BD unlikely to benefit from Indian transshipment facility
Industry Desk: The country is highly unlikely to benefit from transshipment facilities by exporting its products through Indian territories to other countries, according to an assessment made by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
India has widened the facilities by including riverine routes with the surface communication systems, but it is unlikely to bode well for the local exporters due to loading and unloading hassles as well as time-consuming processes, officials said.
They said the transshipment facilities as announced would not be viable for Bangladesh as the Chittagong and Mongla seaports have similar facilities for exporting Bangladeshi products to different countries.
The NBR put forward the views in response to a request by the Commerce Ministry, which was scrutinizing the advantages and disadvantages of the extended facilities India announced recently.
Earlier in 2018, India had given the transshipment facilities to carry containerized cargoes by roads and railways, and utilize their specified Land Customs Stations (LCSs), seaports and airports, to export goods to third countries.
According to a joint statement of Bangladesh and India issued after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting during the PM’s visit, the Indian side invited the Bangladesh business community to use its port infrastructure for transshipment of export cargoes to third countries.
The Indian Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) amended its earlier circular, issued in 2018, by including the extended facilities and issued a fresh circular regarding the amendment on September 14, 2022.
The NBR, however, viewed in favour of the transshipment facilities through the LCSs of Banglabandha, Chilahati, Burimari and Sonahat by truck, rail and covered van, and the LCSs of Chilmari river port and Dhubri-Nunkhawa by river routes.
The NBR also pointed out that there was no mention about the fees and charges for transshipment facilities in the Indian circular.
The bond submission provision is not logical in the context of international practice as the bond may be equal to applicable duty in accordance with the invoice of goods concerned.
According to the section 3.3 of the circular, “The authorized carrier shall also enter into a transshipment bond with the commissioner of customs (prev.), west Bengal in the form and manner prescribed by the said commissioner. The bond shall be of an amount equivalent to twice the value of goods to be transshipped.”
“With a view to facilitating the and leveraging the potential of inland waterways for enhancing trade and transit, it has decided to allow the transshipment of containerized export goods of Bangladesh through India using riverine and rail routes,” according to the section 3.1 of the circular.
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