China has suspended dragon fruit imports from Vietnamese fruit manufacturers via a border gate in northern Quang Ninh Province, after the coronavirus was found on the packaging of a shipment, according to a notice by the Chinese side.
The suspension, applied to dragon fruit imports through a pontoon bridge that is dedicated to trading activities at Quang Ninh’s Mong Cai border gate (Dongxing border gate on China’s side), will last from Wednesday to September 21.
In the notice, authorities in China’s Dongxing City said that they had discovered the coronavirus on both the cover of each item and the cardboard boxes as the outermost layer of the shipment.
The imports will be automatically resumed from 11:00 pm on September 21, according to the notice.
However, the suspension can be extended for another week if the coronavirus is detected on the packaging of imported dragon fruits again or any other goods, and for four weeks if the products contain the virus for a third time.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Health suggested Vietnamese dragon fruit exporters work with their Chinese partners to find another channel for the exporation of the tropical fruit during the suspension.
The Quang Ninh Department of Industry and Trade has advised local firms to regularly update information regarding import and export activities at border gates in order to work out a plan that helps prevent goods congestion.
This is not the first time that Vietnamese farm produce exports to China through Vietnam’s northern border gates have been affected by Chinese authorities’ COVID-19 prevention and control regulations.
Previously, the Chinese side temporarily stopped receiving Vietnamese trucks via a number of border gates in northern Lang Son Province between July and August to curb the spread of COVID-19.