To save time and cost, India has started transporting goods using the ports of Bangladesh. On Thursday at around 9:00 am, four containers carrying rods and lentils reached Agartala of India through Akhaura land port in Brahmanbaria of Bangladesh.
Biplab Kumar Deb, chief minister of Tripura, officially received the shipment at Agartala land port. The lentils will go to ETC Agro Processing India Ltd at Guwahati, Assam, and the rods will go to MS Corporation Ltd in Agartala city.
The Indian High Commission and Customs said the goods were supposed to go to Agartala on Wednesday but it was postponed as Biplab Kumar Deb wanted to receive the shipment officially. The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) sterilized each container-loaded trailer with a disinfectant spray.
India has paid the fees, fixed by The National Board of Revenue (NBR) earlier, for this. However, the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) did not collect any fee as it was an experimental shipment.
According to a letter signed by Akhtar Hossain, second secretary of the international trade and agreement of customs at the NBR, the document processing fee for each shipment is Tk30, transshipment fee is Tk20 per tonne, security charge is Tk100 per tonne, escort charge is Tk50 per tonne, miscellaneous administrative charge is Tk100 per tonne and container scanning fee is Tk254 per container. In addition, the electric seal and lock fee will have to be paid as per the rules.
Under the agreement on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports for movement of goods to and from India signed between Bangladesh and India on October 25, 2018, and according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) signed between the two countries on October 5, 2019, India has started transporting goods to its own country using the ports of Bangladesh.
As the first experimental shipment, a ship named 'Sejuti' left India for Chattogram seaport on July 14 with 53.25 tonnes of rods and 49.83 tonnes of lentils in four containers. The ship anchored at Chattogram seaport at noon on Tuesday.
Darcl Logistics Ltd shipped the products from India through a Bangladeshi organisation called Mango Line Limited. Adnan Trade International, a customs clearing and forwarding (C&F) agent, was in the charge of releasing the goods. After unloading the goods from the ship, four trailers left Chattogram port for Akhaura land port in the early hours of Wednesday. The trailers reached Akhaura land port at 4.30 pm on the same day.
Md Harunur Rashid, revenue officer at Akhaura land customs station, said, "The first four containers have reached Agartala under the agreement between Bangladesh and India. The fees and necessary documents have been processed at Chattogram Customs House."
Joydeep Mukherjee, superintendent of Agartala Customs, said businessmen of the two countries would be benefitted from the transit.