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Vietnam Aims To Cut Unofficial Exports via Land Borders

April 03, 2023

Vietnamese authorities have begun preparations to reduce unofficial exports via land borders, including fruit exports to China, by proposing draft amendments to the existing decree. The new regulations, which will be stipulated in the amended decree, are due to enter into force on Jan. 1, 2025, with the goal of reducing congestion at border crossings, especially those with China. It is expected that from 2028 all goods exported over the land borders of Vietnam will be under official quotas.

Currently, exports over Vietnam’s land borders are handled both officially with quotas and unofficially without quotas. According to border trade rules laid out by China’s General Administration of Customs, residents of border areas are allowed to import agricultural products with a value not exceeding 8,000 Chinese yuan ($1,160) into China each day, with such imports being exempt from quarantine, taxes, proof of payment and evidence of a contract. However, this policy, which was originally intended to facilitate the lives of residents in China’s border regions, has been exploited by traders to export and import large volumes of goods outside of official channels. The uncontrollably increasing volumes, especially during peak fruit export seasons, have led to frequent congestion at border crossings as the amount of goods often goes beyond the inspection and clearance capacity of customs officers.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has continuously tightened its cross-border trade regulations by imposing stricter requirements on product traceability, packaging standards and sanitary norms. The cross-border commerce, however, did not reach the required degree of transparency, while export volumes are set to rise in the coming years.

According to the plans of Vietnamese authorities, starting from Jan. 1, 2025, exports falling under the unofficial category will be gradually reduced with fewer tax exemptions available. The remaining exports outside of quotas will be required to meet more stringent quality and traceability standards. Only residents of border areas will be allowed to cross the border on a frequent basis, with the exit and entry formalities being handled in person.

It is expected that starting from Jan. 1, 2026, exported goods will be able to enter China only through international, primary and secondary overland ports of entry. In 2027, if China and Vietnam are unable to reach an agreement on the flow of goods via the land border, exports and imports will be suspended. By 2028, Vietnamese ports are supposed to accept for clearance only those goods falling under the official category and holding the relevant permit for export to China.

Image: Pixabay

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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