Myanmar-China border removes driver substitution system

IMG 2023 sskm
Export cargo-laden lorries queue up at Myanmar-China land border crossing.

Lorry drivers are granted direct access with temporary border passes at Kyinsankyawt crossing.

Driver-substitution system will soon be abolished at the Kyinsankyawt checkpoint for Sino-Myanmar trade and truck drivers will be allowed to get direct access to the border with a temporary border pass, said Sai Khin Maung of Khwanyo Fruit Trading Centre.
The drivers will be allowed to directly pass the border by holding a temporary border pass as before the pre-COVID if they can present export declaration and motor vehicle documents. It will initially facilitate trading procedures at the Kyinsankyawt border, Sai Khin Maung added. After the abolition of the driver-substitution system, the additional charges such as short-haul transport fees and other general costs will be saved, he expected.
Earlier, China banned Myanmar trucks and drivers from entering its side owing to the COVID-19 protocols and only Chinese short-haul drivers have been allowed to transport the goods. Thereafter, Myanmar trucks have been given the green light for border-crossing through the Kyinsankyawt-Wang Ding trade channel under the driver-substitution system starting from 16 May 2022. There was no responsibility and accountability if goods were damaged under the driver-substitution system. Therefore, Myanmar exporters choose short-haul driver services and bear high freight costs.
China shut down all the checkpoints linking to the Muse border amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the checkpoints, Kyinsankyawt has resumed trading activity from 26 November 2021. Trade activity at the Muse-Mang Wein crossing, which performed the majority of trade between Myanmar and China, resumed on 14 January 2023. However, only six-wheel trucks driven by Myanmar drivers are allowed to pass the Mang Wein crossing. Other trucks and travellers are not yet entitled to enter the border.
Additionally, other goods except agricultural produce (watermelon and muskmelon), minerals and fisheries products are allowed to be sent to China through that border point. Meanwhile, China gives the go-ahead to the imports of construction goods, electrical appliances, medical devices, industrial equipment, consumer goods, household goods and food products only through that border post. Myanmar has opened five border trade posts with China: Muse, Lweje, Kampaiti, Chinshwehaw and Kengtung. The majority of the trade is carried out through the Muse border, the Ministry of Commerce’s data indicated. — NN/EM

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