HCMC – Only the Huu Nghi Border Gate in the northern province of Lang Son remains open for vehicles transporting Vietnam’s exports to China, while thousands of container trucks have been stuck at the northern border gates for half a month.
Meanwhile, only nearly 100 container trucks can go through the Huu Nghi Border Gate per day, the local media reported.
As of December 20, nearly 4,600 container trucks have been stranded at the Huu Nghi, Tan Thanh and Chi Ma border gates. However, customs clearance procedures at the Tan Thanh and Chi Ma border gates have been suspended since December 8.
At a meeting on the export of goods to China on December 20 between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Lang Son government, Lang Son Chairman Ho Tien Thieu said it was difficult to complete customs clearance procedures for such a huge volume of goods in a short period.
Nearly 10,000 drivers and driving assistants are waiting to complete customs clearance procedures, Thieu noted.
He added that Vietnam and China should reach a consensus on anti-pandemic measures, and quickly sign a protocol on checking products exported to China, especially fruits, to shorten the time to review products at border gates.
Lang Son has completed customs clearance procedures for vehicles coming to border gates first and prioritized products that cannot be stored in freezing facilities for an extended period, such as jackfruits and mangoes.
Tran Thanh Nam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the ministry had established a working team to coordinate with the Lang Son government to come up with solutions for the backlog.
He attributed the backlog to the failure of some enterprises to comply with China’s regulations on farm produce exports and pandemic prevention and control.
He said China would stop the customs clearance at border gates for 14 days during the upcoming Tet holiday. If Vietnamese enterprises do not get the information, their goods will be stranded at border gates.
According to Hu Suo Jin, Chinese Counselor in Vietnam, Chinese agencies are seeking ways to help accelerate the customs clearance for Vietnamese goods. He explained that a Vietnamese driver was found to be infected with Covid-19 on December 17, while China is pursuing the zero-Covid policy, so the local authorities were forced to tighten control at the border gate areas.
He expected to receive support from the Vietnamese side as China has some 1.4 billion people and cannot afford to live with Covid-19.