THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
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No: 1866/1999/QD-BGTVT
Hanoi, July 30, 1999
 
DECISION
PROMULGATING THE REGULATION ON INLAND WATERWAY PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION
THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSPORT
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 22/CP of March 22, 1994 defining the tasks, powers, State management responsibility and organizational structure of the Ministry of Communications and Transport;
At the proposals of the Director of the Legal Department and the Director of Vietnam Inland Waterway Bureaus,
DECIDES:
Article 1.- To promulgate together with this Decision the Regulation on inland waterway passenger transportation.
Article 2.- This Decision shall replace Decision No. 1036/QD-VT of June 12, 1990 of the Minister of Communications, Transport and Post, and take effect 30 days after its signing.
Article 3.- The director of the Office, director of the Legal Department and director of Vietnam Inland Waterway Bureaus of the Ministry, directors of the provincial/municipal Communications and Transport Services (the Communications and Public Works Services), the heads of concerned agencies and organizations as well as relevant individuals shall have to implement this Decision.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
FOR THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSPORT
VICE MINISTER




Dao Dinh Binh
 
REGULATION
ON INLAND WATERWAY PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION
(Issued together with Decision No. 1866/1999/QD-BGTVT of July 30, 1999 of the Minister of Communications and Transport)
Chapter I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1.- Purposes, objects and scope of application
1. Purposes: This Regulation prescribes business principles for inland waterway transportation of passengers and defines the rights and obligations of concerned organizations and individuals.
2. Objects of application: This Regulation shall apply to organizations and individuals of all economic sectors, including organizations and individuals that have foreign investment capital and are licensed to do business in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
3. Scope of application: This Regulation shall apply to the passenger transportation on the inland waterways of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and domestic and international transshipment of passengers if it is not contrary to the international treaties which Vietnam has signed or acceded to.
The passenger transportation across inland waterways shall comply with separate regulations.
Article 2.- Interpretation of terms
In this Regulation, the following terms shall be construed as follows:
1. "The carrier" means an organization or individual that uses its/his/her own means or rents means owned by others to do business in the passenger transportation on inland waterways.
2. "The passengers" mean people onboard passenger transport means, excluding crew members and their family members living onboard the means as well as persons assigned to perform public duty thereon.
3. "Luggage" means the passengers’ belongings and goods carried along in their journey, which includes handbags and accompanied luggage.
4. "Handbags" mean the luggage taken care of by the passengers themselves throughout their journeys.
5. "Accompanied luggage" means the part of luggage consigned to the means for preservation during the journeys.
6. "Unaccompanied baggage" means the passengers’ belongings and goods to be carried by any shipment on which the senders do not travel.
7. "Dangerous goods" mean toxic substances, inflammables, explosives, which are dangerous to people, means and environment.
8. "Force majeure cases" mean cases where natural calamities, epidemics, enemy sabotage occur or the transport lanes are obstructed.
Article 3.- Conditions for dealing in passenger transportation; dealing in ports and passenger wharves (hereinafter referred collectively to as the passenger wharves).
1. Persons dealing in passenger transportation must acquire the business registration certificates or the business licenses for passenger transportation on inland waterways.
2. The passenger transport means must have all papers as prescribed, have emergency medicines, be kept clean and beautiful. For long-distance means and means operating at nights, services must be provided for passengers’ daily-life activities.
3. Passenger wharves must be licensed by competent bodies according to regulations.
There are two types of passenger wharves: The primary wharves and the secondary wharves.
The primary wharves means the departure location and the destination of the means.
A primary wharf must be organized at least with the management board, the waiting lounge for passengers, the ticket room, built with pier for safe embarkation and disembarkation by the passengers, with facilities in service of passengers’ daily-life activities (WCs, lighting, public address system, notice boards…).
b/ The secondary wharves are places where the means take in and release passengers en route.
A secondary wharf must be furnished at least with a pier for safe embarkation and disembarkation by the passengers and adequate lighting if it operates at night.
Chapter II
PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION
Article 4.- Obligations of the carrier.
The carrier shall have the following obligations:
1. To equip each means with an itinerary chart and safety rules;
2. To organize the safe transport, take-in and release of passengers from the departure place to the destination according to schedule and the right route prescribed in the itinerary chart.
Where there is a change to the itinerary chart, the carrier shall have to notify it to the passengers at least 10 days in advance. Where there is a change to the departure time, the passengers must be informed thereof at least 24 hours in advance;
3. To provide enough seats for the passengers according to their seat numbers as prescribed;
4. To receive passengers in a civilized and decent manner;
5. All primary wharves must be open for passengers to board the means at least 30 minutes before the means leave the wharves.
When approaching a wharf, the ship master must announce to the passengers the name of wharf; the minimum time for stopping at the wharf shall be 10 minutes before the means reach the wharf.
