Savannakhet bridge immigration fee ruling not yet enforced

Immigration staff at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, which links Savannakhet province to Mukdahan province in Thailand, are still waiting for instructions from the provincial office about ending the collection of immigration and service fees. Head of bridge operations, Mr Bounkham Phutthichak, told Vientiane Times by telephone on April 5 they had heard about the order from the Prime Minister’s Office requesting the cessation of the collection of fees. He had met with authorities from the provincial office and was now waiting for the necessary documents from the office. Before the order was issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, at weekly meetings I told all officials at the bridge not to collect fees, especially at immigration, because it wasn’t in line with the President’s Ordinance on the payment of fees at the border crossing, he said.

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