KATHMANDU, Sept 5: In an effort to address problems emerging in imports and exports trade, including unrestricted flow of foreign goods in the domestic market, the government is finalizing the draft of Export-Import Act that envisages safeguarding local industries, minimizing health hazards and promoting exports.
The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) prepared the draft after series of discussions with major stakeholders on the back of growing challenges in foreign trade such as uncontrolled flow and growing health hazard from imported goods and other challenges in the aftermath of Nepal´s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“The proposed act is aimed at addressing non-tariff measures in export and import of goods so as to boost export and regulate the imports of goods to safeguard domestic industries,” said a high level source at MoCS. “Procedural simplification in exports, addressing health hazards from imported goods and maintaining transparency in implementing trade related provisions have also been envisaged in the draft.”
In the absence of clear provisions on adopting non-tariff measures in the existing Export-import Control Act 1956, the government had issued a notice in the gazette on Nov 2, 2009 to address emerging problems in country´s import and export trade.
“The proposed Act has also attempted to make our legal provision more compatible with the WTO arrangements that Nepal must follow as a member of the global trade body,” the source added.
Though Trade Policy 2010 envisages measures to promote export and substitute import, the Existing Export-Import Control Act is silent on the ways to increase trade volume.
“The new Act is necessary as the existing Act lacks clear provisions on import-export procedures such as licensing, quantitative restrictions on imports and controlling health hazard for human, animal and environment from imported goods,” the source added.
The act has also envisaged inter-ministry coordination in facilitating trade by reducing documentation and procedural formalities and minimizing charges being levied on traders while importing or exporting goods.