6. To popularize the passengers with the travel rules and the way of using the life buoys and other safety devices;
7. To buy insurance for the passengers;
8. To reduce load in the flood seasons as prescribed.
Article 5.- Rights of the carrier
The carrier shall have the following rights:
1. The carrier may collect charges for the transportation of passengers, accompanied luggage in excess of the prescribed free-of-charge limits, unaccompanied baggage and for other services if requested by passengers;
2. The carrier may refuse the transportation in the following cases:
- Persons who commit acts of causing public disorder, breaching the safety rules, obstructing the operation of the means;
- Drunkards who may cause harms in the course of transportation;
- Persons suffering from epilepsy or mental diseases without anyone to accompany them;
- Persons carrying goods categories prescribed in Clause 3, Article 11;
- Persons failing or refusing to buy travel tickets;
- Unaccompanied baggage falsely declared.
Article 6.- Prohibitions on the carrier
The carrier is strictly forbidden to:
1. Sell tickets at prices higher than the prescribed ones;
2. Let other means come close to the passenger ships to take in and/or discharge passengers while the ships are on the move;
3. Staff members onboard the ships drink alcohols and/or beer; letting persons who have no duty to enter their working rooms while on duty.
Article 7.- Obligations of the passengers
The passengers shall have the following obligations:
1. To strictly abide by the rules on travel by ship, to buy tickets and pay charges fully, to board and land at the right wharves and on time, not to cause disorder in the wharves and on board the means;
2. To protect their own handbags;
3. To protect the common property on the means; to compensate for damage caused to or loss of equipment on board the means;
4. To take responsibility for the declaration of the names and addresses of their own and accompanying children when the ticket sellers make lists of passengers.
Article 8.- The rights of passengers
The passengers shall have the following rights:
1. To request to be transported by the right means, according to the announced timetable and itinerary;
2. To request the payment of arising expenses or the compensation for damage if the carriers fail to carry them according to the time and places as agreed upon or cause loss of or damage to accompanied luggage and/or unaccompanied baggage;
3. To be refunded the ticket money fully or partially corresponding to the distance uncovered due to the faults of the carriers.
Article 9.- Passenger tickets
1. The passenger tickets constitute the evidence of entering into contracts between the passengers and the carriers. The passenger tickets must be made according to set forms, containing the following details: The name or registration number of the means; the departure wharf and the arrival wharf; the departure time; the ticket price.
2. To organize the ticket sale: Wharves shall have to stipulate the appropriate time for ticket sale, based on the number of passengers and volume of cargo for each shipment. The ticket selling time must be posted up at the ticket counters and the passengers’ waiting places. The time to close the ticket counters shall be 15 minutes at the latest before the means leaves the wharf.
The quantity of tickets sold for each shipment must not exceed the number of seats, prescribed by the registry, and must be announced to the passengers. When selling tickets, the ticket sellers shall have to make the lists of passengers on board the ships. Such a list shall be made in 2 copies with 1 being kept at the wharf and another handed over to the ship master for adding names of passengers who board the ship at secondary wharves.
3. Ticket price exemption or reduction:
- Under- 5 children shall be exempt from tickets but have to share seats with their accompanying adults;
- Children aged over 5 to 10 shall enjoy the 50% reduction of the ticket price and every two of them shall occupy a seat.
4. Ticket purchase priority:
Passengers of the following categories shall be given priority in ticket purchase according to the order below:
- Sick persons who must be shipped as soon as possible at the request of the medical bodies;
- Wounded or diseased soldiers of class 1 and class 2;
- Persons aged over 65;
- Women with children of under 24 months old;
- Pregnant women;
- Journalists;
- Officials and employees of the armed forces on urgent missions.
5. Ticket check: Before passengers board the ships or land, the ship attendants shall have to check the passengers’ tickets in order to detect and handle cases of ticket evasion or misboarding or mislanding.
Article 10.- Handling cases related to passengers’ tickets
1. Passengers who travel past their designated wharves shall have to buy tickets for the additional distance.
2. Passengers who have bought tickets for their whole journeys but landed midway shall not be refunded the money for the uncovered distance.
3. Passengers who return their tickets at least one hour before the ships leave wharves shall be refunded 90% of their ticket price money.
4. Passengers who arrive late after the means have left according to the announced itinerary schedule and wish to continue their journeys shall be arranged for the next shipment by the carrier but have to pay an extra 50% of the ticket prices. If such passengers do not continue their journeys, their tickets shall be invalid.
Article 11.- Luggage
1. Each passenger shall have 20 kg of his/her handbag luggage free of charge.
2. A passenger enjoying the 50% reduction of the ticket price shall have 10 kg of his/her handbag luggage free of charge.
