Amendment to Decree 14 to prevent goods congestion at border gates

VCN – When Government Decree No14/2018/ND-CP dated January 23, 2018, is revised to shift the border trade from unofficial-quota trade to official-quota trade to prevent goods congestion at border gates at harvest season or on holidays and Tet, there will be some changes in the management of the border trade.
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Amendment to Decree 14 to prevent goods congestion at border gates
Officers of Thanh Hoa Customs Department disseminate and instruct border residents on procedures and policies. Photo: Phong Nhan

The draft Decree revising Decree 14/2018/ND-CP on border trade activities is being drafted and gathered opinions from ministries, government agencies and people by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s assessment shows that although the promulgation of Decree 14 has achieved significant benefits, such as creating transparency in the implementation of administrative procedures and facilitating traders, enterprises and border residents in trading goods, contributing to promoting effective border trade activities, there are still shortcomings.

The exchange of goods by border residents is implemented inconsistently. There is the situation of taking advantage of the form for large trade, especially in the border area between Vietnam and China. This is an unofficial-quota trade as mentioned.

In addition, some regulations are considered to be not in keeping with the actual border gate trade as well as policies and orientations for border management, and import and export development.

Moreover, in recent years, the Chinese Government has strengthened control of import activities at border gates; raised awareness for Chinese businesses and consumers about food hygiene and safety. China has increasingly tightened quarantine, testing and quality control of imported agricultural products by implementing technical procedures such as traceability, requesting registration for farming areas and exporters of agricultural products and foods and managing food safety for import and export. Therefore, the mode of unofficial-quota trade is increasingly unsustainable and does not bring opportunities for Vietnam’s agricultural and fishery products, especially those that have not been registered for traceability.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in order for the effective operation of border trade and prevention of taking advantage of this trading method for large trade; promoting export official-quota trade and overcoming goods congestion at border gates, the revised draft will have key changes such as not allowing to take advantage of the method for large trade. However, the change will be implemented step by step under the appropriate roadmap, without sudden changes so that border trade activities gradually adapt to the shifting from unofficial-quota trade to official-quota trade.

Specifically, from January 1, 2025, the times of tax exemption and exempted tax amount for goods imported by residents living in border zones will be reduced to be consistent with the policy change for the export of goods.

From January 1, 2025, exported goods must meet quality standards and traceability regulations at the request of the importing country, including for goods exchanged by border residents.

From January 1, 2025, only residents living in border zones are allowed to export goods. The new norms for goods exchanged and traded by the residents. In addition, the residents must carry out exit procedures when trading goods across the border gate.

From January 1, products that have been exported to China under official-quota trade, are only allowed to go through export procedures at international border gates, main border gates (bilateral border gates) and sub-border gates and border crossings under a bilateral agreement on import, export and exchange of goods.

From January 1, 2027, all import and export activities of goods at all border gates and border crossings that have failed to reach the bilateral agreement on the opening of border gates and border crossings, will be stopped.

From January 1, 2028, all border gates and border crossings only allow to carry out export procedures to China for goods that have entered China across international or main border gates.

This plan is considered to remove obstacles arising from the practical implementation of Decree No. 14/2018/ND-CP; promotes border trade to shift the border trade from unofficial-quota trade to official-quota trade; prevents goods congestion at border gates, especially on holidays, Tet, or the harvest time of agricultural products; raises the awareness of people and producers about the cultivation and use of derived products, ensuring food hygiene and safety; helps state management agencies improve the efficiency of implementing regulations on traceability at the request of the importing country.

However, the changes will have a strong impact on the part of traders and people. Therefore, traders operating under the unofficial-quota trade method will have to improve their capacity and operation to shift to the official-quota trade method.

By Ngoc Linh/Ngoc Loan

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