September 24: India’s Kolkota Port has made it mandatory for Nepal-bound goods from third countries to use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system.
This system will be implemented for goods that have to go through the Customs Transit Declaration (CTD) at the port.
The EDI system has been introduced to remove the hassles of paper works at the port. Although this system was launched about a year ago, it was not mandatory until now.
The port officials claimed that they made this system mandatory to make the process of CTD fast and efficient. India has already made this system mandatory for goods it imports itself.
The importers need to submit documents for processing through online means.
The importers need to submit all the details of the goods including the bill, packing list, origin of product certificate, among others. With the full implementation of this system, it is believed that the importers will no longer need to present hard copy of documents to the port anymore, says Amrit Bhakta Shrestha of Customs House Agent.
However, one of the importers Kamal Mantri says this new system has made the process even more longer.
“Earlier, it used to take one day for customs clearance but now it takes three days,” he says, adding, “This has caused stockpiling of 1000 containers at the port.”
Other agents says although this new technology is supposed to save time, it is taking longer than expected because the staff members of the customs office are not proficient to handle this new system at the moment.
Ishwar Raj Poudel, Nepal’s Consul General at its Kolkata-based consulate, informed that they are coordinating with the concerned officials of India for making the EDI system fast and effective.
He further said that they are facing some glitches because this system is in its initial phase. Poudel added that they are hopeful of resolving the problems soon.
“We are facilitating in making this system more effective. Agents can complete the documentation process from their own offices and therefore this system is beneficial for the importers,” Poudel told New Business Age.