Laxmi Capital News
Customs formalities for Nepal bound cargoes at Indian ports to ease

Preparations are underway to lift customsprocedures from Nepal's third country imports coming via Indian ports. 

Going by the international practice, customsformalities of shipments in transit are done at the customs office of thereceiving countries only. However, India requires Nepali importers to completecustoms procedures at its ports also.

“It was natural for Nepal to seekfacilitation of Indian customs office at its port six decades ago when itstarted trading with third countries. Time has changed now,” Ashok Temani,president to Road Transport and Transit Committee of the Federation of NepaleseChambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI). “India might have been concernedabout its security and revenue back then. But these issues can be solved viathe use of technology,” he said.

As Nepal has now plenty of experience ofoverseas trade, the existing practice should end now, he added.

Import via Vishakhapatnam port, however,does not require presence of importers. Shipping companies themselves can completesimple formalities there, according to Kalyan Chakraborty, senior generalmanager to Vishakha Terminals.

Similarly, the number of paperwork thatneeded to be completed by importers at Kolkata and Haldia ports has alsoreduced to half from 14 in previous years. “Customs formalities at Kolkata portwill be reduced to a page worth of paperwork from the beginning of new fiscalyear of India,” Binaya Kumar, president Kolkata Port Trust, told Republica.

Pradip Kedia, former president of BirgunjChamber of Commerce and Industries, said Kolkata port is a mere transit pointfor Nepal like Singapore and Colombo. “Authorities there do not require anypaperwork. We are seeking similar facility at the Indian ports,” Kedia said.“Various decisions have been taken to facilitate Nepal's third country tradethis year. The lifting of customs procedures at Kolkata and Haldia ports willbe an icing in the cake.”

The Bill of Lading (BoL) issued by theexporter now includes the destination of container as Inland Container Depot(ICD), Birgunj, in addition to the name of the importer in the Cost, Insuranceand Freight (CIF) document. This has made it possible to shift customsdocumentation process directly at the Birgunj ICD instead of Indianports. 

Earlier, containers coming to Nepal used tohave Kolkata as the destination, making it mandatory for the Kolkata and Haldiaports to issue Customs Transit Declaration (CTD) before containers are shippedto Nepal.

Nepal's Consul General in Kolkata, EkNarayan Aryal, said end of customs procedures at Indian ports for Nepal's thirdcountry imports is a big achievement in the country's international trade. “TheIndian side has taken our demand seriously. Our main concern is to lessen thetime and cost of doing trade, while they seem to be more concerned aboutsecurity issues and revenue security, Aryal said, adding: “However, we havebeen able to ease transport of goods across the border by lessening paperwork.”

Meanwhile, the Indian authorities aretesting the use of Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) on Nepal-bound thirdcountry containers, according to Aryal

Source : My Republica, 23rd April 2018

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