Some fruit traders in Kandahar province have been complaining about frequent inspections of their trucks during exports. They claim that the Taliban conducts intrusive checks at customs and checkpoints, resulting in the spoilage of their products. According to these traders, although they raised these concerns four months ago when fruit exports began, the Taliban have not paid attention to them. Meanwhile, refrigerated truck drivers face even more serious problems because after their trucks are emptied, the ice inside the trucks melts, causing the products to spoil during transportation. It is worth noting that despite promises of cooperation with traders by Taliban authorities at Kandahar province customs, no significant steps have been taken in this regard so far.
Locally, the process of inspecting the contents of trucks at customs or checkpoints is referred to as “Jar Zadan.” which means roughly “customs inspection” Some fruit traders in Kandahar province now claim that the Taliban in Spin Boldak customs still conducts these truck inspections carelessly. According to the traders, this ultimately results in the spoilage of fruits, making it impossible for them to export their products. These traders held a meeting with Taliban officials responsible for trade and customs in Kandahar province’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment in recent weeks. They assert that fruit exports continue to be one of their most significant challenges in Afghanistan.
According to Mohammad Saddiq Mohmand, the head of the Directorate of Chamber of Commerce and Investment in this province, after inspections by the Taliban at checkpoints, sometimes the products are no longer suitable for export. He further adds, “They inspect the trucks in a way that causes the fruits to spoil. Among these, there are refrigerated trucks and other fruit trucks. The cartons get torn, and they handle them very carelessly, rendering the fruits unfit for export.”
Additionally, Abdul Ahad Saddiqi, the head of the Dried Fruit Association of Kandahar province, mentioned that most of the damage from these truck inspections affects traders and orchard owners. He has called for preventing such actions. According to Saddiqi, in the Chaman customs, fruits from one truck are transferred to another, necessitating no re-inspection. He added, “I provide a list of reputable companies with significant exports to customs officials so they won’t encounter problems. If these inspections continue this way, it will cause us millions of Afghanis in damages.”
During this meeting, Abdul Basir Payman, the head of the Kandahar Drug Association, also expressed concerns about Taliban inspections. He stated that upon entering Kabul, the Taliban stop truck drivers at the Arghandi checkpoint and issue them new local permits by changing codes. According to Payman, drivers face delays, and efforts should be made to prevent disruptions to trade.
Meanwhile, the Taliban’s customs chief in Kandahar province has assured traders that they will resolve their issues. He stated that no one has the right to obstruct the export process.
It is worth noting that although traders raised this issue four months ago with the Taliban, the group did not take action to address it at that time. It remains unclear whether the Taliban will respond to the traders’ requests this time or not.