Authorities strive to resolve trade bottlenecks | Business

Trucks carrying Vietnamese goods are stuck at the border due to the strict COVID-19[female[feminine preventive measures and slow customs clearance. (Photo: laodong.vn)

Hanoi (VNS / VNA) – Like China Continuing to stick to its zero COVID policy and impose strict measures on people and goods entering the country, Vietnamese authorities are offering solutions to alleviate trade bottlenecks at border posts.

According to the General Customs Department, the country’s agricultural exports by road to China reached up to USD 1.58 billion in the first eight months of 2021. Continued congestion has caused losses of nearly 2,000. billion VND (87.5 million USD) in export companies so far.

Some companies have had to turn to air freight to keep trade flowing, but it’s not profitable, costing up to 76 percent more than road transport.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has therefore urged companies to consider switching from road transport to maritime transport and redirecting trade routes to other provinces to ease the current congestion.

“We will soon opt for maritime transport because road transport is too risky. The traffic congestion every two years has really put us off, ”said Tran Ngoc Hiep, manager of Thanh Long Hoang Hau Co., Ltd.

Nguyen Thi Diem Hang, vice president of VinaNutri Food, noted that the bottling in Lang Son was a sign that companies were relying too much on unofficial channels. Trading through these channels could entail lower costs, but carry higher risks, as unofficial exports could be suspended whenever China tightens regulations.

Therefore, companies are recommended to do business with China more formally to avoid any risk of informal business practices. For example, exchanges with Chinese partners should be bound by written contracts with a clear delivery clause and be conducted through official channels.

“To support exports to China, companies need to move away from unofficial business practices and shift from quantity to quality and value,” Hang added.

The MOIT also urged local authorities to closely monitor business activity at border posts and post the latest news on provincial web portals to keep businesses well informed of any changes.

Another solution is to expand the domestic market and diversify foreign markets through trade promotion, supply-demand connection and application of e-commerce in agricultural trade to reduce dependence on Chinese market. .

In fact, many companies have started to find customers elsewhere since China raised the bar for fruit and vegetables exported to the country in 2019.

However, China has always remained Vietnam’s second largest export market for agriculture, forestry and fishery products in 2021, with export earnings of US $ 8.4 billion in the first eleven months.

Bilateral negotiations aimed at increasing the working time and efficiency of customs officers at border posts were also discussed in order to avoid any future congestion. Currently, a number of border posts are processing customs procedures at a much slower than normal pace.

As of December 27, more than 4,000 vehicles, mostly loaded with perishable agricultural products, were still stranded in Lang Son. Regardless, only the border posts of Huu Nghi and Chi Ma process customs clearance with a slow average rate of eight vehicles per hour.

As Tan Thanh continues to be temporarily closed, truck drivers stranded at this border post would need food and shelter to live for many days. In order to help these drivers, the authorities in Lang Son granted them financial support to cover part of their parking and living expenses.

Meanwhile, the Private Sector Development Committee (Committee IV) has proposed various solutions to the problem.

For trucks stranded at border gates, especially those responsible for agri-food and raw material exports, Committee IV is proposing higher-level meetings between the two countries to consider ways to help trucks pass.

For agricultural products ready for delivery before Tet Day, Committee IV urges the government to work with local authorities to suspend the transport of these products until the situation at border posts improves.

Farmers are also called upon to delay the harvest and store the crops to stem the new flow of goods to the border.

Communication channels should be used to better regulate trade flows at border posts, the committee added.

Ultimately, it is necessary to invest more in logistics infrastructure and improve the capacity of warehouses and car parks in border provinces.

As of January 1, 2022, foreign companies producing food exported to China are required to print codes granted by Chinese customs authorities or authorized Vietnamese agencies on both sides of their product packaging.

Any Vietnamese food exporter who has not yet requested the codes can submit requests to the relevant agencies or online.

As of December 24, Chinese customs authorities had granted 31,988 codes to foreign exporting companies, including 1,045 Vietnamese./.

Maria D. Ervin