India will have to pay a fee (transshipment fee, security and administrative charge) of Tk 220 per tonne for the transportation of goods to the north-eastern states through the use of Mongla and Chittagong ports.
Apart from this, document processing fee of Tk 30 per consignment, container scanning fee of Tk 254 and escort charge of Tk 85 per kilometer have to be paid.
Goods during transit cannot be transported on other routes beyond the specified route as per the agreement, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) said in a notification on Monday.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued a standing order regarding transit-transhipment of Indian goods under the agreement on the use of Chittagong and Mongla ports for the movement of goods to and from India. The transit fee-route has been fixed by Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
According to the standing order, C&F agents have to apply to Mongla and Chittagong Customs for registration as transit operators. After the application verification, if the results are satisfactory, the eligible C&F agents will have to submit a Tk 10,000 (non-refundable) treasury challan, an unconditional bank guarantee of Tk 10 lakh and a risk bond of Tk 50 lakh.
If the transit-transshipment goods fail to cross the geographical border of Bangladesh within seven days, the operator will have to pay the duty-tax penalty for the goods.
If the goods fail to reach the destination due to natural causes or the vehicle breaks down, a letter should be sent to the concerned VAT Commissionerate office giving details, the NBR notification said.
The order further states that scanning of every transit-transshipment challan will be done. Then the electronic seal lock will be installed. A manual inspection of the goods will be carried out if discrepancies are found in the scanning.
In July 2020, the first trial run under the agreement was carried out with four containers loaded with iron rods and pulses transported from Haldia port in Kolkata to the Chittagong seaport.
The fourth and final trial run to connect Chittagong and Mongla ports to the north-eastern states via India-Bangladesh Protocol Route concluded on 7 November, 2022.
Bangladesh State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury recently told reporters that Indi wants to use Mongla and Chittagong ports as an alternative to Singapore and Colombo ports.
The neighboring country is keen for regular transit as its vehicles need to travel over 1,650 kilometers for transporting goods from Kolkata to Agartala through Guwahati.
It is expected that the move will help increase trade volume to the northeast on inland waterways via the India-Bangladesh Protocol route and help reduce the cost of freight.
Until now, India used to take a lot of time to transport goods to the eastern states. Transporting through these two ports of Bangladesh will reduce both time and cost for India.