I. Purchasing Procedures
Purchases from India
I. Bilateral Agreement.
- Nepal and Bangladesh signed a Trade and Payments Agreement and a Transit Agreement in 1976. The following six places have been approved for the movement of traffic-in-transit through the ports and other territory by all means of transport: The seaports of Khulna-Chalna and Chittagong The following border points on the Bangladeshi-Indian border - Biral, Banglabandh, Chilhati, Benapole.
- Benapole is a road crossing point near Calcutta and its Indian side border point is Petrapole. Chilhati is a broad gauge rail terminal which used to be connected with the Indian side of border rail station Haldibari before 1971. Currently Nepal is using the border crossing points of Biral and Banglabandh, which will be described in the following paragraphs.
II. Transit Routes
- Biral which is a meter gauge rail point at Bangladesh border was brought under regular use for the movement of Nepal's trade traffic to and through Bangladesh after the Government of India allowed the rail connection from its border station Radhikapur to Biral.
- India has allowed use of the road connection from its Phulbari border point with Bangladesh. The Kakarvita (Nepal Border)-Panitanki (India Border with Nepal)-Phulbari (India Border with Bangladesh) route provides a shortest access of only 44 km to Banglabandh border for Nepal's trade with and through Bangladesh. As the short route was very congested, a new route of about 55-km passing through Bagdogra and Ghose Pukur by-pass is made open for truck transportation all days of the week.
- Compared to Radhikapur-Biral rail route connecting the India-Nepal border transit points and requiring to follow all the transit procedures as laid down in the Treaty of Transit, the Phulbari-Banglabandh route was allowed only for one border crossing point of Kakarvita- Panitanki road with the application of different operational modalities as follows:
- transit permitted on all days,
- convoys of not more than 25 trucks,
- pilfer proof containers/trucks which can be securely sealed,
- maximum of four convoys each way per day,
- only Nepal registered vehicles permitted,
- cargo transportation only during broad day light with security escorts,
- gross vehicle weight of trucks not to exceed 16.2 tons for conventional vehicles and 19 tons for three or multi-axle vehicles,
- drivers/assistants/cleaners travelling with the truck to hold identity cards issued by Nepal government,
- goods not subject to usual customs examination and other checks as long as the seals are not tampered with or unless there are valid reasons,
- transit not permitted (negative list) to fire arms and ammunition, hazardous cargo, gold and silver bullion, goods prohibited for the protection of human, animal and plant life, antiques and similar other objects, and narcotics and psychotropic substances.
- NTWCL is officially appointed as CA to clear import/export cargo at Kakarvita and Phulbari to work on behalf of all importers and exporters,
- NTWCL is authorized to issue an undertaking letter to the Indian Customs in lieu of duty insurance for all types of cargo.
III. Transit Procedures in India
- Transit procedures as laid down in the Treaty of Transit signed between Nepal and India for the movements of third country trade traffic apply to Nepal's trade with and transit traffic through Bangladesh. The Calcutta Customs has authorized the border customs offices of Radhikapur and Phulbari to process CTD and other documents for the clearance of Nepal's transit traffic. Nepalese exporters and importers are not required to go to the Calcutta Customs for processing of documents.
- With the stationing of NTWCL offices at both the transit points of Radhikapur and Kakarvita, an undertaking letter in lieu of duty insurance to the Indian customs is easily obtainable on the spot for trading with and through Bangladesh For goods moving through the Phulbari- Banglabandh route, the private sector importers and exporters also obtain NTWCL's undertaking letter and clearing services as per the operational modality applicable to this route. From 1984 the branch office of NICL at Raigunj City, which is close to Radhikapur border also started issuing duty insurance policy coverage for the goods passing through the rail route of Radhikapur-Biral. The duty insurance is issued by NICL after the Radhikapur land border customs examines CTD indicating the customs valuation for duty insurance.
- NTWCL levies a clearing fee of 0.20% of the FOB value on Export and 0.30% of the CIF value on import trade traffic moving through the Phulbari-Banglabandh route. The charges for issuing the letter of undertaking to the Indian Customs are 0.07% for cement and fertilizer, and 0.15% for other products on FOB exports and CIF imports.
IV. Transit Procedures in Bangladesh
- The bilateral Transit Agreement between Nepal and Bangladesh has prescribed documentation procedures and formatted a document called 'Transit Declaring Invoice' (TDI) separately for imports and exports via Bangladesh routes. The procedures elaborated by the Standing Order No 6 dated 27 June 1979 of the Customs House of Chittagong constitute import and export procedures in Bangladesh.
- For the movement of goods to and through Bangladesh in Radhikapur-Biral rail route or Phulbari-Banglabandh road route, documentation requirements of the Indian Customs as well as of the Bangladesh Customs in regard to the processing of both the CTD and TDI have to be met by the Nepalese traders.
