Deputy minister Phung Duc Tien of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the number of trucks carrying agricultural products, mainly dragon fruits, which had been stuck at Tan Thanh Border Gate in Lang Son Province, now has dropped to around 400 trucks.
According to deputy minister Phung Duc Tien, the reason that caused farm produce congestion at Tan Thanh Border Gate for a long time was because the procedure to check vehicles transporting farm produce of Chinese authority takes longer, from around 2 minutes to 6 minutes. ‘Thus, the time for vehicle checking at the beginning has tripled,’ he said. Meanwhile, Vietnam has entered harvest season of dragon fruits, the amount of goods increase while checking procedures are longer, leading to traffic congestion.
According to a report by Mr. Hoang Khanh Duy, head of the Immigration Office under the Department of Industry and Trade of Lang Son Province, in the third quarter, the volume of export farm produce declined. But it is at the end of the year, so as usual, the number of vehicles transporting farm produce increases heavily to about 250 vehicles per day.
In order to clear congestion and support vehicles’ owners, the agricultural deputy minister asked the People’s Committee of Lang Son Province and other departments to collaborate with Chinese authorities, such as customs, animal and plant quarantine and border guards to extend their working time to do customs clearance.
‘Working time was prolonged to nine hours per day. Sometime, we suggested Chinese authorities to receive vehicles until 9 p.m. Vietnamese time, or 10 p.m. Chinese time,’ said deputy minister Phung Duc Tien. He said that he had asked Chinese authorities to support and speed up customs clearance procedures for Vietnamese vehicles when he met the counsellor of the Embassy of China in Vietnam on October 22.