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Automated fee payment system rolled out at Lao-Thai border
Publication Date : 05-03-2013
The international border crossing at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge between Vientiane and Nong Khai province, Thailand, has begun using electronic machines to collect fees from travellers.
The head of the checkpoint issued an announcement dated February 28, saying the payment of fees involved in passing through the checkpoint would be made through an automated open-close gate starting on March 1.
This means that people who regularly cross the bridge will have their own electronic Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) card which contains their personal information.
“This card contains a SIM similar to a prepaid phone SIM and the holder will have to recharge it before use,” said checkpoint official Thavixay Thammavong.
RFID cards can be issued to holders of passports, border passes, and temporary border passes. To receive the card a person has to pay 75,000 kip as a guarantee.
Cardholders have to recharge their card regularly to ensure they contain not less than the amount they have to pay for the exit or entrance.
Currently, fees are 11,000 kip per person for one exit-entrance during official working hours, and 21,000 kip per person for one exit-entrance outside of official working hours, of which 11,000 kip is the fee and 10,000 kip is the overtime charge.
People who have paperwork for a single border crossing have to pay the same fees mentioned above. Meanwhile, passport holders have to pay only 1,000 kip per person for one exit or entrance.
According to the official, the system has been introduced by the Customs Department to streamline the collection of fees, and will not only be convenient for travellers but will also close loopholes and ensure less revenue is misappropriated.
Regarding the card recharge, there are four recharging point in Vientiane: at the Talatsao Mall, Khuadin Bus Station, outside the Vientiane Police Department, and at the Lao-Thai Friendship International Checkpoint.
Further information on the matter is provided at the international customs checkpoint.