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First Afghan shipment to India via Iran’s Chabahar Port arrives at Nhava Sheva


On March 13, 2019, the Afghanistan Consulate General in Mumbai, with the cooperation of JN Port, organised a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Nhava Sheva for the first Afghan shipment to India via Iran’s Chabahar Port.


The occasion was graced by Mr Naseem Sharifi, Consul General of Afghanistan, Mr Vivek Johri, Chief Commissioner of Customs, JNCH, Mr Neeraj Bansal, Deputy Chairman of JN Port, Mr Khushru Reza Zadeh, Consul General of Iran, and Mr Arun Kumar Gupta, Managing Director of India Ports Global Ltd, besides dignitaries from CII and FICCI, who inaugurated the first Afghan shipment to India via Chabahar, said an official release.


The first shipment contained 570 tonnes of Afghan exports in over 20 containers, which included 130 tonnes of mung beans and 440 tonnes of talc.


Mr Naseem Sharifi said that "Chabahar is no more an imagination but a reality, which gives direct sea access to Afghanistan, and boosts trade and economic cooperation in the region".


Mr Vivek Johri commented that "the arrival of the first Afghan shipment through Chabahar is a momentous event and will increase economic relations between the two countries".


Mr Neeraj Bansal too described it as historic and called for more such cargo movements from Afghanistan via Chabahar.


"With the opening of the Chabahar route, Afghanistan exports will increase from the current level of $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion in the next year," Mr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, had said.


On October 29, 2017, the first wheat shipment of the Indian government to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port reached Zaranj province. The shipment was part of a commitment made by the government of India to supply 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to the people of Afghanistan on grant basis, the release said.


In May 2016, India, Iran and Afghanistan had signed a business agreement on the establishment of a Transit and Transport Corridor among the three countries using Chabahar Port as the regional hub for sea transportation.


TIR shipment


This was the first shipment under TIR carnet from Afghanistan to India through Iran. India had joined the TIR Convention (the United Nations Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets) in 2017. TIR stands for ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’. The convention allows goods to be outlined in a TIR carnet and sealed in load compartments. Customs verify the carnet and check the seals, with no need for physical checking of the contents, enabling shipments to pass through countries without being opened at borders.


Indian Customs is the authorised agency to deal with TIR carnet and is responsible for the goods covered under TIR for transfer to other Customs procedures like import clearance, warehousing, etc. TIR is an international harmonised system of Customs control that facilitates trade and transport while effectively protecting the revenue of each country through which goods are carried. The TIR system has 68 contracting parties across 4 continents. For the trade, it is simple, flexible, cost-effective and secure system for the international transport of goods across frontiers.


The TIR Convention is expected to boost trade not only with Afghanistan but with Central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States countries across the International North-South Transport Corridor and thereby augment business opportunities for exporters and importers in these countries, said a communiqué.


Source : Exim News Service - Navi Mumbai, March 14


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