As of Saturday morning, about 500 containers, mostly dragon fruit were still waiting for their turn to be cleared by Chinese Customs. Meanwhile a nearly 5-kilometer queue formed at the Tan Thanh border gate.
Nguyen Huu Vuong is deputy head of Lang Son Custom. He the Tan Thanh border gate specializes in exporting Vietnam's agricultural products. It has therefore become the destination for large amounts of dragon fruit containers over the past week as the fruit enters harvesting season. Up to 200 trucks have been arriving each day.
China, meanwhile, has just started applying a tighter inspection policy for vehicles and imported goods, extending the time it takes for each truck to pass through the border gate by 5-7 minutes, resulting in congestion.
"The Chinese Customs has cooperated with Lang Son authorities to create the most favorable conditions for goods clearance. Currently the customs clearance is much improved," Vuong said. From just 100 trucks a few days ago, they were processing 200-250 now, he added.
He recommended that agricultural product exporters should keep themselves up-to-date with the customs clearance situation at the border gate and avoid sending too much goods as this would extend waiting time, increase costs and reduce produce quality.