Up to 2,000 trucks are backed up at Argentina's main border crossing with Chile due to tougher Covid-19 testing requirements, Argentine haulers said on Tuesday, adding that the supply chain could suffer.

Some 900 trucks a day usually pass through the Christ Redeemer crossing from the Argentine province of Mendoza into Chile.

But those have been backed up for two days due to tougher health controls imposed on Argentine haulers by Chile, the Argentine Federation of Freight Business Entities said in a statement.

"At any moment the supply chain is going to break. It's not a funnel, it's a plug. Effectively, the border is closed," Daniel Gallart, from the Mendoza truck owners association, told AFP.

"We're talking about 1,800 or 2,000 trucks."

Argentina supply chain
Picture released by Telam on January 17, 2022, showing trucks lining up in Las Cuevas, in the Argentine province of Mendoza, just before the Cristo Redentor-Libertadores international mountain pass across the Andes mountain range between Argentina and Chile's Valparaiso Region. Photo: TELAM via AFP / STR

Truck owners are demanding the Argentine Foreign Office intervenes and also want more testing posts to speed up the process.

The delays are costing millions of dollars for the international trade that passes through Chile towards ports on its Pacific coast. The trucking industry has already been hard hit by the pandemic.

Both countries have high levels of vaccinated people but Argentina is in the middle of new wave of infections from the highly contagious Omicron variant, with around 120,000 new cases and 200 deaths a day.

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