Truck jams in Vietnam as China tightens import rules for Covid

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Thousands of trucks carrying fruit were stranded at Vietnam’s main cargo border with China on Friday after Beijing tightened rules on imported goods due to the pandemic.

Trucks loaded with thousands of tons of dragon fruit, jackfruit, mango and other produce languish on the border in northern Vietnam’s Lang Son province.

Some drivers say they have been waiting for days or even months to cross.

“I’ve been here 40 days. My fruit is going to rot. I’m so sick of this,” said a driver who identified himself as Hai, as he prepared a meal next to his truck full of jackfruits.

Hai transported products from southern Tien Giang province. He didn’t know when he could go home.

In another truck, Nguyen Van Nen from Bac Ninh province in the north of the country said it was the biggest shock he had experienced in years.

“If I’m lucky, I think I can pass after 10 days,” Nen told AFP, explaining that his 32-ton container of watermelon will have to wait for more than 800 trucks.

The border post is not completely closed, but only a small number of trucks reach it – on Thursday, only a hundred passed through the Huu Nghi gate.

Earlier in the week, provincial authorities in Lang Son issued a statement advising provinces and businesses not to send goods to the border until the end of the month.

The statement said the jam was due to “Chinese authorities’ more stringent pandemic measures against people and vehicles entering the country.”

China has been testing imported cold chain foods for traces of covid-19 since 2020, although the World Health Organization says there is only a very small chance that the virus is transmitted in this way.

Several local governments in China have said they have detected traces of covid on dragon fruit imported from Vietnam.

According to official figures, Vietnam gained $ 3.5 billion from fruit and vegetable exports last year, a slight increase from previous years.

strawberries-pdw / I

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