Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces have entered the lychee harvest season. It is estimated that in the crop year of 2021, the output of Thanh Ha lychee (Hai Duong) will reach about 90,000 tonnes and Luc Ngan lychee (Bac Giang) about 114,000 tonnes. The goal of these two provinces is exporting 50% of the total output of the harvest, the major export market is still China (accounting for about 40%).
However, facing complex developments of the Covid-19 pandemic which is breaking out seriously in Bac Giang, it has caused difficulty not only for harvesting and storage activities, but also for exporting fresh lychee at the border gate at this time.
Talking to reporters, Phung Van Ba, Deputy Director of Tan Thanh Customs Branch (Lang Son Customs Department) said from May 8 to the end of May 22, the output of fresh lychee exporting through border gate reached more than 160 tonnes, turnover hit $39,188, declining by more than 35% compared to the previous year. The main reason was due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese traders’ purchasing activities plummeted because they have to buy and sell through intermediaries (in previous years, during the lychee season, Chinese traders came to orchards to buy and sign sales contract).
|Tan Thanh Customs officials coordinated to guide enterprise to ensure that shipments had full information on traceability. Photo: H.Nụ|
Not only reducing exporting fresh lychees through Tan Thanh border gate, from the beginning of May up to now, but the output of fresh lychees exported through Huu Nghi international border gate has also decreased. Statistics from Huu Nghi Border Gate Customs Branch showed that from May 10to the end of May 22, the output of fresh lychees exported through Huu Nghi international border gate reached just more than 40 tonnes, down by 56% compared to the same period in 2020.
Faced with that situation, to support the provinces in exporting fresh lychees through border gates, Lang Son Customs has directed the border gate customs branches to actively facilitate import-export activities for farm products especially fresh lychee. At the same time, working with forces at the border gate to continue implementing synchronous solutions to support and classify channels, facilitate fresh lychee products to be exported to China, avoiding damage and increasing costs and time for farmers.
According to Nguyen Huu Vuong, Deputy Director of Lang Son Customs Department, fresh lychee products are now included in the list of priority items, exempt from inspection by customs authority and when the goods arrive at the border gate, after traders complete the procedures, the customs officials would give instruction to go through a separate channel. Therefore, including the time for implementing procedures, each truck carrying exported fresh lychees only took about three minutes to go through the border gate.
Also strengthening solutions, at Tan Thanh border gate – which has the largest annual output of fresh lychees exported to China in the northern region, Tan Thanh Customs has been arranging customs officials to receive and implement customs procedures 24/24 to facilitate this item when entering the main crop. At the same time, the unit has developed specific plans to facilitate cargo clearance for fresh lychee trucks.
The unit has also worked with the Border Defence and the Police force to arrange a separate channel for trucks carrying lychees to avoid congestion at the border gate, which helps to avoid congestion for these trucks carrying fresh fruit, contributing to ensuring quick exports of fresh lychee trucks.
|Vehicles transporting fresh lychee are classified to separated channel to ensure quick clearance. Photo: H.Nụ|
Not only customs authority has been proactive in this matter. Recently, the People’s Committee of Lang Son province has issued a document directing provincial authorities and competent forces at the border gate to continue implementing many solutions to support and facilitate the lychee exports of Bac Giang, Hai Duong provinces. At Tan Thanh and Huu Nghi border gates, competent forces always coordinate to create conditions for fresh lychee shipments to be exported first and cleared quickly. Specifically, the Border Defence force also arranged staff to work with Customs to classify channel for vehicle transporting fresh lychee to process in separate channels; the police force also developed a detailed plan to divide, guide and regulate traffic to prevent congestion on roads to border gates and on national highways.
Furthermore, Nguyen Dinh Dai, Director of Industry and Trade Department, said following the direction of the Provincial People’s Committee, functional sectors of the province are promoting information exchanges and coordination with agencies of the Guangxi province (China) to continue facilitating cargo clearance, especially shortening time for import procedures from Chinese side, increasing the time allowed for cargo clearance, working all days and holidays. It is suggested that Chinese authorities also implement channel classification, giving priority for fresh fruit products, including Vietnamese fresh lychee exports.
To help implement the procedure for lychee shipments as quickly as possible, without being “returned”, Nguyen Thi Ha, Manager of Plant Quarantine Sub-Department of Region 7, Plant Protection Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development suggested Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces also need to recommend lychee exporters and growers to fully comply with requirements of traceability, labels, regulations on phytosanitary.
With measures being implemented, Lang Son province and Lang Son Customs are accompanying other provinces to promote the export of fresh lychee products. Lang Son Customs and competent forces of Lang Son committed to creating maximum favourable conditions for fresh lychee products when exporting through border gates in the area.