Dried Chiraita Picture

Many traders from Nepalgunj doing business in India may relate to (specifically export) the reality expressed in this blog.

In calendar every year comes with new hope and new beginning where as for these traders it remains almost same. They aim to increase trade and outsourcing of sources but circumstances remains unchanged.

Nepalgunj exit is important for trade of MAPs, it is also regarded as one of the hub for the same. For export to India, a trader needs Department of Forest recommendation, Plant Quarantine, JABAN recommendation, Certificate of origin and exit permit from Customs. After seeking these, the consignment is good to leave Nepal. On Indian part, they need Plant Quarantine and Prevention of food adulteration (PFA test) for edible items. Spices like Bay leaves, Cinnamom Bark, Dry Ginger go for PFA mostly.

The process of export from Nepal to India may appear simple. In reality, it is way more complex.

Prevailing Indo – Nepal trade barriers

  • Plant Quarantine – As per JABAN, there are approximately 100 species of MAPs exported from Nepal to India.Unfortunately, the list comprises of only 17 species i.e. Acorus calamus (Ghodbach, Bojho), Azadirachta indica (seed) (Neem Beej ), Berberis aristata  (Chutro Bokra), Calamus tenuis (Fruit & stems) (Bet phal, Bet), Centella asiatica  (Bramhi), Cinnamomum tamala (leaves) (Tejpaat), Cinnamomum tamala (Bark) (Dalchini), Curcuma longa (Haldi, Besar), Diosorea deltoidea (Bhyakur), Piper chaba (Chabo), Pistacia intergerima (Rhus sps) (Kakarsingi), Rubia corditolia (Manjith), Sapindus mukorossi (Ritha), Smilex aspera (Chopchini), Zanthoxylum armatum (Tomarbeej, Timur), Zinziber officinale (Adrak, Sonth) and Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora (Kutki).
  • Prevention of food adulteration act (PFA) – This act checks adulteration in edible items exported to India. In context of MAPs traders, they test spice items like Dry Ginger, Bay leaves. To remain eligible for export, traders provide sample for PFA lab testing which is very time consuming.
  • Transit Permit – Few years back, there were no hurdles for trade between Nepal and India. In 2050 B.S, U.P government made Transit permit mandatory for exports of forest derived goods from Nepal. Under this provision, for exporting forest derived goods including MAPs one has to register his firm to seek Transit Permit. On seeing closely, this norm is quite contradictory as it is implemented only by U.P government rest other Nepal-India border joining state like Bihar, Assam etc has not implemented it. Also, it is very tedious, time taking and expensive process which makes traders even more helpless.

Impact of Indo – Nepal Trade Barriers

  • For non-listed MAPs commodities in Plant Quarantine, traders go through many of objections. They export such products as Dry Medicinal herbs.
  • For PFA, the lab test is done in Indian Lab which is time consuming and expensive process. They have not authorized Nepalese Lab test report for this purpose.
  • Some times there are many unseen expenses which again increase the cost of commodity for export.
  • Transit Permit, the permit expires on 31 December every year. Traders have to renew it every year which takes almost two months in process. During this period, the traders are out of business. They do not have permission to trade without it. The process is also expensive. Consequently, only few traders can afford it.
  • The above mentioned problem is critical to address for traders, they usually increase cost and expenses which when added in price offered by Buyers, they are left with marginal profit or at times no profit.

The above mentioned situation is something which has been discussed since years. Unfortunately, these traders have received so solution.

Recommendations:

  • Develop a accredited lab near exit port to save time
  • Extend list of Plant Quarantine including all potential MAPs species
  • For Transit Permit, Government of Nepal (GoN) should resolve the issue by Bi-lateral means.

It is very common to think why India? We can go beyond it. Like said before, most of traders work with India. Nepal  shares its border with the country and they have many things in common like culture. This bring these countries even more close.

In conclusion, trade with India is important for traders of Nepal. It is because ease of access, reach and culture similarities.

Therefore, solution to above problem has become a need of these traders.

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