The first consignment of Indian goods – under the trial run of the transshipment deal between Dhaka and Delhi – will be heading for Agartala through Akhaura Land Port in Brahmanbaria on Thursday.
The 102-tonne consignment – 53 tonnes of rods and 49 tonnes of pulse – was scheduled to reach its destination on Wednesday, but was delayed because of some "formalities."
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb will be present at the ceremony for receiving the transshipment goods at the border between Akhaura and Agartala land ports the same morning.
Insiders told The Business Standard that the delivery was delayed so that the Tripura chief minister could attend the ceremony.
Indian company Darcl Logistics had sent the consignment through a Bangladeshi company named Mango Line, and customs, clearing and forwarding agent Adnan Trade International is transporting the goods to its destination.
In October 2018, the two neighbors signed the transshipment deal titled "Agreement on the Use of Chattogram and Mongla Port for Movement of Goods to and from India" to transport Indian goods to its north-eastern states through Bangladesh's waters.
Subsequently in 2019, Bangladesh and India finalised the standard operating procedure (SoP) in this regard. The deal will enable neighboring India to transport goods to its north-eastern states quickly and easily.
The ship MV Shejyoti – carrying four TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) of transshipment goods – left Kolkata's Haldia port on July 14, and anchored at the New Mooring Container Terminal 1 in Chattogram on July 21.
After completing formalities, clearing and forwarding agent KJ Shipping unloaded the goods from the ship. Four trailer trucks carrying the rods and pulse left Chattogram in the early hours of Wednesday and arrived at the Akhaura Land Port around 4:30pm.
Responding to a query, shipping company Adnan Trade International's owner Akter Hossain said, "We had made full preparations to deliver the consignment to Agartala on Wednesday. However, the Indian High Commission and customs officials requested we postpone the delivery."
"India will formally take delivery of the consignment on Thursday morning, and the Tripura chief minister will be present on the occasion," he continued.
For the trial run, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is charging Tk30 as a document processing fee, and for each tonne of goods: Tk20 as a transshipment fee, Tk100 as a security fee, Tk50 as an escort fee, and Tk100 as a miscellaneous administrative fee.
The NBR is also charging Tk254 as a scanning fee per container, and electric lock and seal fee as per the rules.
Speaking to The Business Standard, Akhaura Land Customs Station's Deputy Commissioner Kazi Iraj Ishtiak said, "We have completed all preparations for the transshipment of goods to India."
"The NBR has set fees and charges for the process, which will be collected only at the Chattogram port," he added.