New Chinese customs regulation forces Myanmar drivers to retreat

China’s new Customs regulation prompted Myanmar watermelon truck drivers in the Muse 105th Mile trade zone to return, said Sai Khin Maung of the Khwanyo Fruit Depot.
In recent days, Myanmar conveyed the watermelon to China through Chinese trucks when they unloaded their goods in Myanmar. However, those trucks have not arrived on the market yet.
The watermelons and muskmelons stranded at the Shwelwein terminal, therefore, are going to go off. Consequently, 10 per cent of watermelon trucks stuck in the Muse 105th mile trade zone are prepping for return.
“Chinese Customs regulation increased delay. And, watermelons and muskmelons delivered in the early batch have turned bad. The watermelons stranded in the Shwelwein Yard are waiting for the permit to trade”, Sai Khin Maung elaborated.
At present, the trucks have passed the border crossing, yet they are in the red zone for 24-hour quarantine. Then, they have to pass the yellow zone for Customs clearance and F zone to be tested the COVID-19 as China’s Customs need the COVID-19 free certificate for the imported food.
Moreover, China’s Customs in the border post will practise higher import duty as if it does in maritime trade. Therefore, the trucks are waiting for new Customs regulation, the Khwanyo Trading Depot stated.
Those 26 trucks in the first batch are expected to enter China’s market in two days. After that, Myanmar traders can calculate the transport costs and the market prices.
As a result of this, the growers are encouraged to harvest watermelons depending on market conditions.
Last 6 December, Muse-Namkham Border Trade Chamber of Commerce and the respective warehouses of fruits, rice, pulses and beans discussed the trade barriers and disruption in the border route.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, trade facilitation is unlikely to happen according to China’s trade policy. Trade will go back to normality after China eases rules and restriction measures for COVID-19.
Kyinsankyawt border post between Myanmar and China, which was previously closed down from 8 July, has been reopened starting from 26 November on a trial run. — NN/GNLM

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