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Nepal-bound cargoes stranded at Kolkata Port to be released today

  • Over 250 containers have been lying at the port for the past four days as Indian Customs refused to clear them saying the import was not made in line with new system
- SURESH RAJ NEUPANE, Delhi

Mar 12, 2019-

The Nepal-bound containers stranded at the Kolkata Port for the past four days will be released on Tuesday, Consul General in India Eak Narayan Aryal confirmed on Monday.

The Indian Customs had refused to clear over 250 containers of Nepali traders, saying the import was not made in line with the new system introduced last month.

The Indian government had enacted a new system effective from February 15, according to which the Nepal-bound cargos from third countries via the Kolkata Port will receive a direct shipment facility up to Nepal-India border towns of Raxaul and Jogbani. It means the customs clearance for goods imported by Nepali traders will be made at these entry points instead of the Kolkata Port.

Earlier, the Nepal-bound cargos were shipped till the Kolkata Port, where the goods were undocked and customs clearance procedure was followed before dispatching them to Nepal through rail or roadways.

A meeting was held between the officials from the Indian Customs Board and the Kolkata-based Nepali Consulate General Office along with the top officials from Nepal’s Commerce Ministry on Monday. The meeting decided to allow Nepali traders to import goods either through old or new systems for the goods arriving at the Kolkata Port till March 31. Post March 31, the traders will have to comply with the news system, the meeting decided.

“As per the verbal agreement reached with the Indian side today, the Nepal-bound goods arriving at the Kolkata Port till March 31 will be allowed to clear customs procedures at the port itself,” Aryal said.

The importers will have to declare the final customs point in their Letter of Credit. As per this address, the shipping company will identify the final destination where it has to ship the goods. As per the new system, when a shipping company delivers Nepali goods up to the Birjung-based dry port or Jogbani in India, it will be freed from its liability.

Aryal said that knowingly or unknowingly the Nepali traders seem to have mentioned the Kolkata Port as their shipment destination.

The new system, according to Aryal, has freed the Nepali traders from hassles they have to go through at the Kolkata Port for customs clearance. Since the Kolkata Port is not as well-equipped and advanced as the Visakhapatnam Port, traders had to fill over a dozen paperwork, Aryal said.

Besides, the lengthy procedure in customs clearance caused Nepali importers to pay hefty storage fee. This increased the prices of goods, the brunt of which ultimately fell upon Nepali customers.

Published: 12-03-2019 08:44

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