Negotiation of Protocols for the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement

The Road Transport and Highways Division, Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges of Bangladesh, with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), organized a Meeting on the Proposed Protocols to the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 8-9 September to consider provisions of the draft protocol on the movement of passenger and cargo vehicles under the BBIN MVA.

The Meeting agreed

  • On the substantive contents, including schedules, of the proposed protocol on passenger vehicles. This will be the basis for a working draft protocol to be further reviewed by the BBIN countries, with the aim of addressing all remaining issues facilitating signing of the protocol on passenger vehicles in or before December 2015;
  • On arrangements for pilot implementation/trial runs of the cargo vehicles under the BBIN MVA, involving among others, a select group of operators and pre-identified routes and border crossing points. Results of these trial runs would be used to draft a protocol for cargo vehicles;
  • To request ADB to conduct a study and organize a workshop on electronic tracking of vehicles and cargo to determine the technical specifications and financial viability of its application in connection with the BBIN MVA;
  • To obtain views of the private sector on how to effectively implement the BBIN MVA. Private sector representatives from India and Bangladesh gave suggestions on a variety of areas, including transit fees, guarantee system, licensing, and piloting cargo movements;
  • On the way forward, including milestones such as: (i) trial runs on cargo vehicle movement from October to November 2015; (ii) pilot run for regular passenger transport on or before 9 October 2015; (iii) holding of BBIN Car Rally from 14 November to 1 December 2015; and (iv) signing of the Protocol on Passenger Vehicular Movement, possibly on the occasion of the BBIN Car Rally.

The landmark BBIN MVA was signed by the transport ministers of the BBIN countries last June 2015 in Thimphu, Bhutan. It aims to facilitate passenger, personal, and cargo vehicular cross-border traffic between and among the four countries to reduce costly and time-consuming transshipment of people and goods at border crossings, and create opportunities for greater economic exchanges along designated key trade routes in the four countries.

Heading the delegations from the BBIN countries were Md. Abdul Malek, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges, Bangladesh, who also chaired the Meeting; Mr. Lham Dorji, Director General, Road Safety and Transport Authority, Ministry of Information and Communications, Bhutan; Mr. Alapan Bandhopadhyay, Principal Secretary, Transport, Government of West Bengal, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, India; and Mr. Rabindra Nath Shrestha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure & Transport, Nepal.Senior transport and Customs officials of the BBIN countries and ADB staff participated in the Meeting. Heading the delegations from the BBIN countries were: Md. Abdul Malek, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges, Bangladesh, who also chaired the Meeting; Mr. Lham Dorji, Director General, Road Safety and Transport Authority, Ministry of Information and Communications, Bhutan; Mr. Alapan Bandhopadhyay, Principal Secretary, Transport, Government of West Bengal, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, India; and Mr. Rabindra Nath Shrestha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure & Transport, Nepal.

Sector: Trade Facilitation

Date: 8-9 Sep 2015

Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Contact Person: Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong
rabutiong@adb.org

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