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China Extends Border Trading Hours to Reduce Congestion

China has extended its trading hours at border gates with Vietnam by one hour to 7 p.m. every day to reduce the congestion of container trucks carrying Vietnamese fruit.

As of Friday there were nearly 150 trucks waiting to cross the border at Huu Nghi border gate. Over 80% of them were carrying fruit. This was a decrease of 50% from the day before.

Tan Thanh border gate had 394 trucks waiting on Friday, and another 10 at the Coc Nam border gate in Lang Son.

The extra hour for trucks to enter China helped reduce congestion at the border gates, Vietnamese Customs officials said, adding that they had also approved Chinese goods passing through the border to Vietnam up until 10 p.m. every day.

Border trading activity has been increasing this month as the harvest season for jackfruit, dragon fruit and durian has begun in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the demand for imports of equipment and materials from China has also risen. Around 1,200-1,500 containers arrive empty every day to pick up imports from China, and this has added to the congestion on the national highway leading to the border gates.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, in a meeting with authorities from China’s Guangxi Province, proposed Saturday that Chinese Customs create more favorable conditions for the import of Vietnamese agriculture produce.

He also proposed that some trading routes be reopened, that visa duration be extended for truck drivers and border service staff to one year, and the removal of Covid-19 testing regulations for drivers.

The Lang Son Department of Industry and Trade has advised exporters to lower the number of containers at the border to reduce congestion. It also suggested they use other forms of transport.

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