London P&I warns on sand exports from Vietnam

London P&I Club has issued a web advisory to Members informing them that its Ho Chi Minh City Correspondent Spica Services has warned that sand from Vietnamese waters is reportedly being dredged illegally.

London P& I said that members loading sand from Vietnamese waters (and charterers considering entering such contracts) should ensure that the appropriate export licence has been issued by the Vietnamese Authorities in respect of sand cargoes to be loaded and that it is provided to the shipowners for checking in advance of loading, in order to avoid potential delays to the vessel.

The majority of sand dredging exports are bound for Singapore. Panamax ships are the preferred means of transportation, with each ship carrying around 53,000 tonnes.

At the end of 2009 the Vietnamese Government banned sand exports, but in 2013 the regulations were relaxed. The Government listed several enterprises that were allowed to export saline sand from river mouths and the sea, under certain conditions.

Spica said that to date it had not had any issues, although it had on several occasionals needed to ask to see the relevant authorizations.