Vietnam to reduce unofficial exports over land borders

Vietnam will begin reducing its unofficial exports in 2025 to prevent congestion at land borders, especially with China, according to a draft government decree.

Currently goods are exported through land borders both officially with quotas and unofficially without quotas.

Exports worth under 8,000 yuan (US$1,160) per person per day fall under the unofficial category and enjoy privileges such as waivers of quarantine, contracts, proof of payment, and taxes.

The privileges are nominally meant for people living in border areas, but traders take advantage of them to import or export large volumes of goods, leading to congestion as trucks line up at border gates, especially with China.

Draft amendments to the existing decree envisage reducing exports under the unofficial category from January 1, 2025, so that fewer goods escape the tax net.

Besides, the unofficial exports will need to meet stricter quality and traceability standards.

The export of goods under official quotas will be encouraged.

From 2028 goods will only be exported through land borders under official quotas.

This year China introduced food safety management protocols at border gates on its unofficial imports.

China is a large trading partner for Vietnam, with bilateral trade reaching nearly US$178 billion Last year.

Vietnam’s exports rose by 8% to $119.3 billion, and imports by 4.5% to $58.4 billion.