Na Hinh border gate returned on that day

VCN - Under the bright sunshine and gentle winds blowing in the border region on an early winter day, Na Hinh auxiliary border gate in Van Lang district, Lang Son province seemed to be welcoming us back with open arms. Each convoy of vehicles transporting goods is still diligently moving towards the border gate to promptly complete customs clearance procedures, making this place busier.
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Na Hinh Customs officers inspected exported cassava starch products. Photo: H.Nu
Na Hinh Customs officers inspected exported cassava starch products. Photo: H.Nu

This is my feeling when returning to Na Hinh after more than 3 years of closure due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The same bustling atmosphere as when we visited before, the vast border gate, the image of Na Hinh Customs officials focusing on checking and controlling the carts for early customs clearance has attracted our attention.

Welcoming us at work, Mr. Ha Tuan Tich, Team Leader of Na Hinh Customs Professional Team (Tan Thanh Customs Branch, Lang Son Customs Department) shared that, with the efforts of the province and other agencies, departments, branches, Na Hinh auxiliary border gate have officially resumed customs clearance from July 28, 2023. Since then, the export of goods has gradually increased compared to the initial period of customs clearance (average of 3-4 vehicles/day); Exported goods at Na Hinh auxiliary border gate are cassava starch, exported according to the type of export business (B11).

In order for businesses to participate in procedures through the border gate, Na Hinh Customs Professional Team has coordinated with the competent forces at the border gate to notify and provide information about specific activities at the border gate such as opening times, gathering yards, loading goods, etc, let businesses know to proactively follow the correct process, contributing to smooth customs clearance of goods, Mr. Ha Tuan Tich shared.

Sitting and chatting at the housing area of Na Hinh Customs Professional Team, we learned that after the pair of border gates were restored to customs clearance, the unit coordinated well with the forces at the border gate to do a good job of preparing human resources, vehicles, and arrangement of control lines according to regulations as well as relevant conditions. However, after the border gate was restored, the flow of exported goods was still uneven, at times there were only 1-2 vehicles/day, or even a week when there was no vehicle for check-in procedures.

Also according to actual records at Na Hinh border gate in early November 2023, only Na Hinh Border Guard and Na Hinh Customs Professional Team are the two units regularly on duty at the border gate. Other forces such as tax, medical quarantine, plant quarantine, etc are "absent", because only when there is an announcement of a cart will these units come to work.

According to Mr. Ha Tuan Tich, from July 28 to November 15, the unit received and processed 139 sets of declarations, the turnover reached 6,848,544 USD, the cargo weight was about 12,723 tons of cassava starch from the companies that register to carry out export procedures through Na Hinh border gate. The reason the number of vehicles registered to export goods through here is not high is because Na Hinh border gate previously mainly exported cassava starch and this time is not the cassava season, so the quantity of goods is not much.

Another reason is that the border gate has just opened, so businesses are not assured about stability, have not yet sent goods, and Chinese partners have not proactively received goods here. The unit has also contacted businesses in the area directly about goods that can be exported through Na Hinh border gate, creating maximum conditions for handling customs clearance procedures.

In addition, at this time, the Chinese side requires vehicles transporting goods to be loaded, resulting in longer time and increased costs. This also makes many businesses hesitant when choosing to carry out export procedures for goods through Na Hinh auxiliary border gate.

Emphasizing the reasons why the amount of exported goods through Na Hinh auxiliary border gate has not met expectations, Mr. Ha Tuan Tich said that among the 9 product groups that were previously regularly cleared through the border gate, in the last 2 months, there is only 1 product left, cassava starch, that businesses have completed customs clearance procedures for. This is because China's border trade regulation means that Chinese businesses have not proactively received goods at this pair of border gates, so Vietnamese businesses have not brought goods up to complete customs clearance procedures here.

Faced with that reality, to improve the efficiency of customs clearance of import and export goods through Na Hinh auxiliary border gate, Tan Thanh Customs Sub-department continues to organize meetings with businesses engaged in import and export of goods to mobilize Vietnamese enterprises engaged in export activities to sign with Chinese enterprises to conduct transactions through 2 auxiliary border gates. From there, it aims to attract businesses to bring goods to these border gates to complete customs clearance procedures.

Mr. Trieu Van Hanh, Deputy Director of Tan Thanh Customs Sub-department, said that the unit has reported to Lang Son Customs Department so that the Department can report to the province and coordinate with departments, branches to organize exchanges and talks, suggest that Chinese authorities adjust the group of products such as: peeled boards, cassava starch, dried lotus seeds, dried foods, dried sesame seeds, wood products, fresh seafood to be actively imported and exported through auxiliary border gates. At the same time, restore the activities of border residents through these border gates (allowing border residents of the two countries to buy, sell, and exchange goods through pairs of auxiliary border gates between the two sides), thereby promoting border trade activities of auxiliary border gate pairs.

Hopefully, with the efforts of agencies and forces to implement solutions, they will improve the efficiency of customs clearance of goods through Na Hinh sub-border gate, as well as other sub-border gates that are about to reopen in the near future, Mr. Trieu Van Hanh expected.

The hot midday sun made the number of trucks returning to Na Hinh even fewer. A few trucks carried the remaining shipments slowly moving through the border gate, the dust and smoke released created an opaque mist on the road surface. On the side of the public house, there is an image of Customs officers urgently receiving and completing import and export declarations for businesses during the day.

Saying goodbye to Na Hinh when it was midday, in the distance, the single road leading to the auxiliary border gate still had a few trucks diligently carrying shipments. Even though they were diligently guiding businesses to move goods to the yard to wait for customs clearance, when they knew that we were leaving Na Hinh, the Customs officials smiled brightly, waved goodbye and promised to see us again one day soon.

By Nu Bui/ Phuong Linh

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