Electronic Cargo Tracking System to Facilitate India-Nepal Cargo Movement
30 March 2017
India and Nepal are set to sign a memorandum of intent on a pilot run for the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS). The pilot run aims to demonstrate the benefits of the ECTS in moving cargo between India and Nepal. Results of this pilot run will inform decision and next steps in using ECTS in other SASEC transport and economic corridors, as well as for inland movement of cargo.
Implementation of the ECTS would help facilitate safe and secure cross-border transit, simplify border formalities and procedures, reduce congestion of cargo, improve transit time, and lessen transaction cost. The pilot project is supported by the Asian Development Bank through the SASEC Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework.
Under the current system, goods transported between Nepal and India go through time-consuming and costly physical inspection to be cleared to cross the border. The ECTS will allow government agencies and private business owners to track containers and full-body trucks as they move, from port of arrival in India to the Nepal border. ECTS will reduce time and cost as cargo will move more speedily at border crossings.
ECTS uses technology such as satellite global positioning systems, cellular communications, radio frequency identification, and web-based software to ensure the security of cargo and avoid interference in transit.
Pilot runs for the system have been conducted along the Kolkata-Jaigaon-Phuentsholing route between India and Bhutan, and within India through inland routes.
The Government of Nepal organized an ECTS Workshop on 6 March 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal, to discuss ECTS advantages and best practices and to agree on the schedule, types of cargo, and necessary Customs processes and documentation for the pilot run.