The issue of transit is an important aspect of the global Trade Facilitation agenda. It relates to Article V of GATT 1994 and the Barcelona Convention, which regulate the conditions that a Member country could apply to goods of another Member country passing through its territory to a third destination. Article 11 of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement provides a regulatory framework for freedom of international transit.
For details on the concepts of “traffic-in-transit”/transit/ freedom of transit, visit www.wto.org.
Nepali cargo enjoys transit through Bangladeshi territory under a bilateral agreement on transit signed in 1976, titled Trade and Payments Agreements between His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The Protocol under the Agreement sets out the modus operandi of such transit.
Indian cargo enjoys river transit facility under an Inland Waterways Protocol titled “Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade”. For details on the said protocol, visit http://www.biwta.gov.bd/. Recently, under the said protocol, traffic-in-transit has started through the use of transhipment at the Ashuganj port. To download information on customs fee for such transhipment, click here.
Movement of Goods under customs control intended for import is popularly referred to as domestic transit. Article 9 of the WTO TFA obligates WTO members to allow goods intended for import to be moved within its territory under customs control from one customs office of entry to another customs office in its territory.
Such domestic transit is in practice in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Customs allows domestic transit/transshipment of imported goods from Chittagong Customs (the port of entry) to the Kamalapur ICD Customs (the port of delivery) through railway. It also permits domestic transit from Angtihara (port of entry) to different Customs stations (port of delivery) through water/river routes.
Road movement of domestic transit cargo (e.g. from Benapole Customs to Dhaka ) is not in practice at the moment. However the recent conclusion of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement will perhaps facilitate such domestic transit soon.