Customs staff to escort India transshipment goods to border

Ship may arrive at Chattogram port Monday

Jasim Uddin with Ferdous Ara | Published: 22:56, Jul 18,2020


Transshipment of Indian goods through Bangladesh sea and land routes to India’s northeastern states is scheduled to begin on Monday subject to a number of conditions, including submission of a bond on payment of applicable duties in case of any irregularities.

The vehicles carrying the transshipment goods will also be escorted by customs officials until the vehicles reach the Indian borders as the Electronic Lock and Seal System is not operational in the country, according to an order of the National Board of Revenue.

The ship, MV Senjuti, under the trial run of the transshipment is scheduled to arrive at the outer anchorage of the Chattogram port on Monday morning and then the unloaded goods will be carried to Tripura and, two northeastern Indian states, through the Akhaura land port.

The Chittagong Customs House, however, said that the ship’s arrival at the Chattogram port may be delayed till Tuesday.

The ship with 108 containers of goods, along with four transshipment goods, was scheduled to leave the Haldia port for Chattogram on Saturday night.

Chittagong Port Authority secretary Omar Faruk told New Age that as per the agreement between the two countries, the Indian goods-carrying ship will be given the highest priority.

He said that charges for the Indian goods will be the same as for goods imported by Bangladesh.

Road fees will not be charged under the trial run.

Customs officials will release the bond or undertaking once the goods pass the Bangladesh border, the NBR order issued on Monday said.

As per the Agreement on the Use of the Chattogram and Mongla Port for Movement of Goods to and from India and the Standard Operating Procedure under the agreement, the traders or their agents have to submit a bond or undertaking on the applicable duties and taxes  of the goods to the customs authorities alongside following the other customs regulations.

The NBR officials said that the road vehicles, trucks or trailers laden with the goods should be secured with electronic locks and seals after being released from the port.

But the NBR is yet to appoint any company to provide the service for both local and transshipment goods.

So, customs officials from the Chattogram Customs House, Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate will escort the goods all the way up to the Indian border, they said.

The traders will be also be allowed to use the general locks with wax seals instead of electronic locks, they said.

The officials said that two containers carrying TMT steel bars would go to Tripura in India through the ChattogramAkhauraAgartal route while the remaining two containers with pulses will go up to Agartala ICP through the same route.

The products must bear the customs transit declaration with the ‘For Transshipment’ mark and must be transported within seven days from Bangladesh.

The NBR set various types of fees and charges for transshipment goods as per the Customs Act-1969.

The traders will have to pay document processing fees of Tk 30 (per chalan), transshipment fees of Tk 20 (per tonne), security charges of Tk 100 (per tonne), escort charges of Tk 50 (per tonne), miscellaneous administrative charges of Tk 100 (per tonne), container scanning fees of Tk 254 (per container) and electric lock and seal fees as per rules.

Mohammad Yaqub Sujan, managing director of Mango Line Limited, an agent of MV Senjuti, told New Age that the ship left the Chattogram port for the Shyamaprasad Mukherjee port in Kolkata on July 11 to bring the goods from India.

The ship arrived at the Haldia port from the Shyamaprasad Mukherjee on July 16 and is scheduled to arrive at the outer anchorage of the Chattogram port on Monday morning.

On Friday, the ship was at the Haldia port in Kolkata and is scheduled to leave the port for Chattogram on Saturday night, he said.

Yakub said that the trial transshipment was supposed to start in March, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once transshipment begins, India will be able to transport goods to its northeastern states very quickly.

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