The first cargo truck under the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement for cross border movement reached here on Monday, an official statement said.
The cargo truck was dispatched from Dhaka on August 27 as part of a trial run and arrived at the Inland Customs Depot (ICD).
According to the Ministry for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the trial was organised to develop the protocols for implementing the agreement.
“The cargo vehicle reached Petrapole on August 28 and Kolkata on 29. In India it travelled for more than 1,850 km through the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to reach the customs depot at Patparganj,” said the statement.
The truck was welcomed by Vivek Johari, Chief Commissioner Customs of Delhi.
The BBIN agreement was signed on June 15 last year in Thimphu, Bhutan to facilitate cross border movement of both passengers and cargo vehicles.
Protocols to implement the agreement are being negotiated by the four countries for passengers and cargo vehicles separately.
“The truck was issued an E-permit for the trial run through an online web based system which will help establish a customer friendly process acceptable to and recognised by all BBIN countries.
“The consignment did not undergo any customs clearance at the border. Instead, when it reached the first Indian customs station at border point Petrapole, an electronic seal with GPS tracking device was fixed on it so that the goods could be inspected for custom clearance in Delhi rather than at the border,” said the statement.
According to the ministry, the time and cost can be saved through facilitation of seamless transport through the sub-region.
“Cargo trucks earlier had to be off loaded at the border and also go through customs clearance. This led to delay and also caused damage to the goods. The steps being taken to facilitate seamless movement of cargo vehicles will give a major boost to trade and business,” said the statement.
A similar trial run of cargo vehicle from India was conducted in November last year from Kolkata to Agartala through Dhaka.
With such facilitation, the distance of more than 1,550 km from Kolkata to Agartala through Chicken’s Neck (the Siliguri corridor) will be reduced to 650 km if the truck travels through Dhaka resulting in reduction of overall transaction costs.