June 05, 2020 16:57

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Urgent to find solutions to reduce agricultural congestion at Lang Son border gates

20:00 | 01/04/2020

VCN- As of March 30, at border gates in Lang Son, there is still a large number of cars waiting for import-export procedures - up to 1,514 vehicles, of which about 1,200 are carrying agricultural products of Vietnam waiting for export procedures. To clear the congested goods, on the morning of March 30, the People's Committee leader of Lang Son province worked with Ho Toa Cam, Economic and Commercial Counselor - Chinese Embassy in Vietnam and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on exporting agricultural products through Tan Thanh and Huu Nghi international border gates.

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urgent to find solutions to reduce agricultural congestion at lang son border gates
The number of unsold vehicles near the Huu Nghi gate reaches more than 300. Photo: Thu Huong

1,514 truckloads congested

At the meeting, Nguyen Cong Truong, Vice Chairman of Lang Son Provincial People's Committee, said during the past time, the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on import and export activities of goods through the locality. However, Lang Son province has introduced several solutions and initiatives to ensure the prevention and control of epidemics, and create favourable conditions for the import and export of goods such as establishing a separate isolation area for the drivers and owners of goods, strict loading and unloading staff; set up a specialised Vietnamese driving team to operate Chinese trucks to the Chinese side; for shippers and drivers wearing protective clothing to translate into Chinese border areas for transactions; promoting propaganda, setting up patrol and control.

Up to now, in the province of Lang Son (Vietnam) and Guangxi (China), there have been 6/12 pairs of border gates of customs clearance for import and export of goods. Import and export volume of goods is about 1,200 vehicles/day. Thanks to the positive of the two sides, from February 5 to March 29, 2020 forces of the two sides cleared customs procedures for 33,310 vehicles, equivalent to more than 850,000 tonnes of goods with a total import and export turnover. Through the first three months of 2020, it is estimated to reach over US$1.1 billion.

While with the efforts of both sides and functional agencies, functional forces have achieved certain results, however, the situation of import and export in the province still faces difficulties and obstacles. Notably, customs clearance capacity has not met demand for exporting agricultural products.

Up to the end of March 29 at border gates in the province, there were still 1,514 truckloads, of which about 1,200 vehicles carried agricultural products and fruits.

Specifically, at Tan Thanh border gate, there were still about 700 agricultural vehicles left and Huu Nghi international border gate had a backlog of 336 vehicles. The reason for the congestion of agricultural vehicles is that the Chinese side has tightened control measures amid the Covid-19 epidemic leading to longer traffic times.

Reportedly, businesses, traders and farmers are still bringing goods to the border gate to await export to China and these cars are parked along the National Road 1A lasting nearly 10 km.

Dang Ut Em, a driver from Binh Thuan province, said: "I've been here at Tan Thanh border gate for 6-7 days already. Now I have to switch to Huu Nghi international border gate, which takes 2-3 days to clear customs, the goods are dragon fruit waiting for too long, so I’m afraid the goods quality will be decreased, China will not accept it and I’m very worried”.

Speeding up customs clearance

To deploy solutions to clear goods and avoid congestion at the border gate, during this morning's meeting, Nguyen Cong Truong asked the representative of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam to report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China to promote the expansion of Vietnam's list of agricultural and fruit products to be exported to the Chinese market; consult with Chinese agencies to consider a number of contents such as: temporarily transporting goods to isolated wharves and soon expand the list of import and export goods.

Lang Son Provincial People's Committee also proposed MARD coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries and branches to discuss with China to unify measures to export all agricultural products awaiting export at Tan Thanh border gate; speeding up completion of market opening procedures for Vietnam's agricultural and aquatic products to be officially exported to the Chinese market.

urgent to find solutions to reduce agricultural congestion at lang son border gates

Carts are still heading to the border gate along National Road 1A.

Photo: Thu Huong

Nguyen Cong Truong also asked the Management Board of the Dong Dang Border Gate Economic Zone to continue to act as a focal point to discuss with China to coordinate in solving the goods congestion; car park of Xuan Cuong arranged accommodation, a resting place for drivers; provincial police direct the flow of vehicles, remind drivers to keep the environment clean.

Lang Son province also recommends businesses and car owners having goods through the border gate coordinate with functional forces, update the customs clearance situation, and do not put goods massively to avoid congestion.

, Vy Cong Tuong, Deputy Director of Lang Son Customs Department, said that to speed up the clearance of goods andminimise damage to businesses in the Covid-19 epidemic, the unit usually cross-connected and held talks with Chinese authorities to improve the capacity of resolving customs clearance. At the same time, we will direct border-gate customs units to arrange public officials to increase working time to create conditions for customs clearance for import and export goods of the two sides.

Lang Son Customs emphasises that the first goal is to support businesses to connect with partners, to facilitate the signing of trade contracts for import and export of agricultural products. At the same time, guide businesses to declare customs procedures and quickly handle problems, so businesses do not incur additional costs during the process of carrying out procedures, especially in the difficult context of epidemics.

By Dao Le/ Huu Tuc