China has resumed imports of fresh fruits, including dragon fruit, through the Hekou-Kim Thanh border gate that straddles the Chinese province of Yunnan and the Vietnamese province of Lao Cai.
It had stopped the imports in mid-July after Yunnan detected the novel coronavirus on packages and trucks carrying dragon fruits from Vietnam.
The resumption of customs clearance for fresh fruits and frozen goods through Hekou-Kim Thanh border gate will help reduce the current congestion at border gates in the provinces of Lang Son and Quang Ninh. Customs clearance for dragon fruits has still not resumed at the Huu Nghi and Tan Thanh border gates in Lang Son. This is scheduled to happen after Jan. 26.
The volume exported to China via Lao Cai accounted for nearly 35 percent of Vietnam’s total dragon fruit exports to the neighboring country via land border gates in 2020, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Expecting that the speed of customs clearance at the Hekou-Kim Thanh border gate will not return to normal very soon because of the complex Covid-19 situation and a shortage of staff that happens as the Lunar New Year festival nears, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed localities and enterprises to actively adjust the volume of goods transported to the border gate to avoid congestion.
As of Wednesday morning, 1,721 trucks carrying Vietnamese goods, mainly fresh fruits, were stranded at border gates in Lang Son, down two-thirds against early December 2021.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh had proposed that localities, ministries and sectors try to solve the congestion before the festival takes place in early February.
He also asked the two sectors of industry and trade, and agriculture to have better measures to increase export of agricultural products to China through more official channels, instead of relying on border trade.
According to the department’s latest statistics, Vietnam earned $1.75 billion from exporting fruits and vegetables to China in the first 11 months of 2021, up 3.6 percent year-on-year despite Covid-19 impacts. China remained Vietnam’s top fruits and vegetables export market with a market share of 54 percent in the 11-month period.