Remove difficulties for import and export goods through northern border provinces

VCN - Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh directed relevant ministries and sectors to implement immediate and long-term solutions to remove difficulties in import and export activities through northern border provinces.
Customs clearance activities at Huu Nghi border gate. Photo: Hồng Nụ
Customs clearance activities at Huu Nghi border gate. Photo: Hồng Nụ

Notice No. 08/TB-VPCP dated January 10, 2022, about the conclusion of Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh at an online meeting on the situation of congested goods at northern border gates stated promoting the production, circulation, consumption and export of agricultural products in the context of Covid-19 prevention, the Government and the Prime Minister issued documents directing ministries, sectors, agencies and localities from September 2021 (Directive No. 26/CT-TTg dated September 21, 2021); then, on December 27, 2021, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh chaired a meeting with ministries, sectors and localities to remove difficulties in import and export activities across northern border provinces (Notice No. 350/TB-VPCP).

Ministries, sectors and localities have actively and proactively implemented the implementation with a high sense of responsibility (especially the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, Foreign Affairs, Finance- General Department of Vietnam Customs), as well as the People's Committees of Lang Son and Quang Ninh.

By January 8, 2022, the total number of vehicles at border gates in the northern border provinces was 3,609 vehicles, a decrease of 2,150 (compared to 5,759 vehicles as of December 25, 2021). In particular, there are 2,015 vehicles left in Lang Son province (reducing by 2,189 vehicles), in Quang Ninh province there are still 1,260 vehicles (reducing by 295 vehicles). The reason for the reduction in the number of vehicles is that some vehicles were transferred for domestic consumption, some were changed to export by paying full tax through Huu Nghi border gate, and partly for export by sea. Although border provinces have continuously advised firms, there is a situation of some businesses still bringing agricultural products (mainly watermelons) to Tan Thanh border gate (Lang Son), at an average of about 10 trucks/day.

In general, import and export activities and cargo clearance through the northern border gates have made initial changes but have not yet achieved the desired results and requirements.

Difficulties and risks may still arise in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, both in the immediate and long term. In the spirit of support to reduce damages to people and businesses through mechanisms and policies, with the executive direction and the efforts of the whole political system, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh requested ministries, agencies and localities to focus on performing the following tasks and solutions.

For the immediate term, the Deputy Prime Minister asked localities bordering China, the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development to continue to organize diplomatic activities with Chineses authorities (direct exchange, telephone calls, letters, notes, etc.) to facilitate and agree on opening times; increase working hours at the border gate area; as well as reopen some closed border gates.

The Ministry of Health chaired and coordinated with the Ministry of Finance (the General Department of Vietnam Customs) in guiding specific regulations and standards on medical conditions for Covid-19 prevention and control in harmony with the Chinese side (vaccination, testing, disinfection) at the border gate areas of the northern provinces, especially Lang Son, Quang Ninh, and Lao Cai.

Chairmen of the People's Committees of Lang Son and Quang Ninh provinces are more proactive and drastic in coordinating and directing competent forces to notify and manage vehicles transporting goods to the border gate, immediately minimizing the risk of congestion.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development chairs and coordinates with localities, businesses and traders to regulate the delivery of congested agricultural products for consumption and use as raw materials for domestic production and processing.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade chairs and coordinates with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to hold conferences with businesses, trade centers, supermarkets and markets on solutions for consuming goods facing difficulties in export.

As a long-term solution, the Deputy Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade to chair and coordinate with the Ministries of Finance, Transport and relevant agencies to review forms, policies and strictly control exchange activities of border residents, increase the rate of exportation by paying full tax aiming to take advantage of other modes of transport such as via sea and railway.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall elaborate the master plan on areas for planting and producing agricultural and aquatic products; fully ensuring the regulations on product traceability, food safety, meeting standards and regulations on goods quality; diversifying markets, diversifying modes of transportation, gradually reducing dependence on the Chinese market.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade chairs and coordinates with the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Foreign Affairs in exchanging with Vietnam's major agricultural export markets (the EU, the US, etc.) to remove difficulties during this time.

The Ministry of Information and Communications continues to orient the press to report fully and objectively on the initiative and direction of the leaders of the Government, ministries and sectors, especially border localities about measures and solutions to overcome congestion so that people and businesses understand clearly and do not bring goods to the border at this time.

By Hương Dịu/Thanh Thuy

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