|Customs officers of Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch at work. Photo: T.Binh|
Import-export turnover through Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch in the first four months rose 62% year-on-year to US$245.43 million; contributing nearly VND146 billion to the State budget, up VND35.4 billion year-on-year.
The international road border gate No.II Kim Thanh is one of the key import and export areas of agricultural products between Vietnam and China. However, in 2022, especially in the first months of the year, due to the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic and China’s “Zero Covid” policy, export activities through this area were quiet. Notably, Vietnam’s fruit exports have been trickling down, even pausing for a long time.
Deputy Director of Lao Cai Customs Department Duong Xuan Sinh once shared with a reporter of Customs News, although it is the busiest trading area, in the first months of 2022, import and export activities through the international road border gate No. II Kim Thanh fell into the situation of “no import-export activities”.
However, in the first months of 2023, trade activities across the area, especially fruit exports from Vietnam, had a certain growth, resulting in the facilitation work of the Customs and other authorities, especially the efforts of the business community when China restores import and export and entry and exit activities.
According to Deputy Director of Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch Nguyen The Hung, although the trade turnover scale has not reached the pre-pandemic growth level, import and export activities, especially the export of fruits (dragon fruit, banana, watermelon, jackfruit, mango) and dried cassava chips through the international road border gate No. II Kim Thanh had positive growth, which was a bright spot in the first months of the year.
According to the updated data of Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch, in the first four months of the year, the unit has cleared 220,400 tons of export agricultural products (mainly fruits and dried cassava chips) with a total turnover of US$85.67 million, up 184.4 % in volume and nearly 300% in turnover over the same period in 2022.
Key commodities with impressive growth such as dragon surged more than 500% in volume year-on-year to 58,190 tons, equivalent to US$41.88 million; dried cassava chips soared 315% in volume to 55,443 tons, equivalent to a rise of 369% in turnover to US$ 13.97 million.
Notably, in addition to traditional fruit products, in the first months of 2023, the customs branch recorded new export products such as durian fruits. In the first four months, the unit cleared 766 tons, equivalent to more than US$3 million.
Ensuring customs clearance within the day
Also according to Nguyen The Hung, the branch and other local authorities have paid special attention to trade facilitation through the province, especially with agricultural products.
At the international road border gate No.II Kim Thanh, the authorities of the two sides (Lao Cai province, Vietnam and Yunnan province, China) agreed to set up a separate lane to arrange customs officers to solve problems for agricultural products. Furthermore, there are general mechanisms and policies on reforming administrative procedures, and facilitating import and export activities of the Customs sector and Lao Cai province, so the customs clearance of goods is ensured quickly and conveniently, especially agricultural products will be cleared within the day to ensure quality standards.
“With the specificity of working on holidays and New Year holidays, in addition to disseminating legal policies, and guiding businesses in customs clearance, the branch always arranges enough officers to work all day off and outside office hours to ensure smooth clearance. Like the holidays of April 30, May 1 and the last Ancestral Anniversary, the unit still maintained 80% of officers at all stages of work as usual,” said Nguyen The Hung.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuoi (an employee of Nam Phong Import-Export One Member Co., Ltd., Lao Cai) said that her company exports about three trucks of fruit per day on average (mainly dragon fruit, watermelon) and the procedures are done quickly, the goods are cleared within the day.
“The customs declaration is made online on the VNACCS/VCIS system, if the goods are classified into the Green Channel, the customs clearance will be conducted immediately, in the case of the Yellow channel declaration, the customs officer also enthusiastically guides so that can complete procedures quickly and allow fast customs clearance to ensure the quality of fresh fruits. Normally, it only takes about 30 minutes to clear a truck for export,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuoi.
Ms. Nguyen Thuy Hang (an employee of Tam Ngoc Hung Co., Ltd., Lao Cai) said that the company has been carrying out procedures for exporting dried cassava products for many years and received enthusiastic support from Lao Cai International Border Gate Customs Branch in customs clearance of goods, building trust with customers.
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Hopefully with the efforts of the Customs authorities and State authorities in the area, import and export activities through the international road border gate No. II Kim Thanh, especially the export of fruit products from Vietnam soon achieved and exceeded the pre-pandemic growth.