of international ship liners will carry only the container cargo between Chinese ports which are foreign trade import and export container cargo, that is not allowed to be carried in a domestic port, or transited out of another domestic port, or transited in through a domestic port, and unloaded in another domestic port. Violations of these regulations will be punished in accordance with Article 37 of the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on International Shipping, a notification to this regard said.
The overseas international container liner companies which have been approved to conduct the business trials have to report the development of the business trials to the ministry of transport at the end of each quarter.