Bangladesh finally opened permanently the Chittagong and Mongla ports for transiting Indian cargoes toward its remote North Eastern states.
On 24 April, Bangladesh's customs authority issued a notification allowing regular commercial transit for goods to and from India using the two Bangladeshi seaports.
With the issuance of the permanent order, from now on, India would not have to take permission on case to case basis to transit its goods using Chittagong and Mongla ports.
Before this announcement came, India held three two-way trial transits of goods using both ports last year.
Since then, India had been pushing Bangladesh to allow its regular transit facility so it can carry cargo from its state of West Bengal to the seven sister states in the North using the Bangladeshi ports that will help India to transport cargoes at low cost and cut huge transit time.
As India will use the Chittagong and Mongla ports for transiting goods, vehicles from West Bengal would not need to travel 1,650 kilometres of roads to carry cargoes to the landlocked northern states.
The transit facility will cut short the road journey significantly thus India will be immensely benefitted.
Bangladesh will realise various charges on the Indian cargoes for using the ports, alongside road use charges, scanning charges, and escort fees, among others.
After coming to Chittagong and Mongla ports from its West Bengal state, the Indian cargoes will be carried to the northern states by road in sealed containers through four designated routes using Bangladesh vehicles.
Similarly, cargoes from Northern states will be brought by road to Chittagong and Mongla ports using four routes in Bangladesh and then will be transported to other Indian states.
The standard operating procedure (SOP) for the transit arrangement says the clearing and forwarding agents will have to be enlisted as operators to handle transit cargoes.
They will be held responsible if transit goods stay more than seven days in Bangladesh without valid reasons after customs clearance.