Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal discuss efficient transit regimes in South Asia

04 May 2016

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in cooperation with the Indian Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and the Asia/Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB A/P), organized a WCO Sub-Regional Workshop on Transit Corridors in South Asia funded by the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan (CCF/Japan). The Workshop was held from 26 to 28 April 2016 at the WCO Regional Training Centre in Faridabad, India. Thirteen Customs officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal participated in the Workshop together with invited experts from Japan, Switzerland and Malawi Customs including the representative from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Ms. Harmeet S. Singh, Director General of the National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN), warmly welcomed participants and opened the Workshop. This event was intended to facilitate an exchange of practical views to improve regional transit regimes in South Asia, with experts presenting their national experiences. The WCO instruments and tools for effective and efficient transit regimes, such as the WCO Transit Handbook, Europe’s New Computerized Transit System (NCTS) and Africa’s One Stop Border Posts were presented. Regional initiatives under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program, describing progress with the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) were presented by ADB.

Lastly, experts discussed possible next steps to improve the transit operations in South Asia. Participants focused in particular on simplification of Customs formalities, information sharing, regional guarantee systems, Coordinated Border Management, legal frameworks, infrastructure and risk management.