500 container trucks carrying dragon fruit jam border gate
Some 500 container trucks transporting dragon fruit to China have jammed the Lao Cai international border gate over the past three days as they face time-consuming customs clearance procedures now that China is tightening control over the origins of imported products.
Le Phuong, head of the customs division at Lao Cai border gate, was quoted by Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper on August 14 as saying that "the container trucks transported dragon fruit from the south-central province of Binh Thuan and other southern provinces to Lao Cai Province for shipment to China."
Container trucks had to line up around Kim Thanh international border gate No.2 for customs clearance. The scorching heat hitting the north of late has put the drivers under great strain as well.
At present, China only conducts customs clearance procedures for some 200 vehicles carrying dragon fruit into the country each day.
Apart from that, the stagnation of fruit shipments was attributed to the large export volume backlog, as dragon fruit enters the harvest season. An average of 300 trucks transport the fruit through the border gate each day, he said.
Year-to-date, the export volume of dragon fruit to China through the Kim Thanh border gate has amounted to 480,000 tons, generating over US$300 million in export turnover.