HA NOI — Border trade at northeastern Quang Ninh Province's Mong Cai International Border Gate has stagnated in the last three months, witnessing a sharp decline in the number of goods crossing the border to China.
|Container trucks wait at the northern province of Lang Son's Coc Nam Border gate with China. The flow of goods has been restricted over the last few months due to tight controls by China. — VNS Photo
According to the border gate's Customs Division, over 4,200 containers were waiting for customs clearance until August 20. About 1,000 trucks carrying frozen products required proper storage at Ka Long border gate's storehouse.
At present, nearly 300 container trucks have been held at customs yards for at least four months.
Vice head of the Customs Division Nguyen Van Bac, as quoted in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, said that the situation was due to Chinese authorities tightening control and quarantine of imported products, constraining the delivery of goods between Vietnamese enterprises and their Chinese partners.
Hoang Van Thu, an officer at customs clearance told Viet Nam News that his station had previously handled clearance for an average of 70 trucks every day. At peak times the number of trucks crossing via the station increased to around 100.
However, now only 15-20 trucks are carrying goods to China, he said, adding that many trucks carrying fruit had spoiled due to the excessive waiting times on exports.
Along part of Ka Long River, at Ka Long border gate, nearly 3,000 boats have become idle due to a lack of goods to transport.
With the biggest border gate in the north, Mong Cai City usually sees over 400 regular enterprises involved in international trade via the border gate. There are about 450 containers passing the gate each day, according to a report by the municipal People's Committee.
Before the block, total import-export value in the last six years was nearly US$24 billion and yearly growth had been reported. However, in the first half of 2012, import-export value was only $2.38 billion, accounting for 86 per cent of the amount recorded in the same period last year.
Notably, export value was $242.6 million or nearly half compared with the amount registered during the same period in 2011.
The same stagnant situation is also being seen in northern Lang Son Province's Tan Thanh border gate. Meanwhile, at the province's Chi Ma border gate, few goods for temporary import and re-export are able to cross to the other side of the border.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the export of Vietnamese goods to China has been decreasing due to China's increased control and quarantine.
Previously, China has undertaken such measures only once or twice a year, for periods of about two months. However, this year, the Chinese's tightened control over border trade has been in effect since April. — VNS