1,800 trucks stuck at China border despite trade resumption

By Minh Cuong   February 9, 2022 | 06:08 pm PT
1,800 trucks stuck at China border despite trade resumption
Trucks waiting for customs clearance in Mong Cai Town, border Quang Ninh Province, January 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong
Around 1,800 container trucks are still stranded in provinces bordering China, despite the northern neighbor having resumed trade via key border gates after a pre-Tet holiday disruption.

Trade via key border points resumed between Feb. 3 and Feb. 5, but around 600 and 1,200 trucks were still in queues to cross the border in the provinces of Quang Ninh and Lang Son, customs authorities said Tuesday.

Despite China having fully resumed trade with Vietnam via key border gates, the trade ministry had warned that congestion may continue, as clearance would not resume at pre-pandemic pace due to tightened Covid-19 safety measures.

The increasing number of vehicles coming to the border further burdens the authorities’ efforts to relieve the congestion, officials said.

"Nearly all of the vehicles that came before Tet, the Lunar New Year holiday, from Jan. 29 - Feb. 6, have been released. However, trucks are still coming in from other provinces, causing nearly 570 vehicles to line up," an official at the Mong Cai International Border Gate Customs (Quang Ninh) said.

Meanwhile, officials of the Dong Dang Economic Zone (Lang Son) said that as of Feb. 7 morning, 1,221 trucks had queued up at the border - 634 at the Huu Nghi Border Gate and 587 at the Tan Thanh Border Gate.

On Jan. 31, 474 vehicles were stuck at the Huu Nghi, Tan Thanh and Chi Ma border gates.

From Feb. 3 to Feb. 6, 313 trucks were cleared after the Huu Nghi and Tan Thanh border gates reopened. But an increase in the number of vehicles coming to the border continued to cause congestion, officials said.

To reduce the risk of losses in cross-border trade, Vietnamese authorities have been calling on farmers and exporters to sell their goods to China via official quotas, which entails establishing sales contracts before delivery.

Before the Tet holiday, up to 6,000 trucks had lined up across the Chinese border after Chinese authorities tightened Covid-19 safety measures. Technical difficulties in the network system were other reasons cited by Chinese officials for the border congestion.

According to Vietnam Customs, China is the biggest buyer of Vietnam’s agricultural produce, with 54 percent of total export value in the first 11 months of 2021.

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