Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce advises exporters to find alternatives as Vietnam-China border crossings congested

The Ministry of Commerce yesterday informed traders,  Association of Freight Forwarders, Importers and the public that at present, exporting goods to China via the Vietnam China border may become an issue due to the severe bottleneck.

China has tightened its land border with Vietnam amid worries over the omicron variant of COVID-19, dealing a blow to trade from the Southeast Asian country as it battles to get its economy back on track in the face of the pandemic.

Beijing informed Vietnam on December 23, 2021, that foreign drivers would be barred from crossing the border between the two countries from December 24, 2021, due to a request from Chinese health authorities, with similar measures also affecting China’s borders with Myanmar and Laos. China is Vietnam’s second-largest export market and its biggest source of imports.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, import and export activities at the Vietnam-China border have been severely congested, especially at the Lang Son and provincial border crossings, Quang Ninh, mainly due to China’s strict measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 under the “Zero Covid” policy.

As of December 21, 2021, more than 6,000 vehicles were waiting to cross to China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Overall, the volume of goods that can be exported at some of the major border crossings with China is only 25-30% compared to normal export conditions. In addition, some border crossings continue to suspend customs operations until further notice.

In this context, the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia informed the traders and associations of the Export-Import Freight Association to know and examine the possibility of finding other means and methods of export to avoid risks and problems caused by congestion for shipment of goods through Vietnam to China through the land border between Vietnam and China.

The Ministry of Commerce, together with the relevant ministries and institutions, is closely monitoring the progress of this situation and will keep concerned parties informed of further developments.

Covering 8,310 square kilometers, Lang Son province is located in the northeastern mountainous border and Viet Bac (northern Vietnam) regions which consist of Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen and Lang Son provinces.

It borders Cao Bang to the northwest, Bac Kan and Thai Nguyen provinces to the west, Bac Giang province to the south, Quang Ninh province to the west and the Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guangxi province of China to the northeast with a borderline of 231km.