Choson Exchange has heard that Chinese customs officials inspecting trains crossing from Dandong to Sinuiju have recently begun imposing a weight-based tariff on goods going into North Korea from China.
It was described to Choson Exchange as a "flat fee for anything over 30 kilograms at 18 RMB per kilo". Bags were weighed at the platform, but not inspected with any detail. Thus, in one's bag, a kilo of gold, apples, printer toner or chocolate would all appear the same on the scale and be charged accordingly.
Crucially, this fee does not apparently apply to Chinese or other foreign passengers, just DPRK citizens. Nor is it applied to freight or commercially shipped goods that cross the border. It isn't a huge amount of money either, even if it can add up quickly: Koreans tend to bring back a lot of consumer goods after excursions or sojourns in China. This merely appears to be a small squeeze on the classes of people that can take such trips, probably designed to annoy and frustrate, but not cause any real harm to trade. It is the latest manifestation of China's displeasure, after tightening up residence visas and delaying goods that are shipped to Nampo through Dalian.