On April 18, a delegation formed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), and the Ministry of Finance visited border gates in the North to inspect the congestion of goods and agricultural products here to resolve the situation.
The report by the People’s Committee of Lang Son Province said that although border customs have been striving to make customs clearance, up to now, there were still more than 2,600 trucks congested at border gates. Of which, there were more than 1,000 trucks at Tan Thanh border gate alone.
Ms. Lam Thi Phuong Thanh, Secretary of Lang Son Provincial Party Committee, said that because trucks have to wait for customs clearance, thousands of people were gathering at this border gate. To ensure the practice of the prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic and safety for people, clear goods quickly, and reduce costs for enterprises, Lang Son Province proposed the Prime Minister to halt shipping of goods to Tan Thanh border gate.
In recent days, as China tightened border control, Tan Thanh, Huu Nghi, and Coc Nam border gates were able to clear merely 600 trucks per day, 50 percent less than before.
According to Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong of the MARD, for the time being, China and Vietnam need to reach an agreement in opening more lines for more trucks to be cleared. At the same time, the clearance time at border gates needs to be extended. For instance, Tan Thanh border gate will extend its opening time from 5 hours to 7 hours every day and it will also open at the weekend. The two countries also need to improve the loading and unloading capacity at both ends to quickly clear a large number of trucks congested currently.
He noted that Southern provinces should temporarily stop shipping goods and agricultural products to border gates to ease the pressure and prevent losses. When the situation of the pandemic becomes better and trade returns to normal, all sectors need to make plans in advance and be ready to promote the import and export capacity to meet the market demand.
Sharing the same point of view, Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh of the MoIT said that with the current situation, the shipping of goods to border gates should be spaced out or temporarily halted; relevant departments should guide farmers and enterprises to shift to official export and increase trade of agricultural products by rail between China and Vietnam.