In this context, India signed a Coastal Shipping Agreement with Bangladesh in June 2015. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) between the two countries was also signed in November 2015 to implement the Coastal Shipping Agreement.
As per the Agreement, sea transport from India to Bangladesh is treated as coastal movement, making it eligible for 40% concession on vessel-related and cargo related charges.
Apart from above, Haldia Dock Complex under Kolkata Port Trust has been declared as a Transshipment Port for containerised cargo originating from/destined to Bangladesh to attract more cargo movement through sea-route.
According to the Indian Minister, benefits of the coastal movement include:
- reducing load on rail and road traffic.
- saving fuel consumption and offering a greener alternative to cargo movement
- less cost compared to Road and Rail mode of transport.
- reducing carbon footprint.
In a bid to further enhance trade, an agreement on the use of Chittagong and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India was signed between the two countries in October 2018.