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[SHANGHAI] China's transport ministry has asked port operators to reduce their fees in a move it says will help spur the development of the country's shipping industry.
The world's largest trading nation has pledged to help modernize its domestic shipping industry as it looks to secure its supply chains. It has earlier said it would introduce tax and other regulatory reforms.
Port operators will only be allowed to charge shipping lines fees for a limited number of services ranging from parking to waste disposal to berthing, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) said in a joint statement with top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The ministry also slashed extra fees that operators could charge during holidays and night-time sailings by 45 per cent, and reduced port security charges for 20- and 40-foot containers, according to the statement posted on the NDRC's website on Thursday.
The MoT said the new rules would take effect from Sept 20.