Chinese authorities on January 12 re-opened their Hekou International Border Gate – which pairs with Vietnam's Kim Thanh II border gate in the northern province of Lao Cai – for imported fresh fruits, including dragon fruit, and frozen foods from Vietnam.
The move is expected to reduce congestion at the shared border gates between the two countries in Lang Son and Quang Ninh after China has suspended imports of Vietnamese dragon fruits via Youyi Guan border gate (Huu Nghi border gate in Vietnam) and Pu Zhai (Tan Thanh of Vietnam) since December 29, 2021.
Data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs shows that nearly 35% of Vietnamese dragon fruit exports to China went through border gates in Lao Cai.
However, the Chinese side has warned of a decrease in loading capacity at Hekou Border Gate as many workers there had left for the Lunar New Year holiday. It has also advised the Vietnamese side to strictly observe COVID-19 control rules and proactively regulate shipments of goods through border gates to prevent congestion.
China has halted imports of Vietnamese fresh fruits via Hekou Border Gate since July 18, 2021 after coronavirus was found on packaging of dragon fruits shipped from Vietnam.
The lift of the ban resulted from multiple efforts made by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnamese localities to work with the China side on the issue since then.