3. Handbag luggage of the following categories are prohibited from being carried on board the ships:
- Dangerous goods; goods banned from circulation;
- Corpses or remains of dead bodies; stinking matters;
- Live animals;
- Bulky commodities obstructing the passengers’ movement on board the means.
Article 12.- Cases of transport failure due to the carriers’ faults
1. After tickets are sold, if a ship fails to leave as scheduled and the passengers have to stay overnight in waiting, the carrier shall have to bear all arising costs. If passengers do not wish to continue their journey and return their tickets, the carrier shall have to refund the whole amount of ticket money and freight (if any) to such passengers.
2. Where a ship breaks down, being unable to continue its journey, the shipmaster shall have to seek ways and means to carry the passengers to the arrival wharf safely.
- If passengers have to stay overnight in waiting, the carrier shall provide lodgings and meals to them and bear all arising costs.
- If passengers do not wish to wait for resumption of their trips, the carrier shall have to refund them the ticket money and freight for the remaining distance;
- If the shipmaster arranges another means to return to the departure wharf, the passengers shall return there without having to pay for their fares and freight and be refunded the ticket money and cargo freight they have paid.
Article 13.- Force majeure cases
The force majeure cases shall be handled as follows:
1. If the means have not yet departed, the carrier shall have to immediately notify the cancellation or suspension of the trip to the passengers and refund them all the ticket and freight money;
2. If the means are on their itinerary:
a/ Where the means have to take other routes longer than the usual routes, no extra ticket money shall be collected from the passengers.
b/ Where the means can not wait for the traffic restoration and have to return to the departure place, the passengers shall not have to pay for the return tickets and freight and be refunded the ticket and freight money for the uncovered distance.
Article 14.- Happenings to passengers on the routes
Happenings to passengers along the travel routes shall be handled as follows:
1. Where a passenger falls into the water, the shipmaster shall have to quickly organize the rescue. If all attempts have still failed to rescue the passenger, a record thereof must be made to the witness of the passengers’ representative and the victim’s next of kin (if any) and at the same time the case shall be reported to the authorities of the locality where the accident has occurred; where the victim is not accompanied by any next of kin, the accident must be notified to his/her family, relatives or office for settlement.
2. Where a passenger dies on board the vessel, the shipmaster shall, together with the dead person’s relatives (if any) and the passengers’ representative, make the record thereof and take the dead body onto the nearest wharf. If the dead passenger is not accompanied by any relative, the shipmaster shall carry him/her onto the nearest wharf and appoint someone to stay back and contact the local authorities and the concerned insurance agency to carry out necessary procedures and at the same to invite the victim’s family, relatives or office to the place for coordinated settlement. The dead person’s luggage must be inventoried and the record must be made to hand them over to the dead person’s family, relatives or office.
3. Passengers getting sick during the journey:
- If a passenger gets an unexpected illness which threatens his/her life, the shipmaster shall have to help him/her with emergency treatment and take him/her to the nearest wharf for treatment ashore.
- If damage is caused to a passenger’s health due to the carrier’s fault, the latter shall have to make compensation therefor according to the current law provisions.
Chapter III
TRANSPORT AND PRESERVATION OF ACCOMPANIED LUGGAGE AND UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE
Article 15.- Conditions for accompanied luggage and unaccompanied baggage to be transported.
1. To be transported, the accompanied luggage and unaccompanied baggage shall have to satisfy the following conditions:
- Having sizes and weights suitable to each type of transport means and the handling conditions at both terminals;
- Being packed according to regulations;
- Not falling into the goods types mentioned in Clause 2 of this Article;
- With freight paid therefor according to regulations.
For the accompanied luggage, the following conditions should also be met:
- The passengers have already got the travel tickets.
- The luggage shall be received for transportation to the wharves of their arrivals;
- The luggage must be transported on the same vessel with the senders even where they are transshipped to another means during the process of transportation.
2. The following types of luggage and baggage shall not be received for transportation:
- Dangerous goods; goods banned from circulation;
- Coffins and corpses (except where there are permits for the transportation of remains);
- Live animals (except where they are small animals which are kept in cages and separate compartments of the vessel);
- Rare and precious goods such as gold, silver, gemstones.
Article 16.- Procedures for luggage and baggage to be received, transported and preserved
1. Passengers with luggage shall have to pay freight for the goods in excess of the prescribed limits and deliver them to the carrier at least 30 minutes before the means depart.
2. Persons having unaccompanied baggage shall have to make a declaration of the baggage, stating each types of goods in term of quantity, volume, the consignor’s name, the consignee’s name.
3. The goods consignors shall take responsibility for the legality of the goods in the baggage and forward papers of legal validity to the carrier for report when necessary.
4. The carrier shall have to inspect the packages, quantities as well as labels of goods and write the certification in the goods consignment declaration. The goods consignment declaration shall be made in two original copies to be kept by the passenger and the carrier separately. Where the payment is made via bank, an additional copy is required for each party.
