- On the morning of December 16, hundreds of trucks waited to enter Tan Thanh bus station – a gathering point for goods waiting for customs clearance to China.
- Overcrowding occurred on roads and at all terminals, making it difficult for local authorities to prevent epidemics, ensure environmental sanitation, security and order.
- Three days ago (December 14), the government of Lang Son province had a phone conversation with the Chinese side, proposing several solutions to increase customs clearance for goods, especially agricultural products.
Thousands of trucks are stuck at the border gate waiting for customs clearance
Many collection locations, transshipping container trucks carrying agricultural products, can be found along National Highway 1A from Lang Son City to Tan Thanh, Huu Nghi, and Chi Ma border crossings (Dong Dang district). On the morning of December 16, hundreds of trucks waited to approach Tan Thanh station, which serves as a staging area for products awaiting customs clearance to China.
According to statistics from local authorities, by the morning of December 16, the number of vehicles waiting for export at border gates in Lang Son was 4,550; in which Huu Nghi border gate 1,263 vehicles, Chi Ma border gate 678 vehicles, Tan Thanh border gate 2,601 vehicles.
Mr. Nguyen Van Toi (43), a long-distance driver with more than ten years of experience, stated that “every year approaching Tet, there is a traffic bottleneck at the border, but this time the time is too long.” Mr. Toi had to ask someone to open the box to examine the quality of the dragon fruits, because if it doesn’t pass, it will be returned to China, and it will be a waste of time.
Nguyen Van Sang, the driver, stated that more than 22 tons of Thai jackfruit delivered from Tien Giang had been in transit for 17 days. Every three days, the driver must test for Covid and open the truck to inspect the jackfruit quality to see whether it is influenced by temperature. “During transit, jackfruit must be kept at 10 degrees Celsius. For far too long, I had to remove the cover to see if it was wilted, dark, or otherwise “Mr. Sang stated.
Mr. Hoang Khanh Duy, Deputy Head of the Management Board of Dong Dang Border Gate Economic Zone (Lang Son Province) said that there are two main reasons for the delay in customs clearance. First, China has strengthened control of the pandemic and network failure at the country’s border gate. Second, other border gates cleared customs slowly (Quang Ninh, Cao Bang) or stopped customs clearance (Lao Cai), so all “converged to Lang Son”.
“We are trying our best to negotiate with Chinese authorities to speed up cargo clearance,” Duy said. Overcrowding occurred on roads and at all terminals, making it difficult for local authorities to prevent epidemics, ensure environmental sanitation, security and order.
The two countries are attempting to resolve this issue
Three days ago (December 14), the government of Lang Son province had a phone conversation with the Chinese side, proposing several solutions to increase customs clearance for goods, especially agricultural products.
Previously, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also worked directly with China’s Customs, but your country said that the control of goods related to the epidemic was a general regulation that needed to be followed. The General Administration of Customs of China also proposed that the two sides soon sign a protocol on plant quarantine for the remaining 8 fruits to reduce inspection and control procedures at border gates.
In addition to limiting the delivery of goods to the border gate, the rapid transfer, strong shift to official export, and the construction of cold storage to preserve agricultural products near the border gate is the solution recommended by the Ministry of Industry and Trade at this time.