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New toll leads to border-gate chaos

Update: August, 21/2014 - 08:54
Container trucks line up at Tay Ninh Province's Moc Bai Border Gate in response to the new toll. Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has urged the province to quickly end the traffic congestion there. — Photo laodong.com.vn

TAY NINH (VNS)  — Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has urged the southern Tay Ninh authority to solve traffic congestion at Moc Bai Border Gate.

In a document sent to the provincial People's Committee on Tuesday, Minh asked the committee to end the long line of trucks waiting in queues at the border gate.

The authority was told to take action and report to the Government.

The move was made after local press reported that companies that send goods to Cambodia through the Moc Bai border gate have complained about a new steep toll they have been forced to pay.

On Friday, the provincial People's Committee started collecting tolls varying from VND2.5 million (US$117) and VND2 million ($94).

Many transport enterprises said the new fee was not only high, they also complained they were not told about it. This affected their businesses because they had not asked Cambodian partners to add the new fee into signed contracts.

As a result, many drivers have parked their trucks along the road to the border gate to wait for replies from their Cambodian partners, causing serious traffic jams outside the border gate.

At a press conference the same day, vice-chairman of the People's Committee, Huynh Van Quang, said the toll collection was implemented according to a decision by the Government and the finance ministry.

The committee claimed it had collected opinions from transport firms before giving final prices.

According to Quang, the fees applied at the Moc Bai and Xa Mat border gates were quite low. He said they were only 50-70 per cent of the fees paid at other border gates in the north.

He said apart from the number of trucks waiting for a response from Cambodia, the traffic jams was also caused by the late opening of the gate on the Cambodian side.

For example, the Moc Bai gate opened at 6am and closed at 10pm while the Cambodian side's Bavet gate opened at 7am and closed for two-and-a-half hours at noon.

Quang said it took Cambodian customs officials 10 minutes to check goods on a truck while Viet Nam had no waiting delays. This also contributed to the congestion.

However, Quang admitted that the dissemination on new fee had not been effective.

The provincial committee said it told units at the border gate to simplify procedures and shorten the time for customs clearances.

The committee would negotiate with Cambodia to simplify goods inspection and call upon enterprises to build stop stations near the gate area. — VNS

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