February 10: The test of electronic cargo tracking system (ECTS) of goods transhipped from Vishakhapatman Port in India to Birgunj in Nepal has been a success, according to a news report published by Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS).
The state-run news agency of Nepal reported that the port will officially begin ferrying Nepal-bound goods from February 15 this year.
According to RSS, the customs authorities had launched the GPS-based tracking tool last summer which has become effective in reducing the transhipment time and cost incurred by Nepali importers to two weeks from the current time of 2-3 months.
Furthermore, cargo tampering will also be tackled since the containers will be electronically sealed.
Visakhapatnam is considered as the second gateway port for Nepal, the first being Kolkata-Haldiya port.
In June 2017, during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's official visit to India, Nepal and India signed a memorandum of understanding to initiate the tracking system to ease transit of cargo by road and rail from Kolkata to four major customs points of Nepal. The four routes include Kolkata-Birgunj via Raxaul, Kolkata-Sirsiya inland container depot via Raxaul, Kolkata-Biratnagar via Jogbani, and Kolkata-Bhairahawa via Sunauli.
According to Director at the Department of Commerce, Supply and Consumer Protection, Purusottam Subedi, the goods that arrive Nepal via Vishakapatam Port will be handed over to the rightful owner through the automatic system without having to produce any papers like in the past.