News List

Compiled features on recent developments in regional cooperation and integration in the SASEC region.

May 2022

CBIC to Allow Import of Bangladesh Goods via Returning Rail Cargo

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) of India has released guidelines allowing import of Bangladesh goods onboard sealed containers that are returning to India by rail after delivering export goods to Bangladesh.

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Tags: India, Rail, Bangladesh, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, Trade Facilitation

February 2021

Commentary: ECTS: Revolutionizing Nepal’s Trade

On 7 June 2017, the Governments of Nepal and India signed a Memorandum of Intent bilaterally agreeing to launch a pilot project to facilitate transit traffic by using Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Mr. Rubal Jain from the Indian private sector discusses the benefits of ECTS since its implementation. This piece originally appeared on the Annapurna Express.

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Tags: ADB, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, Nepal, India

June 2019

Commentary: Improving Facilitation through the Use of Electronic Seals

Replacing mechanical seals with electronic sealing devices has enabled Indian Customs to reduce the risk of fraud and security threats while extending higher levels of facilitation to traders. The electronic seals have allowed India to improve its ranking in World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2019, particularly in the category "trading across borders."

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Tags: ADB, Authorized Economic Operators, Bangladesh, Customs, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, India, Nepal, Regional Cooperation, WCO

March 2019

India-Nepal Agree to Include Inland Waterways in Trade and Transit Treaties

Senior officials met to review India-Nepal bilateral transit and trade treaties and agreed to discuss inland waterways facilities, which could reduce transit cost significantly once implemented. The two countries also agreed to install facilities for electronic cargo tracking on cargo bound for Nepal.

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Tags: Inland waterways, India, Nepal, Transport, Electronic Cargo Tracking System

March 2019

New Rule to Promote Use of ECTS

The Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal, has allowed commercial banks to issue payment instruments in foreign currency for cargo transported by railway to the Birgunj dry port and Biratnagar customs point. The move aims to facilitate the implementation of the electronic cargo tracking system for third country import.

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Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System, India, Nepal, Rail, Transit Facilitation

February 2019

ECTS Enhances Nepal-bound Rail Transshipment from India’s Kolkata and Haldia Ports

Cargo containers using the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) bound for Nepal by rail was flagged off from the Kolkata Port on 15 February 2019. Mr. Vinit Kumar, Kolkata Port Trust Chairman, and Mr. Manish Chandra, Commissioner of Customs, Kolkata, led the ceremony. A pilot program using the ECTS modality is being implemented on rail routes originating from Kolkata and Haldia ports, to Birgunj via the Raxaul land customs station.

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Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System

January 2019

ECTS to be Implemented on Nepal-bound Cargo Transiting via Kolkata/Haldia

The Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) will be rolled out on pilot basis to facilitate the movement of Nepal-bound cargo transiting via Kolkata/Haldia. The new transshipment procedure will be implemented beginning 15 February 2019, announced the Office of the Commissioner of Customs (Port) of the Government of India in a circular.

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Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System

November 2018

ADB Blog: Early Lessons from Using Technology to Ease Trade in South Asia

Technology helps set the appropriate balance between facilitation and enforcement by border agencies. In this ADB blog entry, Mr. Ronald Butiong, Director, Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination, South Asia Department, ADB, discusses how the electronic cargo tracking system uses information and communication technology, satellite positioning systems, and high security seals to allow organizations to monitor the movement of cargo, thereby enhancing trade facilitation in South Asia.

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Tags: Customs, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, Trade Facilitation

April 2018

Railway Transit for Cargo Bound for Biratnagar, Nepal via Jogbani, India

The Government of India launched the test phase for railway movement of goods entering Nepal via the Biratnagar check post. The Container Corporation of India began carrying freight bound for Jogbani in Bihar, the nearest rail station to Biratnagar, on 25 April 2018. This development follows implementation of the electronic cargo tracking system.

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Tags: Rail, India, Nepal, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, SASEC

March 2018

Nepal to Propose Finalization of Transshipment Modality with India in Upcoming IGC Meeting

The Government of Nepal is aiming to finalize the transshipment modality with the Government of India for its third country trade. It will be part of the agenda in the upcoming Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) meeting in April in Pokhara, Nepal, headed by India and Nepal commerce secretaries.

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Tags: Nepal, India, ADB, Transport, Electronic Cargo Tracking System

March 2018

Expansion Work Underway to Increase Kolkata Port Capacity

The Kolkata Port Trust is working to increase the port’s capacity, ease congestion, and reduce paperwork requirements for traders. The port, which handles most of Nepal’s third-country trade, is improving its physical infrastructure and cargo handling system.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Trade Facilitation, Ports, Electronic Cargo Tracking System

February 2018

Governments of Nepal and India Prepare to Launch the ECTS Pilot Program

The Governments of Nepal and India are preparing to launch the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) as soon as possible. It received the green light from Nepal's Council of Ministers in January 2018. The planned pilot will run for three months, covering cargo entering Nepal by rail in Birgunj and by road in Biratnagar and Bhairawa. ADB is supporting the piloting of the project through the SASEC Program.

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Tags: Nepal, ADB, SASEC, India, Transit Facilitation, Electronic Cargo Tracking System

January 2018

Electronic Cargo Tracking System to Help Ease Transit of Nepal-bound Cargo

The Cabinet of Nepal has approved the modality of the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS). Following this, Nepal's Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has begun preparations for ECTS implementation with the assistance of ADB. Mr. Ravi Shanker Sainju, Joint Secretary, MoC, is hopeful that the ECTS will help control the turnaround time of shipping line containers, and significantly reduce the delay and cost of trade. He stressed that if Nepal can minimize time consumed in trade, cost of goods.

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Tags: ADB, Nepal, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, Customs, Trade

June 2017

Electronic Cargo Tracking System to Improve India-Nepal Cargo Traffic and Security

An electronic tracking system will soon ease traffic-in-transit for cargo traveling by road and rail from Kolkata to four major Customs points of Nepal, including the Raxaul route. Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Customs Commissioner, India, and Mr. Rabi Shanker Sainju, Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary, Nepal, signed a memorandum of intent to pilot the tracking system for a trial period of at least 90 days in late 2017.

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Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System, ADB, SASEC, Nepal, India, BBIN, Customs, Road, Rail, Transport