May 2, 2015
Subsequent to the massive earthquake that struck Nepal on 25th April, 2015, Government of Nepal has issued number of instructions and guidelines for simplifying import and distribution of relief materials. However, there have been certain doubts expressed by various individuals and organizations regarding procedure to be followed to supply relief materials to people in Nepal.
To clarify the doubts expressed, Indian Mission in Kathmandu has examined these instructions and held series of discussions with various stakeholders in Nepal. The consignor in India can dispatch the relief materials consigned to NGOs, INGOs or individuals based in Nepal. The relief materials can be cleared free of Customs duty and taxes applicable in Nepal for which a procedure prescribed by the Government of Nepal has to be complied with by such NGOs, INGOs or individuals.
Under this procedure, complete records will be maintained for the material imported by the Department of Customs in Nepal at the time of its import either through International Airport or Land Customs Stations. In the cases of imports from Land Customs Stations the importer will be required to approach the jurisdictional CDO of the Land Customs Station from which imports are made. Contact details of such CDOs at the border district in Nepal are available on Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Nepal website http://www.moha.gov.np/. CDO at the land border will recommend the transfer of relief materials to the concerned districts as desired by the importer. Based on this recommendation from the CDO, Nepal Customs will allow duty-free clearance of the imported relief material. A copy of this record would be provided to the NGO/ INGO/ Individual (hereinafter referred as ‘importer’). After receiving this record the importer is required to contact the Chief District Officer (CDO)/ Secretaries assigned for relief operation in various affected districts such as Dhading, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk etc.
The contact details of these CDO/ Secretaries has been published on the website of Indian Embassy at Kathmandu.
The importer will be responsible for transporting the imported relief material to these districts and contact the CDO/ Secretaries. These Government of Nepal officials will then co-ordinate the distribution of these relief materials to various parts of the affected districts. The co-ordination is being prescribed to avoid duplication. In case the importer is an individual, possession of goods will not be given to him. Rather the goods will be directly transferred to the concerned CDO.
The importer can work in co-ordination with these CDO/ Secretaries to carry out the actual distribution of the relief materials. After the relief material is fully distributed, these officials will certify the proper utilization of these materials for the intended relief efforts. This record would then be required to be produced to the Department of Customs, Government of Nepal at the place of import for final reconciliation within 30 days. If the material is certified by the designated officials to be completely utilized for the intended relief exercise, no customs duty or taxes would be charged. However, if the prescribed certificate is not produced within 30 days to the Nepal Customs, then applicable duty, charges and fine would be payable to the Government of Nepal.
In case the individual/ NGO/ INGO opt for importing the relief materials after full discharge of the Customs duty, then above-mentioned procedure is not applicable. The duty-paid materials can be distributed directly by the individual/ NGO/ INGO after making suitable logistical arrangements. However, in case they face any problems in such distribution they may contact the concerned CDO/ Secretaries in Nepal or may contact the officials from Indian Mission at Kathmandu as detailed below.
The donors from India also have an option to dispatch the material addressed to the “Government of Nepal” clearly mentioning that the supplies are meant for relief work. In such cases, prescribed agencies in Nepal will take control, warehouse the material and distribute it for relief work. However, the sender would have no role to play in distribution of relief supplies. In such cases no duty/ taxes would be payable in Nepal.
Government of Nepal in their Press Release dated 27th April, 2015 have also clarified that the relief materials immediately required are Tents (small, medium and large), Mattresses, Tarpaulin, Blankets, Water Purifiers, Sanitation kits, Utensils and other similar materials useful for outstay.
This advisory has been prepared to clarify and facilitate the distribution of relief materials from Indian donors. They have been compiled based on understanding of the local applicable laws and discussion with the concerned stakeholders in Nepal. In case of any doubts please contact details of the Embassy of India, Kathmandu Control Room at:
Phone Numbers: 00977-1-2081122 & 00977-1-2081141
For any further queries, the following officers can be contacted:
(i) First Secretary (Economic) at 00977-9851107008
(ii) First Secretary (EC) at 00977-9851107001.
For relief material crossing Birgunj border, please contact Ms. Anju Ranjan, Consul General, Birgunj at the following contacts/address:
Tel: 00977-51- 532211/520231
Mob: 00977-97213 00033
For the relief material crossing Bhairahwan border, please contact, Mr. Raj Kumar Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi at the following number: