China ‘starting to allow movement of goods’ but exporters warned of bottlenecks

Local authorities in China are starting to open its border checkpoints on sea, air and land channels as the Covid-19 situation in the country is improving, a source from the Department of International Trade Promotion said.

“However, the movement of goods via these checkpoints are still not at full capacity and may take longer than usual to process, which could adversely affect the export of certain products such as fresh fruits,” said the source. “Therefore, Thai exporters should be cautious and monitor closely the status of these checkpoints before deciding to dispatch their goods to China.”

As of April 15, the sea freight channel to China is now fully functional for product transport, while passenger transport is still suspended.

Transportation via Mekong River remains closed after the government shut the Guan Lei Port since March 31 and its reopening has not been scheduled yet. This port is connected to Chiang Saen Port in Chiang Rai and is a gateway to both Laos and China.

Land transport channels to Yunan province, which includes 19 Customs checkpoints and 14 border checkpoints, are open only to transport of goods provided the vehicle drivers are Chinese nationals or foreigners with a border pass. The vehicles must unload the products and leave China within one day. All drivers and staff on the vehicles must undergo a physical screening process.

The Youyi Guan checkpoint that connects between Guangxi and Vietnam is open as usual while all passing persons must undergo screening process, causing heavy traffic jam in front of the checkpoint.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has allowed only one flight per country to land in China once a week since March 29, resulting in hike in air freight cost to China, the source added.