Transit: Regular movement of Indian goods using Ctg, Mongla ports at final stage
Bangladesh and India are now at the final stage of operationalization of the agreement to use Chattogram and Mongla ports for transit of goods to and from India. The agreement was signed between Bangladesh and India in 2018. Following completion of trial runs, necessary permanent standing order or notification would now be issued by the government of Bangladesh for the operationalization and regular movement of goods under this agreement, officials said. This is a "step forward" in realizing the commitment reiterated at the level of the two prime ministers during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in September 2022. Read India offers free transit to Bangladesh for exports to third countries
Transit: First cargo ship from India arrives at Mongla port for trial run
The first trial-basis cargo ship meant to carry goods for northeastern India through Bangladesh's internal waterways reached Mongla port with two containers on Monday. Bangladesh flag-bearing cargo vessel MV Rishad Rayhan anchored at jetty-9 of the port in the morning, having left Kolkata port on August 1, said the Mongla port authority. This is the first of the four trial cargo ships on this route. The cargo ship is now waiting for a trial run on the Mongla-Tamabil and Mongla-Bibirbazar(in Cumilla) routes. This movement of cargo is part of the trial runs being undertaken for the operationalization of the agreement to use Chattogram and Mongla Ports for the transit of goods to and from India which was signed between Indian and Bangladesh in 2018. In two containers, the vessel carried 16.38 ton of iron pipes in 70 packages and 8.5 ton prefoam in 249 packages. Unloading from the cargo ship began around 11 am. Also read: First shipment of goods for Bangabandhu Rail Bridge arrives at Mongla port A truck was loaded with container and steel products which left for India around 12 pm. One of the containers will go to India’s Meghalaya state through Tamabil while another will go to India’s Assam through Bibirbazar border, said the port authority. According to the port authority, an agreement and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) regarding the use of Mongla Port for transportation of goods from India have been signed between the two countries. The decision to conduct the trial run was taken after the 13th Bangladesh-India Joint Group of Customs (JGC) meeting held in March 2022. Chairman of Mongla Port Authority Rear Admiral Mohammad Musa, Mongla Customs House Commissioner Mohammad Newazur Rahman, Indian Assistant High Commissioner in Khulna Inderijt Sagar and representatives from Maersk India Ltd were present at the port while the cargo vessel was anchored. Indian Assistant High Commissioner Indar Jeet Sagar said, “This initiative has been taken to speed up the trade using inland waterways on the India-Bangladesh protocol route. This agreement will have a more positive impact on the development of the economy and bilateral relations of the two countries. As per the agreement, the first trial cargo has been shipped to Mongla port today.” There are eight approved routes for transit of goods under the agreement, namely, Chattogram/Mongla Port to Agartala via Akhaura, Chattogram/Mongla Port to Dawki via Tamabil, Chattogram/Mongla Port to Sutarkandi via Sheola, Chattogram/Mongla Port to Srimantapur via Bibirbazar and vice versa on all four routes. During the visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in 2019, a SOP was signed to operationalize the agreement. Also read: How Padma Bridge led to largest shipment of reconditioned cars to arrive at Mongla Port Another trial run is expected be done on the Mongla-Sheola-Sutarkandi route by the end of August 2022 which will mark completion of trial runs on all approved routes under this Agreement, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka. As per the understanding reached earlier this year between the two governments, necessary permanent standing order/notification would be issued by the government of Bangladesh after completion of these trials for the operationalization and regular movement of goods under this agreement.