- Imports through Bangladesh. After an IGM containing a separate sheet called 'Nepal Transit Cargo Manifest' (NTCM) for Nepal destined transit cargo is filed by the master of the vessel or Shipping Line at the import section of the Chittagong Customs House, NTCM is sent to the principal appraiser in-charge of the transit group. While working on behalf of Nepalese importer, CA has to submit for each consignment duly filled six .copies of Transit Declaring Invoice (TDI) along with B/L, invoice, packing list and authority letter of the importer to the transit clerk of Transit Group. After processing the documents, the transit clerk hands to CA all six copies of TDI for presentation to the Superintendent, Preventive Service, Jetties, and retains the other documents in the file.
- CA approaches the customs superintendent of the jetty with all copies of TDI. The superintendent deputes a preventive officer (PO) to inspect the consignment externally, and if found intact, to allow loading of the cargo on rail wagons or tarpaulin covered trucks. After completion of loading, the PO seals the wagons or trucks and makes necessary endorsement on all copies of the TDI. The PO obtains on all copies of TDI endorsement of a railway official as a receipt of goods, and then hands the duplicate and triplicate copies in a sealed cover to the railway official. The remaining three copies are returned to CA after obtaining acknowledgement on the reverse of the original TDI. The original is sent to the Transit Group in the Customs House. If transit goods are to be carried by road, a similar procedure with regard to endorsement and acknowledgement is to be followed
- If the PO finds any package damaged or broken, the contents are surveyed in the presence of the importer or CA and representatives of Chittagong Port Authority and ship's agent. After sealing of such packages, loading of the packages on the wagon or truck is allowed. The damages or short landings are noted on all certified copies of TDI, which will be counter signed by all the representatives present.
- On arrival of the goods at the point of exit, the Border Customs receives the sealed cover containing duplicate and triplicate copies of TDI from the railway guard or the truck driver and also three copies of TDI along with the Railway receipt (RR) from CA. The border customs officer examines the seal on the wagons or truck, and if found intact gives clearance for onward transportation beyond Bangladesh. When the transit procedure is completed and necessary entries made on all five copies of TDI, the customs officer at exit retains the quadruplicate copy for his record and sends back the triplicate copy by registered post to the principal appraiser in-charge Transit Group, Customs House, Chittagong. The duplicate copy as well as the remaining two copies are handed back to the owner of the goods or CA to facilitate onward movement of traffic-in-transit.
- If the consignment has moved without seal or with broken seals, the goods are physically examined in the presence of the importer's representative and railway guard/truck driver. In such cases, if the goods are found missing, the shortage is recorded on all five copies of TDI and countersigned by the representatives present. After resealing of the wagon or truck, the goods are permitted to move onwards.
- On arrival of the imported goods at the Indian Border Customs, the importer or CA is required to complete all the transit formalities by submitting all original copies of import documents including RR but without B/L. After obtaining RR from Indian Railway and processing of CTD, the transit cargo is allowed for onward transportation.
- When the triplicate copy of TDI is received from the exit customs at the Transit Group, Customs House, Chittagong, it is tallied with the original. If the goods have crossed the border, the Nepal Transit Trade (Import) Register will be completed with necessary entries. But, if any missing of goods is reported in the triplicate copy of TDI, the appraiser will immediately assess applicable customs duty and sales tax on missing goods and raise demand under order of the concerned assistant collector of customs against the carrier-railway authority or truck owner.
- All the procedures prescribed for third country trade have to be followed at the border at both the Indian and Nepalese Customs.
- Exports through Bangladesh. All the documentation formalities as applicable to third country exports through Calcutta have to be completed at Nepal Border Customs and India Border Customs except the declaration to be made on relevant documents including CTD that the cargo is going to be routed through Bangladesh.
- On arrival of goods at Bangladesh border, CA has to produce to Customs six copies of TDI with invoice and packing list. After completing necessary checking, the Border Customs endorses all copies of TDI, which are also subsequently endorsed by the carrier. The original copy is retained at the Border Customs, duplicate and triplicate copies are handed over in a sealed cover to the railway guard or truck driver to be delivered to the exit Customs and remaining three copies to CA.
- On arrival of the cargo at the Port of exit, the Port Customs will compare the duplicate and triplicate copies of TDI received from the rail guard or truck driver with the three copies along with RR produced by CA and also check the seals on the rail wagon or truck. After necessary verification by the customs the goods are cleared for shipment and entries are made on all TDI copies. The quadruplicate copy is retained by the Port Customs for ultimate submission to the Customs House and triplicate copy is send back by registered post to the border entry Customs Office. The remaining three copies including duplicate are handed back to CA.
- After necessary clearance by the Port Customs, the CA pays port dues and obtains port clearance before handing over the cargo to the Ship's agent inside the port.