Viet Nam News
LẠNG SƠN — Officers at the Tân Thanh Border Guards have worked to resolve seasonal traffic jams at the border gate over the past four days, according to Đoàn Tuấn Anh, deputy director of the Tân Thanh Customs Department.
Anh told the Vietnam News Agency that jams occur at the border gate almost every year just before and after the Tết (Lunar New Year) festival.
Most of the goods now blocked at the gate, which is in Văn Lãng District in the northern mountainous province of Lạng Sơn, are fruits such as watermelon, bananas, rambutans and dragon fruits.
To resolve the jams, Anh said, the managers lengthened working hours over the past few days. Usually, the border gate closed at 5pm, but now it stays open until 9pm. Procedures have been shortened so that the goods can pass through as quickly as possible.
From last Friday to Sunday, the Tân Thanh Customs Department completed procedures for 845 lorries to pass the border gate. By yesterday, nearly 400 vehicles were still waiting for their turn.
One factor contributing to the jams is that it is currently harvest season for many fruits in the southern provinces, many lorries are carrying fruit to China and must pass through the border gate.
Lạng Sơn Province has several border gates, but Chinese authorities only allow agricultural goods to be imported via the Tân Thanh Border Gate, so the jams often occur during the main harvest season for the goods.
Anh said that every year, leaders of the Lạng Sơn Department of Industry and Trade and other concerned agencies issue warnings to other provinces that they should adjust the amount of harvested fruits so that the border gate can handle the flow of traffic and avoid jams that cause fruits to go bad and create losses for farmers.
The border gate managers also give instructions to small traders to postpone taking the goods to the border gate to prevent jams.
Dương Phương Thảo, deputy director of the Import and Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, told the Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper that the problem was not new, but remains a difficult issue year after year.
“This year the climate in China is more severe than in 2016 and 2017, and it affects the import of goods,” she said.
The department proposed the Chinese authorities give priority to import fruits while postponing the dried goods, she said. — VNS