First shipment of Afghan goods reach India via Chabahar port 

File photo: Chabahar port. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 13, 2019, 05.08 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

The first shipment of  570 tonnes of goods from Afghanistan arrived in India through the Chabahar port in Iran on Wednesday.

The Afghan goods arrived at the port of Nhava Sheva, Mumbai and Mundra. The goods were flagged off by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani a few days ago along with Indian envoy to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar in the western Afghan city of Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province bordering Iran. 

This is also the first shipment from Afghanistan which came via TIR system to India.  TIR is ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ which is a UN convention that allows goods to be sealed in compartments and requires no need for physical checking of the contents. This enables shipments to pass through countries without being opened at borders.

Reacting to the developments, Umberto de Pretto, the general secretary of the International Road Transportation Union said, "The opening of Chabahar Port for TIR is hugely significant – offering connectivity for landlocked countries, seamless border crossing facilitation and intermodal capabilities. "

"It enables a facilitative and non-intrusive environment for multi-modal transport of goods through several countries. The convention will help in boosting India’s exports and enable greater participation in the global value chains," said Pranab Kumar Das, Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) of revenue dept in Ministry of Finance. 

India joined the TIR Convention (the United Nations Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets) on June 15, 2017.

In January, India formally established shipping lanes with the Chabahar port and now every 2 weeks Indian ships go from 3 Indian ports--Mumbai, Kandla and Mundra to the port in Iran.

India took over the operations of a part of Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar in Iran in December 2018.

New Delhi has been focusing on connecting itself with landlocked Afghanistan for which it started the India-Afghanistan air corridor in 2017 and developed the Chabahar port, which is also central to International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) which will connect Mumbai to Moscow.