Indian customs halts cement consignment
Petrapole Customs Authority of India has stopped a consignment of Confidence Cement seeking a test of standard of the product, much to the frustration of Bangladeshi exporters.
Sources said the customs authority at West Bengal, India on Thursday stopped the consignment of 60 tonnes of cement manufactured by Confidence Cement, which is the first-ever consignment from Bangladesh through Benapole land port.
A high official of Confidence Cement said they sent the consignment to Benapole land port on September 23 for exporting it to a buyer at West Bengal after completion of all the formalities.
"We have been exporting around 700 to 800 tonnes of cement a month to Tripura since 2005 after obtaining the required certificate from the Bureau of Indian Standard (BSI)," said Zahir Uddin Ahmad, deputy general manager of Confidence Cement.
A team from BSI visits every year the laboratories of different cement factories having BSI certificates to inspect and examine the standard of the products in order to renew the certificates, he said.
So, the Petrapole authority has no right to stop the consignment for examining it, Zahir said, adding that it would need around 28 days for checking the quality of cement.
Both the exporters and importers would have to incur losses in such case and importers would lose their interest in importing cement through Benapole in future, Zahir feared.
According to exporters, hundreds of tonnes of cement are being exported every month to different eastern Indian states like Tripura and Assam through Agartala and Sonamora land ports, but no such incident of halting consignment have so far occurred.
Cement export from Bangladesh to India started in 2004, while different local companies like Holcim (Bangladesh), Aramit and Confidence Cement took initiatives to export the item to the eastern Indian states.