The carriers shall announce the reception of baggage on appropriate routes, depending on the availability of their means, warehouses and/or storing yards.
5. With regard to transshipment, the preservation and transshipment of goods to other means shall be undertaken by the carriers. The carriers and the goods consignors shall have to sign transport contracts.
Article 17.- Delivery of luggage and baggage
1. Passengers with accompanied luggage, when receiving their luggage, have to produce luggage tickets; freight vouchers.
2. Passengers with unaccompanied baggage, when receiving them, shall have to produce the freight vouchers, goods consignment declarations and personal papers. If other people receive the goods on their behalf, there must be the letter of authorization as prescribed by law. Where the consignees delay the reception of the goods for one day or more, they shall have to pay the warehousing fees.
3. The passengers shall have to check their goods at the place of delivery. After the passengers receive their goods, the carriers shall bear no responsibility for the loss or damage caused to such goods.
Article 18.- Detection of false declaration by baggage consignors
Upon the detection of false declaration by a baggage consignor
1. If it is detected before the transportation:
The goods consignor shall have to make a new declaration of their goods. If they are dangerous goods and/or goods banned from circulation, they must be unloaded ashore and the goods consignor shall have to bear all arising costs.
2. If it is detected en route:
a/ If they are neither dangerous goods nor goods banned from circulation, the carrier shall notify such to the transport hirer and continue transporting them to the place of delivery; all arising costs (if any) must be borne by the transport hirer;
b/ If they are dangerous goods and/or goods banned from circulation, the carrier shall have to report such to the functional bodies for handling and at the same time inform the goods consignor thereof. The goods consignor shall, besides having to bear all arising costs, be subject to a fine trebling the freight.
Article 19.- Compensation for lost or damaged luggage, baggage
In the process of loading, unloading and preservation, if luggage and/or baggage are lost or damaged, the carriers shall have to compensate therefor at the market price at the time and place of goods delivery. Where the two sides cannot reach agreement on the compensation level, the damage suffering party may file its petition to the economic arbitration or the economic court for settlement according to the provisions of law.
Chapter IV
CONTRACTS FOR COMMERCIAL LEASE OF MEANS
Article 20.- The means chartering contracts
A means chartering contract is a contract signed between the means lessor and the means lessee, hereinafter referred collectively to as the contractual parties, thereby the means lessee shall use the means for dealing in the passenger transportation within a given period of time or for certain shipments. The means leasing prices shall be agreed upon by the two parties in the contracts (if they are not set by the competent State bodies).
Where a person dealing in the inland waterway transportation of passengers hires foreign means, such must be approved by the Ministry of Communications and Transport.
Article 21.- Forms of means chartering
Following are forms of means chartering:
1. Limited means charter: The lessor shall assign the lessee the right to use the means together with the crew;
2. Ceiling means charter: The lessor shall assign the lessee the right to use the means but not the crew.
Article 22.- Obligations of the contractual parties
Parties to the contract for means charter shall have the following obligations:
1. The means lessor:
a/ To hand over the means and their lawful papers to the lessee according to the time and place inscribed in the contracts;
b/ In case of limited means charter, to provide the crew members with diplomas or certificates suitable to the means as prescribed, to perform the labor management and bear full responsibility for matters related to such crew;
c/ To pay for the repair of the means if the losses arise outside the responsibility of the means lessee.
2. The means lessee:
a/ To use the means according to their utility and for the right purpose agreed upon in the contract;
b/ To maintain the means and other equipment unless otherwise agreed upon in the contract;
c/ Upon the expiry of the charter, to return the means at the right place, on the right time and in the technical status as agreed upon.
Article 23.- Rights of the contractual parties
The parties to the means chartering contract shall have the following rights:
1. The means lessor:
a/ In case of the ceiling means charter, to be entitled to nominate a representative to conduct extraordinary inspection of the fulfillment of obligations by the means lessee but without affecting the business activities of the means lessee;
b/ To be entitled to recover the means and terminate the contract if the means lessee seriously breaches the terms agreed upon in the contract by the two parties.
2. The means lessee:
a/ To use the means and the crew for the attainment of the purposes agreed upon in the contract;
b/ In cases where the means is requisitioned on the order of the competent body, the lessee shall notify such to the means lessor and request the body that has signed the requisition order to use the means according to its utility and to pay the charges and surcharges incurred by the requisition.
Article 24.- Termination of contracts
1. The two parties shall terminate the contract if the means is missing, wrecked, confiscated or irreparably damaged; and the party at fault shall have to make the compensation therefor.
2. A means chartering contract shall automatically terminate if a war or natural disaster occurs, making the contract unable to be continuously performed. The two parties shall determine the duration the means has been used for making the payment.
 
FOR THE MINISTER OF
COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSPORT
VICE MINISTER




Dao Dinh Binh