Rasuwagadi customs reopens after more than six months


The Rasuwagadi checkpoint at the Nepal-China border, which had been closed for more than six months due to the coronavirus pandemic, has resumed operations from today.

Punya Bikram Khadka, chief of Rasuwagadi Customs Office, informed that the checkpoint was formally reopened after the Chinese traders brought goods to Nepal via the Miteri Bridge.

“Goods have arrived from China which are being unloaded by adopting necessary medical precautionary measures,” he said.

The decision to reopen the order was taken after the two countries reached an understanding on security criteria and prevention measures to resume trade through the checkpoint.

Khadka mentioned that one-way trade started from the checkpoint six months and eight days after its closure due to the coronavirus.

He said that an informal agreement has been reached to open the movement of goods and people from Nepal as the coronavirus infection is gradually decreasing.

According to the customs office, readymade garments that had been stalled in China for a long time entered Nepal today.

According to the checkpoint operation protocol, four Chinese trucks will bring 120 tonnes of goods daily to the Miteri Bridge.

Nepalis will be mobilised to transport and load the goods imported to Nepal and for that 30 people, including 15 drivers and 15 loaders, have been sent to China, according to the customs office.

All the 30 people sent to China have had their medical tests for the coronavirus taken and their PCR results were negative. Those who have gone to China have agreed not to stay in touch with the Chinese and to work through hotel quarantine.

According to the customs office, the goods brought to Miteri Bridge will be ferried to Nepal by Nepali containers.

The Rasuwa district administration has made a pass mandatory for entrepreneurs to go to the Chinese side of Rasuwagadi customs.

On March 26, the Department of Customs had formally decided to reopen the Tatopani and Rasuwagadi customs points after the government took a decision to open these border points.

But at that time only Tatopani custom points had reopened and Rasuwagadi had remained closed till now.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 7, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.