Tuesday, 7 February, 2023

Import via Tatopani resumes


By Laxman Kafle

Kathmandu, May 11: The Tatopani customs point in Sindupalchowk has come into operation fully after almost four months of its closure, said official of Tatopani Customs Office.
“The way to import all necessary products being supplied by China has opened after the people’s representatives of the area adjoining Tatopani agreed to resume the import of all essential goods,” said Lal Bahadur Khatri, chief of Tatopani Customs Office.
A meeting of the representatives of Tatopani Customs Office, Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality and Barhabise Rural Municipality and businessmen held on Thursday reached a conclusion to allow the import of all Chinese goods to Nepal via the customs, he said.
With the agreement, the entire lot of goods which used to be imported from China such as readymade garments, sandals and electric equipment, among others, could be imported from the customs.
Only medical materials are entering Nepal from the customs from April 8 this year as per a Cabinet decision on March 24 to import health and agricultural goods by maintaining protocol of the Ministry of Health and Agriculture and Livestock Development.
The government had decided to resume the export and import of goods from Rasuwagadhi and Tatopani border points. However, import from Rasuwagdhi has not resumed due to obstruction from locals.
The customs had remained closed from January 30 after the outbreak of COVID-19 in China.
Fruits and vegetables started entering Nepal from China through the customs point before 10 days ago.
Khatri said that they would follow all necessary health protocols strictly while importing goods from China.
As per the agreement, they would check the health of the driver and the helper to avoid COVID-19 transmission.
He, however, said that they would give priority to the containers carrying essential goods while clearing the customs.
“We will disinfect the vehicles at the customs and keep the driver and the assistant who cross Nepal-China border in quarantine,” he said.
A group of drivers is allowed to bring goods reaching China and another group of drivers will supply goods to Kathmandu and other required places from Tatopani, he said.
According to him, it was impossible to bring around 10 containers daily as there was high risk of virus spread when the flow of vehicles and people at the customs increased.
He urged the businessmen to order only necessary goods as per the market demand, considering this critical situation as the customs would gradually increase the customs clearance of vehicles.
President of Nepal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tribhuban Tuladhar said that the latest development to allow the import of all necessary goods including garments from the Tatopani customs was a good news for the consumers and the traders during this crisis.
“Traders have started bringing their goods which had already been ordered with the ease in customs. The price of goods will come down in the market after the resumption of import from China as a large quantity of garments, electric materials and fruits is imported from China,” he said.