One-stop Service to Speed up Border Crossings
Lao and Thai officials are holding discussions on starting a one door, one stop service at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge linking Savannakhet province and Mukdahan province in Thailand.
The service is intended to reduce transport times for people moving goods across the border.
Laos links Vietnam and Thailand via National Road No. 9 in Savannakhet, stretching from the Lao-Vietnamese border to the Lao-Thai border over a distance of 241.6 km.
Director of the provincial Public Works and Transport Department, Mr. Prasongsin Chaleunsouk, told Vientiane Times on Monday that the Dansavan-Lao Bao international border has had an operational one door, one stop service since early 2015.
The time it takes vehicles to cross the border has reduced since the introduction of the one door, one stop service, he said.
The single window service means that vehicles entering Laos from Vietnam are not checked at the Vietnamese border but only at the Lao border. Meanwhile vehicles from Laos entering Vietnam have to present their documents on the Vietnamese side only.
Based on a Vietnam News report on Monday, Vietnam and other regional countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Thailand have made agreements to facilitate road transport but border linkages have not been fully implemented due to differences in legislation.
To facilitate faster cross-border transport, ASEAN countries need to formulate regulations and simplify administrative procedures to speed up the implementation of one-stop-shop customs models so as to have the time of customs clearance procedures, promote connections and trading among countries in the region.
As an example, Mr. Prasongsin showed how customs clearance times between Vietnam and Laos at the border had reduced sharply since applying this model.
It now takes only 15 minutes for trucks to complete customs declarations at the Lao Bao-Dansavan border crossing between Vietnam and Laos.
Vietnam needs to quickly build a strategy and policies for the development of cross-border transport, especially transport corridors.
If the Laos-Thailand border which links to the Dansavan-Lao Bao international border also becomes a one door, one stop service, it will help to enhance connectivity for international road transport considerably, Mr. Prasongsin said.
Currently, only the Dansavan-Lao Bao border crossing between Laos and Vietnam has been able to fully implement this service.
Source: Vientiane Times