After five months of closure, Rasuwagadhi customs point, the major trade route between Nepal and China, came into operation from Monday reports The Rising Nepal.
“The trade route has, however, resumed only for one-way import facility,” said Punya Bikram Khadka, chief of Rasuwagadhi Customs Office.
According to the daily, the decision to open the customs was enforced after two countries signed an agreement regarding the health security standards. The trade point has resumed formally from Monday morning after goods from China arrived at Miteri Bridge, he said.
The customs had remained closed from January 29 after the outbreak of COVID-19 in China. The way to import all necessary products being supplied by China has opened after the people’s representatives of the adjoining Rasuwagadhi area agreed to resume the import of all essential goods, he said.
“Four containers weighing about 120 tonnes arrived from China at the customs point today. The goods include readymade garments, sandals, shoes and electronic materials,” he said.
The Chinese side has assured of supplying around four containers every day, he said, adding that they would adopt health protocols before the goods enter the Nepali side.
“Labourers are required to follow health protocols such as maintaining social distance, and wearing personal protective equipment while loading goods on truck.
Khadka assured that necessary security measures would be adopted to avoid the possibility of infection. Khadka said that the Chinese side had yet to accept for the supply of Nepali goods and movement of people citing the risk of COVID-19.
“We are still talking with the Chinese side to resume the two-way movement of goods and services. But the Chinese side has assured us to accept supplies of Nepali goods after assessing the condition of COVID-19 in Nepal,” he said.
About 1,100 trucks carrying goods including clothes, electronic materials and fruits were stranded on the northern border since the end of January when it was closed following the outbreak of COVID-19, he said, adding that there might be goods such as garments and electrical goods which are unusable now as the traders had imported these goods targeting the summer season.
He said that few truckloads of fruits were damaged due to closure of customs for a long time. Traders claimed that about 2,000 tonnes of fruits stranded at the Nepal-China border decayed following the obstruction of trading on the northern border caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 reports the daily.