As of July 16, up to 53 ships abandoned in the waters off Vietnam had not been properly handled, threatening maritime safety, especially during storms.
Among them, there are 41 Vietnamese-flagged ships, six foreign-flagged vessels owned by Vietnamese companies and six others belonging to foreign firms.
Vietnamese-flagged ships no longer fit to operate will be dismantled according to the rules.
As for foreign-flagged ships, the Law on Environment Protection of Vietnam says used foreign ships are banned from import, making it impossible to dismantle these ships.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong said the ministry could not find legal room for the demolition of foreign vessels, unless the Government shaped a policy for development of the ship dismantling industry in the country.
To guarantee maritime safety, the Ministry of Transport requests ship owners to securely anchor their ships to prevent them from drifting and crashing into other ships, especially during storms.
In the coming time, they will have to completely handle the abandoned ships, or else the transport ministry will take them to court and put up their assets for auction.
The number of abandoned ships by the middle of this month had increased by ten from 43 in end-November 2012 as a result of economic downturn and shrinking demand for shipping.
Recently, many crewmembers have constantly complained about unpaid salaries and poor living conditions on board.