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Unstable import and export through Kim Thanh border gate, Lao Cai

14:53 | 05/07/2022

VCN - A few days after reopening for the export of many agricultural products of Vietnam through Kim Thanh II international border gate, Lao Cai, on July 4, HeKou side (China) suddenly halted all trade activities through this important area.

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Customs officers of Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch inspect trucks carrying exported goods on June 30, 2022. Photo: T.Binh
Customs officers of Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch inspect trucks carrying exported goods on June 30, 2022. Photo: T.Binh

Sudden suspension of import and export activities

From January 1 to June 22, 448 enterprises carried out import and export procedures through Lao Cai Customs Department, down 40 enterprises year-on-year; the total declarations were 11,680, down 19,149; total import-export turnover reached US$735.4 million, down 22.5%, exports reached US$482.2 million, down 23.6%; imports reached US$253.2 million, down 20%.

Budget revenue was VND786.59 billion, reaching 51% of the target assigned by the Ministry of Finance (VND1,540 billion), 43.7% of the target assigned by the People's Council and People's Committee of Lao Cai province (VND1,800 billion), an increase of 5.5% year-on-year.

In the last days of June, trucks carrying import and export goods through Kim Thanh II international road border gate, Lao Cai were somewhat busier.

A representative of Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch said that HeKou (China) began to re-import fresh lychees on June 25, however, the export volume was not high.

From 25 to 29 June, the branch carried out export procedures for 45 trucks of fresh lychee, which weighed more than 1,000 tons. In addition to lychee, in the first six months of the year, more than 60,000 tons of exported fruits such as watermelon, mango, dragon fruit, and unripe banana were cleared at the branch.

However, this result is modest compared to the same period in recent years. For example, in 2021, the Customs Branch conducted customs clearance for nearly 690,000 tons of exported fruits, including more than 101,000 tons of mangoes; nearly 80,000 tons of watermelons; nearly 69,000 tons of unripe bananas and 38,500 tons of lychee.

It is predicted that trade activities were showing signs of recovery, but on the morning of July 4, 2022, Hekou (China) announced the suspension of all import and export activities through Kim Thanh II border gate due to abnormal detection (positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus) on Vietnamese goods exported to China, the suspension starts from July 4, 2022 until there is a new announcement from China.

Blank days of import and export activities

In fact, from the beginning of 2022 until now is a special time for import and export activities through Lao Cai Customs Department, especially Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch. Deputy Director of Lao Cai Customs Department Duong Xuan Sinh said facing complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic, from mid-February, Hekou (China) temporarily stopped importing and exporting goods through Kim Thanh II border gate.

“This can be considered a blank period (no import-export activities) at the border gate. By mid-April 2022, import and export activities were restored, but the volume of goods was insignificant, only about 100 trucks of import and export per day while it was about 500 trucks per day previously. While import and export activities at the auxiliary border gates and border crossings are suspended; import and export activities through the railway border gate were mainly phosphorus and fertilizer and small quantities of coke, peeled board, cassava, caused by the pandemic prevention and control work of the Chinese side, leading to the stagnation of cross-border trade transactions," said Deputy Director Duong Xuan Sinh.

Lao Cai Customs Department closely monitors the situation, and follows the direction of the General Department of Customs and Lao Cai Provincial People's Committee, focusing on implementing solutions to promote import and export activities and offer solutions to collect the state budget according to Directive 439 dated February 11, 2022 of the General Department of Customs; and strengthen the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.

However, due to the influence of the pandemic control measures and the suspension of import and export activities of Hekou (China) for a long time, the number of declarations and turnover in the first months of the year at Lao Cai Customs Department plummeted.

Given the latest developments at the Kim Thanh II international road border gate, it shows that import and export activities through this important area still have many potential factors.

Therefore, the Customs office recommends the business community before transporting exported goods to Lao Cai to consult with local authorities and Chinese partners on the possibility of receiving goods in order to avoid the massive delivery of goods but the partners cannot receive them, leading to congestion at the border gate.

Import and export turnover of Lao Cai Customs plummets Import and export turnover of Lao Cai Customs plummets

VCN – The impact of the suspension of import-export activities by Hekou authority (China) caused a significant ...

In order to facilitate import and export activities in general, including export agricultural products, Lao Cai Customs Department has promoted administrative reform, customs modernization and supported the business community. Especially, the Customs office always gives priority to perishable export agricultural products, which must be preserved under special conditions. However, the export of goods is completely dependent on Hekou (China).

By Thai Binh/ Huyen Trang